Chloe Davies, Room to Heal

“Room to Heal supports refugees and asylum seekers who have experienced torture and human rights abuses.

At the heart of thier work lies the cultivation of a healing community through which our members re-establish trust, address the trauma they have experienced and come out of isolation. Alongside therapeutic support, they offer practical casework assistance and a range of creative and social activities, enabling people to rebuild meaningful lives in exile.

We joined their weekly Friday afternoon group at the Culpepper Community Gardens in Islington. We were greeted with big smiles and a cup of tea, as chairs were shuffled around to squeeze us into the circle of members that had formed around the fire pit. This was clearly an event that many looked forward to: members, therapists and locals alike. We chatted to various members about life in London, our walk, different cultures, occasionally touching on their backgrounds and struggles, but mainly enjoying the relaxed atmosphere, the Spring sunshine and smiling faces that surrounded us. Food was prepared, which we all shared, once a little gardening completed. It was a very special afternoon, which we felt privileged to have been invited to.

Here’s a lovely short film about the garden:

We met Chloe Davies, Deputy Director and who works as a psychotherapist, in their Islington offices the following week. Listen below to what she had to say about her work and the power of nature and community in healing wounds.”

chloe davies with issy

You can listen to our interview with Chloe here :

In Memoriam

Today we are back at my family home in the Cotswolds.  We have taken time out from our walk to prepare for my father’s funeral.  It felt strange to board a train and suspend the pilgrimage, but some things are more important.  We will resume our journey from Skipton on Wednesday, picking up where we left off roughly halfway between Dover and Iona.

The remainder of our journey will be dedicated to the memory of Stephen Freer, born February 18th 1920, died April 26th, 2017.


James Turner

james turner image
James Turner, Director of The Syria Campaign.

Before we left London Isabel spoke to James Turner about his work as the Communications Director for The Syria Campaign.

The Syria Campaign is a global advocacy group launched in 2014 with the mission to mobilize people around the world to advocate to protect Syrian civilians and accelerate progress towards a peaceful and democratic future for Syria. It was fascinating talking to James about the campaign’s work to promote Syrian voices, create communication materials, and help to shift the public narrative on Syria.

James formerly worked as Head of Communications at Greenpeace where he learned a great deal about ecological issues.  In the interview below you will hear some fascinating comments on the links between climate change and refugees.