Introducing Our New Programme of Free Project Masterclasses


Welcome signIn these turbulent times, permaculture projects can serve as a huge source of hope and inspiration for people who want to make positive changes to care for the earth and its inhabitants, but don't know how.


Practical permaculture and demonstration projects have the potential to create real change in our communities by reaching and engaging people who may have never heard of permaculture, nor wish to do a design course.


However, permaculture people are also generally busy people and accessing all of the information in order to run a safe, nurturing, financially viable, well organised project can sometimes feel overwhelming.




You asked, we listened...

We have developed this series of free project masterclasses in partnership with Zurich Charities Insurance, designed around the areas that you told us you most need support with in our recent projects survey.


In each session, you will learn from an industry expert who will share their knowledge of some of the more challenging areas of project development. You will also be given an opportunity to ask questions about your own project so that you can start implementing what you have learned.  


Each session will take place on the second Wednesday of the month from 6-7pm on Zoom.



How do I sign up?

To be added to the mailing list for these free masterclasses you must be a Permaculture Association member and have signed up for our free projects membership offer.

You will be sent zoom links for each masterclass in our monthly newsletter.

The links are also available in your membership area when you log into our website



Feb 9 2022- Insuring Your Project


Finding the right insurance package to ensure the safety of you, your staff, your volunteers and visitors can be a real challenge. It may be that you run a variety of activities, use specialist equipment and have diverse user groups on site. In this session you will find out what you need to have in place in order to get public liability insurance for your project and see examples of projects who demonstrate good practice in terms of health and safety.

You will learn:

What projects do and don’t qualify for public liability insurance and why

What health and safety considerations must be in place

Appropriate governance for your project in terms of insurance policies

What activities can and can’t be insured

Steve Gettings is head of Sales at Zurich Charities Insurance and is an industry expert in terms of policy and underwriting. He specialises in creating tailor made policies for charity and voluntary sector groups. 

Register Here for Insuring Your Project


March 9 2022- Designing an Effective Permaculture Project


For many of us, there can be an overwhelming amount to do at our projects. Having clear aims and good organisational practice in place can save us both time and stress and mean that project goals can be delivered effectively. This practical session will show you how to design a project framework to support you to create and maintain a sustainable project.

You will learn:

How to assess the current stage of development of  your project.

Get clear on your project vision, mission and aims.

Tools and processes to aid effective project management within permaculture ethics and principles.

Different ways to make decisions within your project.

Suzie Cahn has more than 20 years of experience in community development, education, and project management across a wide range of sectors. She was the project manager for TASC's Climate Justice Centre's People's Transition pilot and developed community education approaches for innovation in social enterprise and leadership in the North West of Ireland with An Cosán, as their Social Enterprise Officer and Higher Education Tutor.


April 13- Finding the Right Governance Model for Your Project


Having an appropriate legal structure and governance in place is essential for any project wanting to generate a sustainable income, apply for grant funding and get public liability insurance. However understanding the options and their implications can be confusing. This session is a whistlestop, interactive tour of the governance and structure options for any permaculture project and the factors that determine which is the most appropriate.

You will learn:

How to create a sustainable organisation using permaculture design tools.

How to identify the most appropriate legal structure for your project.

How to organise your project internally from within that structure.

Mark Simmonds is an experienced co-operative and community business advisor, with many years experience working with organisations seeking to make the world a more sustainable, resilient and equitable place. Mark applies permaculture principles in his approach to organisational design and will walk you through the process in a visual and interactive way.


May 11-  Developing and Running an Holistic and Nurturing Volunteer Programme


Our volunteers are one of our most valuable project assets, but how do we get the most out of our volunteers whist making it an enriching experience for them? In this session you will find out how to create a holistic and nurturing volunteer programme based around the 5 ways to wellbeing.

You will learn:

To Connect- Creating a  good volunteer experience with clear communication.

To Be Active- Finding volunteers a  suitable role.

To Keep Learning- Training, learning, reflection and progression. 

To Take Notice- Policies and the law.

To Give- Support, supervision and celebration.

Behla Hutchinson has been the volunteer coordinator at Hyde Park Source for eight years and runs their community gardening and outdoor education projects. She is part of the core management team who have developed a volunteering strategy based around their own set of permaculture principles.  


June 8- Writing a Successful Funding Bid


The world of funding is competitive. Understanding the tools and techniques for writing a funding bid will greatly increase your chances of success. In this session we will explore what you need to know in terms of securing funding for your project help you hone your bid writing skills, find the right opportunities, and save time. 

You will learn:

The three key questions you’ll find in every funding bid, and how to answer them.

How to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls.

Where to find funding. 

How to create an efficient bid writing system and save yourself time. 

Funding vs earnt income.

Alex Nicoletti is a designer, bid writer and social entrepreneur with 18 years’ experience in the third sector. I work with organisations and individuals with an environmental and/ or a social mission and help them increase their income and do more of their amazing work. I do this through creating easy to implement strategies, writing funding bids and developing digital products. 


July 13- THE ECO-nomics of Permaculture


We all want our project to be financially sustainable, whether this is through multiple income streams or funding. In this session you will find out about the tools and processes at The Apricot Centre, a succesful working biodynamic farm with a funded education programme, to run an economically viable business. Spreadsheet templates based on the session will be made available for you to create your own business model. 

You will learn:

How to create a financially sustainable business model.

How to plan enterprises to identify costs involved. 

