Shift Bristol Logo

Shift Bristol CIC is a not for profit, Community Interest Company. We provide affordable, accessible and enjoyable training to people wanting to create positive change to their lives, environment, communities and the planet. We offer no-nonsense, practical training with an emphasis on community empowerment and just getting on with it.

Our students come from all walks of life and age groups and work together to learn not only how to understand and do useful things but how to collaborate and take effective action.

Shift Bristol was set up in 2010 by Sarah Pugh and Laura Corfield. The Practical Sustainability Course was a progression of the annual Permaculture Design Courses they delivered in Bristol from 2004.

Sarah Pugh has lived and worked in Bristol since 1997. She worked as the Community Gardener at Easton Community Centre, organised events and fundraised for St Werburghs City Farm and various roles in the voluntary sector. She is a founder member of the Bristol Permaculture Group - an active network of over 2,000 people practising sustainable growing and living in the city. In 2007 she set up Transition Bristol, the first Transition City. She coordinated this project as a volunteer until she had a baby in 2009 and went on to create Shift Bristol. She is the lead tutor and coordinator of the Practical Sustainability Course as well as teaching other courses including the Permaculture Design Certificate and Effective Collaboration. She's also a single mum.

Laura left in 2013 to start a family and was replaced by Iain Stewart, a medical herbalist and Shift student. He facilitated the course and brought new skills and expertise to the team. He left in 2017 to pursue his herbal practice and other projects, including promoting the film In Our Hands with the Land Workers Alliance.

Bryher Bloor joined the team in 2017 fresh from co-ordinating volunteers for the Permaculture Association International Convergence and several years working with forest schools. She left in 2020 after 3 amazing years we were re-joined by the now legendary Laura Corfield. Full circle.

We have a crack team of over 40 tutors and practitioners who bring their passion, expertise and knowledge to the course. All our tutors are working in the field they teach so their information is fresh, dynamic and direct from the real world. We visit many of them in their natural environment so we get to see the successes, challenges and results of their work as we tour gardens, farms, sewage systems, energy projects and homes.