At Sustainable Source, we aim to provide a space for holding your stories, get creative together so that things can change and offer ways to come up with co-created solutions. We invite you to open your heart and mind to the exciting prospects and possibilities that we have in store for you.
HOW IT BEGAN
Sustainable Source was founded in Oxford in September 2016 over many a cup of tea, home-made cake and bowl of warming soup! It is the brainchild of Alex Brooks, Dan Harris and Ruth Shaw-Williams.
All three of us are seasoned veterans of the Third Sector. Between us, we have acquired several decades of experience working across non-profit making organisations, voluntary and community groups, social enterprises, self-help groups and co-operatives. With this in mind, we have a very real understanding of some of the challenges facing those working for organisations within which care-giving is a central principle of the work.
We have based Sustainable Source on the basic premise that those who are in care-giving roles need to be adequately resourced in order to healthily maintain their care-giving status.
There are many things that you could choose to describe Alex as, short of an idea or enthusiasm, however, would not feature. Over the past 18 years Alex has worked internationally and spent time balancing her work with experiencing life in as many as ways possible. In 2007, Alex gained a BA (Hons) in Youth and Community Development and has used this knowledge to work in self-advocacy, youth, environmental and rights organisations, supporting people to find their voice and be the change in their own lives. In recent years, following her own journey through a breakdown and recovery, Alex has rekindled her childhood and lifelong passion for good sleep and rest, a passion that has led Alex to train as a CELTA teacher, a Personal Trainer and to undertake a diploma in Applied Permaculture and to work alongside Ruth to develop this Sustainable Source. Amongst the many ideas that Alex has, she dreams of starting a slow travel company.
Based in Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, where she shares her house with her husband and cat, Ruth has struck a fine balance between herself and her work. Drawing upon her love of people, facilitating self advocacy groups and the world around her, she effortlessly merges these themes to create stunning handmade books and book art in her studio, which are exhibited internationally. This work powerfully addresses both socio-political and personal issues in a tangible and heart-felt manner. Ruth believes that the world would be a better place if everyone could reach their true potential. As a result of some early setbacks in her life and during her time spent working on and, rediscovering herself, Ruth has learned many skills that she can pass on to other people. Ever the playful person, to keep light and joy present, Ruth regularly employs one of her of alter-ego characters from an ever-increasing repertoire, adding humour and an injection of silliness to any scenario. Ruth delights in the development of self, and has a daily practice of yoga, creativity and meditation and can often be found playing her guitar.