How to forecast potential income. 

How to assess cash flow to determine the viability of your enterprise.

Bob Mehew is a project delivery specialist and permaculture practitioner with 22 years of experience in consultancy services and project management. He has been developing, managing and implementing projects at  Huxhams Cross Farm for the last 7 years where he has been responsible for landworks, buildings, poultry and agroforestry systems plus a busy veg bag scheme. Bob teaches The ECO-nomics of permaculture course.


August 10- Running a Successful Event at Your Project


Running events at your project can be a fantastic way of attracting more visitors and volunteers, promoting your work and generating an income. Event production can, and should, be a fun and creative process but can also have a myriad of risks attached. This session will provide an overview of the many areas that you need to consider in producing an event at your project, be that in-person or online.

You will learn:

Designing an effective event plan.

Managing health and safety at your event, including Covid 19 regulations. 

Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion at your event. 

Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. 

Managing infrastructure and facilities - from water to waste. 

Ticketing and budgeting to create a financially sustainable event. 

Dan Hurring has 20 years of event production experience. He is the Events Coordinator for the Permaculture Association and has run his own award-winning production company, Another World Productions Ltd as well as co-founding and operating the Sunrise and Off-Grid Festivals for over ten years. He has worked across most areas of the events sphere, from licensing and health and safety to the production of online events. He currently runs an eco-venue and camping/glamping business in Somerset.


September 14- Creating and Sharing Project Videos


How we learn is changing. Many of us now look for simple, bite sized videos to engage with new ideas, learn techniques and get inspired. Creating videos is an excellent way to share the work you are doing, create online learning content and evidence the outputs of your project for funders. In this session you will be guided through a process to create engaging video content to promote your project work using simple and affordable techniques and tools

You will learn:

How to design your video content. 

The  different platforms where you can show your videos and their requirements. 

How to shoot your videos using  basic, affordable equipment.

Simple editing techniques and tools.

Ryan Sandford- Blackburn has a first class degree in Film & TV Production. He has spent the last 10 years working in communications, including strategy, social media, and video production. He is a permaculture educator and founding member of Earthed Up! plant nursery in Belper, Derbyshire.

October 12- Telling Your Project Stories  


Storytelling is one of the most ancient ways of sharing knowledge. Stories connect us and enable us to learn from eachother's experience. They help us to make sense of the world and our place in it. In this session we will look at the importance of using stories to connect with people and how to create your own story that truly resonates with others. 

You will learn:

Why tell your project story.

How to identify the project stories that people want to hear.

How to structure your story to get the best results.

How to effectively share that story with the world.

Sarah Cossom is an experienced media and communications professional who has worked in the industry for over two decades. She is the Permaculture Association’s Storyteller as well as a freelance writer who has been involved in high profile communications campaigns with organisations as diverse as TED, Newcastle University and Raleigh International. Sarah also runs a permaculture-inspired community garden and orchard in North East England.

November 9- Designing an Accessible Therapeutic Garden


Gardens can be of tremendous benefit to our physical and emotional wellbeing. In this interactive session led by Damien Newman from the horticultural therapy charity Thrive, we will explore both the theory and practical designs involved with creating a therapeutic and inclusive garden.

You will learn:

How to evaluate the current therapeutic value of your garden.

How to develop your space to enhance its therapeutic properties and features.

How design forms a dynamic approach to gardening for health and wellbeing.

How to assess and implement the potential access needs of different user groups.

Damien Newman has been involved in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture for over 15 years, developing 3 higher education accredited curricula in the subject and supporting 1000s of students. He has supported the development of therapeutic gardens from the Chiltern hills to the Central African Republic ensuring that they are person centred and designed to support people to improve health and quality of life.


December 14- Marketing Your Project 


If done well, marketing can be a celebration of the work that you do, enabling you to attract more volunteers, more funding, more opportunities and to sell more of what you produce. In this session we’ll look at the steps you need to take to find your ideal customer, sell your product or service, and turn your customers into avid promoters of what you do. 

You will learn:

Why being a niche is important.

How to find your customers. 

The customer value journey. 

Marketing and promoting without needing a ‘hard sell’. 

Alex Nicoletti is  a designer, bid writer and social entrepreneur with 18 years’ experience in the third sector. She works with organisations and individuals with an environmental and/ or a social mission and helps them to increase their income and do more of their amazing work. She does this through creating easy to implement strategies, writing funding bids and developing digital products. 


January 11- Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Project


We all want our project to feel welcoming and to be truly representative of the communities that we work in. However, sometimes understanding the barriers to participation that some people will face to encourage diverse participation in project work can feel daunting. In this session we will explore the key themes of equality, diversity, equity and inclusion, so you can design a project that feels accessible to everyone.

You will learn:

Develop an understanding of the key themes and what they mean in practice.

Get an overview of equalities legislation.

Explore some of  the barriers faced by communities and groups. 

How to  embed the key themes into practice.


Berkeley Wilde has been working as an Equality, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultant, researcher and trainer for nearly three decades. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Diversity Trust. He is passionate about community cohesion and community development, empowerment and leadership, as well as social change. 


This programme of Project masterclasses has been kindly sponsored by Zurich Charities Insurance. Zurich are also offering a discount on public liability insurance to all of our members who have signed up for our projects membership offer. Your discount code can be found in your welcome letter and in your projects membership area. For more information or to get a quote head to the Zurich website or call 0800 917 9420.