Angela Blackshaw

I have been involved with the farm in various capacities for over 6 years, and I want to build a better Greenslate.

I initially came to the farm as a customer but was made to feel so welcome and valued (myself and then 2-yr-old daughter were even assisted to harvest our own veg to purchase!) that I have always returned. I have volunteered in the café and kitchen, attended many events, forest school and farm school, lead story time sessions in the café and yurt, and for 2 years I was employed as a Personal Assistant to someone at the Care Farm, working in the kitchen and on the farm.

My background, and current job, is in the advice, domestic violence and housing/homelessness sectors – having worked in them for almost 20 years. This has involved diffusing potentially volatile situations, negotiating with various agencies, safeguarding adults and children, advocating on behalf of vulnerable people and empowering people to overcome their difficult situations and to progress with the best of their abilities. In the course of this work, I have set up and maintained 3 therapeutic gardening projects in hostels (one for homeless men, two for families) – some of my most productive support sessions were whilst outside with clients as I understand how beneficial the natural environment can be to people under extreme stress.

During my time connected to GCF I have seen it grow and evolve, with the volunteers and staff repeatedly coming together to overcome great challenges. I remain passionate about the land, the people, and the animals. When I think about some of the amazing things that have happened there, and the wonderful potential that Greenslate has – it is truly exciting!

I am passionate about empowering people to be able to overcome their difficulties and to move forwards in a creative and positive way – and I can bring these skills and experiences to Greenslate.

I will help, in an inclusive way to focus us – whether we have experience of Greenslate or are yet to – on what we can achieve, to problem-solve effectively and creatively – and overall, to dream bigger with everyone and everything connected to this amazing community resource!

Bringing the farm back to the community – Greenslate Members Committee Facebook Page

Neil Hickson

I have been employed by the farm and been a member since January 2017, and I want to build a better Greenslate. I have also served on the board in the past. My vision for Greenslate Community Farm is that it should become a strong community resource as well as an economically sustainable business in its own right. 

Greenslate was started by the Transition Movement and I strongly believe the farm should uphold those principles by building a local market for goods and services and by creating local jobs. It should be there to make the community more resilient and play an active role in the local economy.

When I started as the grower at Greenslate back in January 2017, I had one simple goal in mind. That goal was to grow local food for the local community of Billinge and to sell that food through the cafe and the shop. As the project has grown, I’ve learned that skills from my previous career in digital marketing are just as important as the vegetables we grew.

Because of this, I built the Greenslate website in the winter of 2017, and have continued to develop an online community and substantial sales revenue through the website.

The success of the salads and other produce that I spent two seasons piloting, helped the cafe start to break through as a local success story. One that was being carried on by my successor Adam, who sadly felt he had to leave the farm recently.

Just prior to the Pandemic, I took the majority role of branding, marketing and organising the ‘Greenslate Food Lover’s Farmer’s Market.’ Our first market in March was a great success and proved the market and appetite for locally produced food exists.

During the first two weeks at the beginning of lock-down from the end of March, I built an online store on Greenslate’s website. The survey I created two months later had 91 responses within one week and showed how much the local community appreciated the work of the farm and its staff and volunteers. I believe this is exactly the kind of role that Greenslate should provide for its community.

Greenslate is a great community resource and could be a far better one with the vision and leadership it needs. Sadly, this hasn’t been evident in the last few months. I fear for Greenslate’s future if the community around the farm cannot unite.

I’m putting myself forwards to stand on the board again because I believe in the farm and want to help it reach its full potential. I also believe that people should be able to progress beyond their personal disagreements and unite with a common goal of making the world a better place.

I am currently furloughed from the business but have helped start and continue to support the farm’s new Reconciliation Committee.

