Home: an immersive retreat exploring climate change, migration and community resilience

18:00 - 16:00
Feb 10th 2022 ~ Feb 13th 2022

Join us at St Ethelburga’s Centre for a long weekend retreat. We will combine a fearless look at the reality of climate migration, with lessons being learnt from innovative projects engaging migrant communities. Using reflective practices and group work we will explore the bridges between individual and community resilience. Info and booking below.

For more information contact Jo Winsloe Slater on jo.winsloe@stethelburgas.org

“Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

James Baldwin

In the coming decades mass migration arising from the devastating impacts of a warming climate is now inevitable.  Our communities are changing and the scale of those unavoidable changes can sometimes seem overwhelming.

  • Do you wonder how to respond to the enormity of climate breakdown and mass migration?
  • Do you want to move through paralysis into acts of regeneration and service?
  • Do you want to be a bridge between your community and newcomers?
  • Do you wonder how to be a leader in the face of rapidly changing community?
  • Are you seeking tools of inner resilience, and models of outer action?

This is a 4-day, non-residential gathering at St Ethelburga’s Centre in Central London. We will combine an unflinching look at the reality of climate migration with lessons being learned from innovative, local projects engaging with refugee and asylum-seeking communities.

Connecting to our sense of home and belonging through land, food and plants, the four day programme will include:

  • Powerful exercises to enable us to lean in to the inevitable and unavoidable effects of climate breakdown on mass migration.
  • Listening to the lived experiences of displaced people.
  • Sharing food and stories in a model of ‘host becomes guest’.
  • Exploring how land and community are inextricably linked.
  • Preparing plant medicines for displaced and marginalised people.
  • The St Ethelburga’s model of individual and community resilience.
  • Tools and models for welcoming newcomers into communities.
  • Exploring the shadow side of ‘helping others’.


Far left: The Tent, one of our facilitation spaces at St Ethelburga’s Centre in central London.

Left: The Phytology Garden, another venue of our retreat.


Woven through the retreat will be:

  • Enjoying delicious food, prepared with refugees and migrants from their culture of origin.
  • Foraging, and learning to make herbal remedies for a community apothecary.
  • Peer learning.
  • Creating a community of learners and practitioners.
  • Stories and experiences of displacement.
  • Spaces for reflection and creativity.
  • Optional meditation / quiet time.

Who this retreat is for:

  • People  interested in the impact of climate on communities
  • People working alongside migrants or refugees, and those who have an experience of displacement and interest in these themes
  • Community builders and leaders
  • Students interested in community responses, or studying the nexus of climate and migration
  • Health and mental health professionals
  • Individuals interested in place-based community projects
  • Those wanting to have time and space to explore questions of climate and community with others who share their interest/concerns

To apply, see the end of the page or for any questions, contact Jo Winsloe Slater at jo.winsloe@stethelburgas.org

Speakers and mentors:

We’ll be working with and learning from mentors, those with lived experience of migration and displacement, and from each other.

Stories and Supper Community

Stories & Supper is a London based initiative creating spaces of welcome for refugees, migrants and local volunteers to come together to produce great food and host delicious dinners.  More than a meal, members create poetry, music and share their own stories, on their own terms. During the retreat we will be hosting the Stories and Supper community for a special evening where notions of Guest and Host take each other’s place; where we can all meet each other in the time honoured way of sharing food and telling stories.

Marwa Belghazi

Marwa Belghazi was born in Morocco and is is a multilingual practitioner living in London.  She has been on the frontline of resettling refugees in various London boroughs, including developing strategy on the inclusion of refugees in Kingston Upon Thames. She draws strength from the disciplines of community organising, storytelling and popular education.  Marwa brings an insightful look at the relationship between those newly arriving in a community and those who welcome them.  She examines different roles within the relationship and invites us to explore themes of intention, belonging, leadership and community resilience. She is currently drawing the threads of here experiences into a book on what it means to be ‘A Welcomer.’   Marwa will be joining us on zoom.

Rasheeqa Ahmad, Hedge Herbs 

Rasheeqa (Hedge Herbs) is a herbalist in her community in Walthamstow in North London. She has been practicing since 2012, offering treatment with herbal medicine and teaching about its many aspects, alongside a wider mix of work whose aim is connecting us as communities with the potential of this knowledge and craft as a way to develop healthier living systems and relationships. She is inspired by her early involvement with the Radical Herbalism Gathering in exploring how to make plant medicine accessible and restore balance to its practice in the contexts of systemic inequalities and oppressions that are part of our shared histories.

Community Apothecary

Rasheeqa Ahmed is also part of the Community Apothecary in her locality, a CIC that brings community members together around a patchwork of medicinal herb gardens where we can access healing with land care, learn about growing, wildcrafting and making medicines together, share and celebrate intercultural knowledge & peer support, and seed the model in other neighbourhoods so that we create landscapes of healing everywhere. She was also a founding member of the Mobile Apothecary in east London, a solidarity street medicine project that is part of the Phytology cultural institute at Bethnal Green Nature Reserve.


Jo Winsloe Slater – Jo is Project Manager of Refugee Allies at St Ethelburga’s.  She hosts events and co-ordinates programmes that bring refugee and non-refugee together to build empathy, understanding and to promote a more inclusive society.  She designs and co-ordinates the organisation’s volunteer programme in Europe’s refugee camps, and collaborates on events that promote positive encounters with organisations and partners, among them Xenia Women, TERN, Timepeace, Together Workshops, Migrateful, Freedom from Torture and CounterPoint Arts,  She leads on the production of Listen to the World Open Mic. A programme where themes of home, belonging and community meet through musical traditions and talents of migrants and refugees and local artists.  Jo has worked in the non-profit sector for over twenty years.  She holds a BA (Hons) in Education and a Diploma in group facilitation, conflict resolution and counselling (NAOS). When not at St Ethelburga’s you’ll most likely find her on the land among plants.

Tarot Couzyn –Tarot Couzyn Tarot is the COO of St Ethelburga’s and responsible for managing programmes, staff, finance and venue.  Tarot plays a key role in developing our deep adaptation and also our sacred activist programmes, which involve volunteering in refugee camps.  She thrives in challenging environments.  Her original background was in collaborative arts and included co-directing her own organisation working in the fields of LGBTQ+ rights, and communities rebuilding in the aftermath of conflict and displacement (in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and South Africa). Tarot also has experience as a consultant undertaking fundraising, evaluation and creative projects. Many of her practical skills were honed whilst building her own house!

Timings and Cost

Date and time commitments:

  • Thursday 10 February – 6pm – 9.30pm
  • Friday 11 February – 9.30am – 7.30pm
  • Saturday 12 February – 9.30am – 9pm
  • Sunday 13 February – 10am – 4pm


£350  – £250 with some Bursary places of £100.    We especially welcome people with an experience or a family heritage of displacement, or who identify as black, brown or a person of colour.  Please drop me a line if you’d like to apply for a Bursary place at jo.winsloe@stethelburgas.org and tell us about yourself.  

Photo credits: Main image Shane Rounce on Unsplash

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