Introducing the team
Sussex Green Living was launched on 22nd April 2012 and awarded CIO charity status on 20th May 2020 charity number 1189569
Our mission is to advance the education of the public in the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment, in particular by educating the public about how to adopt an environmentally friendly lifestyle and improve their ability to reduce their negative impact on the environment.
On this page you are able to meet the wonderful team behind Sussex Green Living and learn about volunteering opportunities at the bottom of the page.
Paul Bellringer OBE Chairman
I have extensive charitable experience at all levels from being a founder to volunteering. Having previously worked with addictive behaviour at a national level, more recently I was responsible for starting both the Horsham Garden Music Festival and the Horsham Festival. Today climate change is the biggest issue facing the world, bar none, and the time to reverse the damage being done to the earth is now. Sussex Green Living has already proved itself as a pioneering force for the good across West Sussex and, consequently, I am delighted to play a part in the essential work of this important charity.
I have always been extremely concerned about climate change and the terrible impact the fast fashion industry has on the planet. In 2012 I set up Bags of Support a school textile recycling company, that spring my path first crossed with Carrie and Sussex Green Living when we were both delivering assemblies in a local school. Since then we have worked closely together encouraging schools to reduce textile waste and ethically recycle to raise money for their schools and our joint chosen charity Nkuringo School & Community Support in Uganda. As a trustee I am now able to work even closer with the aim of us helping to build a fairer and greener future for people and planet.
I have been very aware of the state of the planet, from a small girl, when ‘A Silent Spring; by Rachel Carson, published in 1962 about the effects of pesticides on our environment, was read to us. Consequently I have tried to live more sustainably and when I found a soulmate in Carrie, as we were training to be West Sussex County Council Waste Prevention Advisers in 2012, I knew I was on to a good thing. Carrie, myself, the Horsham Quakers and lots of volunteers launched the Horsham Repair Cafe in 2017, which I love.
Sussex Green Living is an amazing dynamic, organic and growing environmental force in West Sussex and I am very proud to be asked to help on the management team.
Liz Thorn – trustee and refill lead volunteer
I have been working locally in Green initiatives for over 10 years starting with the Greening Horsham project. Additionally I have undertaken activities with Transition Horsham such as assisting in the regular seed swap, undertaking outreach and arranging speakers for meetings. Latterly I have helped in outreach around the CEE bill, encouraging local banks to divest from fossil fuels and campaigning to maintain green spaces for the community rather than build houses.
Recently I took over the management of the bottle refills for Sussex Green Living which will take place at the new Sussex Green Hub. In August 2021 I am delighted to say I am becoming a Sussex Green Living trustee.
Dan Petrak – trustee
This is our planet and we’re destroying it one minute at a time.
As an individual it seems impossible to make a difference. But collectively, we did this and collectively we need to put it right. We have nothing to lose but our home. We have a world to win.
While I’m alive, I’ll make tiny positive changes to earth.
In 2021 I became a Sussex Green Living trustee and have taken over the treasurer role.
Management team and people behind the action!
Carrie Cort – CEO
I am a passionate and optimistically stubborn environmentalist. In 2011 with worsening global warming and little time to achieve zero emission I decided to act and launched Sussex Green Living on 22nd April 2012 Earth Day. My idea was to develop a network of people working together to create a more sustainable world. With waste prevention training by WSCC and Brighton University in 2012 and climate change trained in 2016 delivered by the former US Vice President Al Gore and leading climate change scientists, I weave together the problems and solutions.
Our charity is multi-award winning and growing fast, we are connecting up a district dot-to-dot of people supporting people on a carbon reduction journey.
Sheila Humphreys – Volunteer Management
I retired in November 2018 and moved to West Sussex from Kent in January 2020. Whilst working for Bromley Council I became one of their Environmental Champions, helping to find ways to provide a more eco friendly workplace and educate colleagues in energy saving and becoming more environmentally conscious. This was already an issue I felt strongly about and recent global events, campaigns and TV coverage have only increased my concern for our planet. I had been looking for a voluntary role and when the opportunity arose I was very keen to join the team at SGL. As the grandparent of a 3 year old I am more aware than ever that we all need to do what we can to preserve the planet for future generations.
Morag Warrack – Environmental Educator
Volunteering in Africa for two years was an experience that changed the way I saw the world forever. It made me really appreciate the incredibly privileged lives we lead – drinking water from a tap, free schooling and health care for us all…
Since I retired from teaching, I take a more active role in the community, organising and supporting art initiatives including the Art Apprentice and the Horsham Festival. I’ve surprised myself by becoming a Neighbourhood Councillor and co-ordinating our ‘Friends of the Rec’ gardeners’ group.
The finality of realising that we can no longer support the myth of economic ‘growth’ is now a driving force in my life. Contributing what I can and embracing a life that doesn’t need repairing is my goal! Pleased to be part of Sussex Green Living.
Liz Stack – Fundraising
Joy Carter – Lead Womble!
From a very early age I have been interested in my surrounding environment. Most weekends were spent walking in the local countryside around Horsham. As a young adult I had the bug to explore a little further. So, for the next three years I travelled with my husband Simon, a keen ornithologist. Firstly overland to India and Nepal. Then a total of eight months wandering around Central and South America. Realizing how fragile our planet is spurred me on to be a keen environmental campaigner. For the next twenty years I was lucky enough to work in a local school where I was given extra time to teach the children about environmental issues and teach them gardening skills. Now my time is spent leading the Sussex Green Living single use plastic recycling team and encouraging people to shop more wisely.