I want to take an active role in bringing the farm back to the community. Greenslate Members Committee Facebook Page


Allison McGuinness

I have been visiting Greenslate Farm for many years. Both of my children have used the facilities and enjoyed the Wednesday Children’s club for many years also. As a family we feel it is a positive community asset that is meeting a vital need to connect people with growing, real food, sustainability and their natural environment. It is an asset that would be very missed if it were no longer here.

I work for a charity, The Country Trust, as a paid coordinator, organising farm experiences and visits for children from deprived areas. I am also a voluntary member of the GM4Women organisation, as a working group member on their employment and health and wellbeing groups.

6 years ago, I took the opportunity to pursue my passions for growing and education and thankfully, have been successful in combining them both in my current employed positions. I work around my family. All of my current and recent roles have enabled my passions for education, horticulture, environment awareness, climate action and project management (including financial management). I want to influence the current and next generations in climate and environment awareness and the importance of sustainable growing practices and climate friendly and healthy eating habits. From my experience of Greenslate Farm, these would be well met.

In my recent roles, I am well versed in working with voluntary sector organisations and connecting them to partners and organisations to gain funding and support. I would hope to bring all of my project management, network connections, growing and horticulture knowledge and funding know-how to the farm.


Steve Melling

I have always been involved in the farm and I want to BUILD A BETTER GREENSLATE and bring it back to what it was.

I started volunteering at the farm from its beginning and loved it. I helped to build the original classroom and then when Kath was building the Strawbale cafe and hub I was very willing to help and to use the building and woodwork skills that I have. I really felt appreciated by Kath and made some good friends as well.

I have been saddened by recent events at the farm, the cafe especially has been sorely missed by many people, my walking groups and the craft club have nowhere else to go.

I think the biggest losers have been the learners who made a valuable contribution to the farm and loved working in the cafe. I want to utilise the waring shed and make use of the new tools that were donated to the farm for a community project. I think the farm should be run not for profit and I want to MAKE GREENSLATE GREAT AGAIN and bring the farm back to the community.

I volunteered as a coach for the under 11s team at St Jude’s rugby league club in Wigan. I had the pleasure of coaching some very famous rugby players. I also helped build their new clubhouse.

I helped my son build a community children’s animal farm from scratch which is now thriving and loved by many children and adults alike, it is totally off-grid and there is no charge to go round the farm we are very proud of.

Greenslate Members Committee Facebook Page


Pam Moore

I have been involved with the farm and I want to build a better Greenslate.

After retiring, I started volunteering at Greenslate. I’ve worked alongside a great bunch of people at the farm who, like me, care about the farm and can see the huge potential it has. Whilst working on the growing side of the project, I met many members of the local community who visited the site regularly, and clearly value the farm.

One thing that I’ve felt has always been lacking is clarity around direction and plans for the future. If I became a board member, I would want to help produce plans for a viable way forward, which were supported by the staff, members, volunteers, and local community. I would then work collaboratively with all those involved in the project to implement those plans.

As an IT consultant, I worked for a major bank. I am experienced in project planning and delivery, creating road maps (both short and long term), defining direction and goals, communicating plans and gaining agreement and buy in from a range of stake holders. Using these skills, I could help the farm reach its full potential.

Bringing the farm back to the community – Greenslate Members Committee Facebook Page


Phil Moore

I have been involved with the farm in many different aspects for over 3 years, and I want to build a better Greenslate.

Greenslate Farm is very close to my heart, having played a fundamental part in changing my life for the better, approximately 3 years ago. Having been through the Community Rehab program, I then went on to volunteer on all aspects of the farm, and eventually worked in the Strawbale Café. I want to become a part of the regeneration of the farm, taking it out of the COVID hiatus, and relaunching with the community in mind.

I want to ensure that Greenslate becomes a major focus for the communities of Orrell and Billinge, ideally working closely with the existing community networks (Friends Of Orrell Station, Brighter Better Orrell etc.) I believe that if we have a board with one vision, we can commit to it with one purpose, to bring the farm back to the community.

