Wednesday, 17 September 2014

60 SECOND INTERVIEW: Serenna Davies & Alan Heeks

SERENNA Davies is a councillor and family therapist with a deep interest in wellbeing. Brought up in Weymouth, she left Dorset at 18 to train to be a nurse at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where she became a health visitor and child health specialist and later became a counsellor, Psychology of Vision Trainer and family Therapist. Alan Heeks was born in Bournemouth. He has worked in Business Management for 20 years and education and Sustainability since 1992. He has lived in Dorset since 2004 and works with ways people can live organically through workshops. The pair are working together on a one-day workshop on Personal Resilience, in Bridport next month.

SERENNA, what attracted you to come back to Dorset?
My parents live here and I love being back. I have lived in Winterbourne Steepleton for six years now and spend a lot of time in Bridport. I love going to events at the Electric Palace and the arts centre and I am also a member of the Bridport Film Society and always go to the film and literary festivals. I love the Saturday market and the many wonderful cafes and eating places.

ALAN I understand you led the creation of The Magdalen Project, an organic farm in Dorset, and you work in ways people can live organically, could you tell me more about that?
I like creating practical innovations, I saw the benefits of town kids coming to an organic farm to learn both ecology and life skills. I feel very blessed by the superb people who gathered to help make this dream an ongoing reality. When I see problems, I like to find systematic solutions. Many people are stressed and unhappy in modern life, and the principles of organic growth can really help people improve their wellbeing. I've learned to manage my own high stress levels, and learning from nature has been key to that.

ARE either of you a part of any local organisations or charities? 
SD: I work in many schools and also with The Dorset Child and Family Counselling Trust and West Dorset Family Therapy. I enjoy classical music and I am the nurse and health advisor in residency for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. I have also trained in relationship healing and emotional intelligence with the world renowned Chuck Spezzano who created Psychology of Vision International (POV) and I promote POV workshops in Dorset.
AH: I am one of the main professional advisors to Bridport Cohousing. I am also part of the Men Beyond 50 network, which links to my second book, published in 2013, “Out of the Woods: A guide to life for Men Beyond 50”.

WHAT is the scariest or most exciting thing to happen to you?
SD: I am frightened of snakes. I visited Steve Urwin's, Australia Zoo, which is a teaching Zoo, and I made myself touch a snake, but only on the third attempt! Later on in India, I came back to my Kerala hut and found a big snake basking in the sun outside. I didn't freak out but later found out it was one of the most poisonous snakes in India.
AH: Being interviewed live on BBC Radio Two with an audience of six million people for the launch of my first book, “The Natural Advantage”.

WHAT would you do if you won the lottery?
SD: I have never bought a lottery ticket, but if I did and won, I would open a centre for children, young people and families to help them cope with difficult and traumatic situations. 
AH: I would fund a major campaign across the UK to teach people life skills for resilience and local co-operation.

WHAT are you currently working on now?
We are working on a one day workshop on Personal Resilience on October 20th from 2pm to 5pm at the Chapel in the Garden, Bridport, named “Staying Happy in Changeable Times”. This event is part of the national “One World Week” and will offer people practical skills to handle life’s changes, find the gifts in the problems and raise personal resilience. We are both interested in living sustainably, eating organically, and supporting our community in whatever way we can.

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