Joy is endearingly called the Chief Womble!
Rob Fryatt – Village & Community Outreach
Rob has enjoyed living in Barns Green for more than 30 years. He initially trained as a plant scientist and has worldwide experience in crop agriculture which has given Rob a continued interest in the natural world and an attitude towards minimising food waste. Having lived in Latin America he has seen first-hand the impact man is having on the environment. Rob has been one of “The Wombles” recycling team for some time and has recently established SGL “Bins” in Barns Green, along with caretaking the William Penn bins in Coolham. Rob is now widening his involvement within SGL to further projects. At home our mantra is Re-duce, Re-use and Re-cycle, an attitude we constantly promote to others.
Keir Hartley – Parish Engagement
I am a retired scientist and teacher. But the evidence for global warming and all sorts of other environmental damage was so conclusive that I couldn’t sit still. Especially when this evidence was being twisted and denied. What’s next-shall we reject the evidence of expert witnesses in courts, because we don’t like it?
So I was proud when Carrie Cort invited me to help with writing assignments for SGL. Here were people from many backgrounds who had not only seen a clear and present danger, but were doing so much to counter it. SGL is a model for how grassroots organisations can start to build a cleaner, saner world, and it should be copied widely.
Beth Richardson – Press & Communications
I was born overseas and lived abroad, mainly Africa, for most of my formative years where I developed an awareness and passion for different cultures and conservation. I became very motivated by causes so soon after starting my career as a journalist 25 years ago I quickly moved in PR via charity press offices. I have worked across all media and most of my roles, both permanent and freelance, have been for non-profits or purpose-led businesses. I have been volunteering since my teens and recently set up an organisation to encourage corporates to support, both physically and financially, community and conservation projects. In my spare time I do voluntary PR, social media and write articles for conservation, community and sustainability organisations, including Sussex Green Living.
I have known Carrie since the late ‘90s when our paths crossed through work. Her enthusiasm to do better for the planet was evident even then and her unwavering drive to set up Sussex Green Living has been inspiring and I enjoy helping out where I can.
Karen Espley – Horsham Repair Cafe lead
I realised the damage we were doing to our planet on an expedition to the Antarctic in 2000 and again on my travels through West Africa in 2001 and I have tried to be a much more careful user of our precious resources since then.
I got really bitten by the anti-single use plastic bug in 2018 and was looking for ways to support local environmental groups and met Carrie and Jill.
Consequently, I started working as a volunteer at the Horsham Repair Café in January 2019 and have taken over the role of coordinating the Café as we move to re-opening post-Covid.
Carrie’s passion for protecting the environment is inspiring and I am proud to be part of the team that works towards creating a more sustainable way of living.
Our single-use plastic recycling team at the Quaker Meeting House and the Unitarian Church (our recycling hub):
Led by Joy Carter endearingly known as Chief Womble!
Sarah Pool – plus Facebook communications
Rob Fryatt – Barns Green and Coolham
Suzanne Lindfield – Pulborough
Fiona McConnachie – Thakham
Barbara Walmsley – Storrington
Hazel Allinson – Amberley
Rosie Czira – Mannings Heath
Jo Browse – Warnham
Greg Morley Smith – Kingsfold
Anne Allan – Slinfold
Melanie Parker – Billingshurst
Fiona Sodha – Rudgwick
Vicci Johnson – Steyning
Churches, schools and many others
Transition Horsham – Alison Marshall
Horsham Eco Churches – Karen Park
Horsham Community Fridge – Nicola Fryatt
United Reformed Church hosts and community cafe – Ian Fletcher, Kristin Ofstad and Nicky Eglinton
Led by Karen Espley
Plus many more!
Sussex Green Living Community engagement
Victoria Wyllie de Echeverria
Joanne Knowles – Cowfold
Elvira Wynne-Jones – Rusper
Mela Davidson – Billingshurst
Marilyn Quail – Rudgwick
Vivianne Doussy – Arun Valley
Geoff Barnard – Steyning
Penny and Vassos Siantonas – Henfield
We have many other community outreach volunteers in West Sussex and the South East who are all now connected through the South East Climate Alliance. We are a founding member of SECA, a coalition of local environment, community and faith groups across South East England uniting for urgent action on climate change.
Feeling inspired to get involved?
We are always looking for volunteers, so get in touch and see how you can get involved! HELP NEEDED WITH:
- Help with retrofitting and energy work
- Help with sustainable parish directory research and compilation
- Help finding schools, churches and community events for our Bright New Future Roadshow or a visit from our Inspiration Eco-Station.
- Help talk to the general public at events as part of the Inspiration Eco-Station
- Design and website support
- Design page on SGL with content provided about the most impactful climate books and films
Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or sign up to receive our latest news (it only takes two seconds to add your email address – to the pop up box). Feel free to also send us an email using our contact form, or come and say hello at our events like the Sussex Green Ideas online meeting or at our once a month events the Sussex Green Hub or Horsham Repair Cafe!