Bringing the farm back to the community – Greenslate Members Committee Facebook Page


Chris Roberts

I like actions more than words, and have been actively volunteering in recent months, to demonstrate my passion to help a fabulous project to bring even more to the local communities.

I’m an award-winning chef, with 35 years’ experience, in all aspects of the catering industry. In my current role I train chefs to be better chefs, and turn businesses around. I’m Gordon Ramsey’s kitchen nightmares without the rudeness!

As such, I do feel I could possibly help the farm with the re-opening of the Strawbale Café; bringing my professional ideas along with energy and action to help the farm rebuild.


Andy Sheridan

I’ve been involved with Greenslate Community Farm since 2016, when I was recruited to help build the Straw Bale farm shop and café. Now I want to help build a better Greenslate.

Since 2010 I have worked across the North West and the Peak District on a wide variety of environmental conservation and countryside management projects. Having worked for The National Trust, Cheshire Wildlife Trust and The Conservation Volunteers, I’ve led countless community volunteer projects, transforming green spaces for people and wildlife.

Then throughout 2016 and 2017, I had the privilege of being employed at Greenslate as a Volunteer Supervisor – part of the team responsible for the construction of the Strawbale café and farm shop. During that time, I was also responsible for the design and much of the construction of the dipping platform situated just opposite the café. Unfortunately, in late 2017 I took ill as a result of a sudden brain haemorrhage, from which I have since been recovering. However, I count myself extremely lucky to have been part of such a wonderful and caring community of people, who rallied around me and my family at such a difficult time.

The farm and the community there have always remained close to my heart. Our children have spent much of their early childhood at Greenslate – play days, birthdays, dining at the café, feeding the animals, attending the forest school sessions and the various kids’ events and activities. And, inspired by the farm, I have over the last 5 years been growing a wide variety of organic fruit and veg at home for my family, using regenerative methods very much akin to those employed at the Farm.

Having been personally invested in the drive towards social and ecological resilience and regeneration over the years, in one form or another, I am keenly aware of the huge and exciting potential which Greenslate Community Farm holds as a beacon for positive change. In recent years, the farm has itself been through a period of upheaval which has only been compounded by the global pandemic through which we have all lived. As the dust begins to settle, it is time for the amazing community at Greenslate to exemplify the meaning of resilience and regeneration as we drive forward this vital local project. It would once again be a huge privilege for me to be involved in this process, dedicating the knowledge, skills and experience I have developed over the years toward these ends.

I have substantial experience of working with community projects, training and developing volunteers on practical outdoor activities; working inclusively with people from a wide range of backgrounds and safeguarding vulnerable people; health and safety and risk assessment; managing land for conservation and access; traditional countryside crafts such as coppicing and woodland management, hedge laying, dry stone walling etc. I have also built up my knowledge and experience of green building, regenerative farming practices, soil health and composting.

Bringing the farm back to the community Greenslate Members Committee Facebook Page


Mark Tebbutt

I’ve been involved with the farm on a voluntary basis and as an allotment plot holder for 6 years, and I want to build a better Greenslate.

My aim is to continue the positive work I have already put into the farm and to ensure it is run for the benefit of the whole community in line with its original objectives.

In my time at the farm, I have worked on the construction of the strawbale building, the planting of the orchards, the development of the woodlands, the social events in the café, and the farm’s community events. Over the years I have successfully secured funds from a number of different sources for projects ranging from the orchards and memory garden to fencing and development of the workshop.

I was involved on the board during the building of the strawbale building and the first 18 months of the shop and café, so I have seen first-hand the hard work that is necessary to start a brand new business, and I am equally committed to rebuilding a sustainable and successful community business post COVID.

My aspirations are to re-establish Greenslate Farm at the heart of the community, to see to completion various projects that have been delayed by recent events, and to work with the dedicated staff and volunteers to make Greenslate a great place to be.

Bringing the farm back to the community – Greenslate Members Committee Facebook Page

%d bloggers like this: