Conference Speaker Biographies & Session Overviews


Professor Amanda Howe OBE FRCGP President RCGP 2019-2021

Amanda Howe qualified as MRCGP in 1983, has worked as a GP since 1984, and currently practices at Bowthorpe Surgery in Norwich.  She is also Professor of Primary Care at the University of East Anglia.  She is the immediate past President of WONCA – the World Organisation of Family Doctors – in which role she learned how crucial the role of GPs is to running effective and efficient health systems.

Amanda has a substantive track record in educational innovation and research, and has led the GP teaching for the Norwich based MB BS since its inception.  She is passionate about enhancing training opportunities for medical students and young doctors outside hospital settings to strengthen patient care in community settings. 


Dr Terence Kemple, Sustainability Lead, RCGP

Terry is a retired GP from Bristol where he practiced between 1980 and 2017. He was president of RCGP between 2015 and 2017 and has been the RCGP representative for Sustainability, Climate Change and Green Issues since 2017.

He’s the co-chair of RCGP Climate Emergency Task & Finish Group 2019-20 and the Lead for Green Impact for Health RCGP/NUS/SOS Toolkit since 2014. He’s been an executive member of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change since 2017.


Karen Creffield, Practice Manager, Frome Medical Practice

Karen started working with the Green Impact Toolkit in 2010 during her time as Head of Sport and Wellbeing at The University of Sussex, a dynamic role where she spent 20 years. In 2016 she made the move to Primary Care and she was delighted to discover that the Green Impact toolkit had been launched in its adapted form for Primary Care. 

Karen is a firm advocate of the relationship between Green Impact and positive Health choices. At both home and at work the focus is on living, eating and purchasing sustainably. She is keen to encourage and shine a light on the choices that we can all make to reduce our environmental impact individually and collectively. She is really excited to be organising the first Green Impact for Health Conference at Frome alongside the RCGP and looking at ways we can support and learn from each other in the sector. 

Session Overview

Karen will share the collaborative approach Frome has taken over the last 2 years and some of changes and ideas that have helped Frome become more sustainable and achieve the Gold Plus award on the Green Impact toolkit.


Dr Rebecca Hall, GP Frome Medical Practice

Rebecca trained in Cambridge, Edinburgh and did a stint in Zambia at the height of the HIV epidemic.  She is a regular GP whose passion for lifestyle medicine has collided with her concern for the environment, which means that she is constantly on about both and finds great satisfaction in their huge synergy.

She is lucky to work in Frome where several other anchor institutions work collaboratively to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the town through community activities.

Session Overview

Rebecca will share information on NHS carbon emission hotspots and will discuss how GPs can work to change this, both through their own thinking and actions and with their patients in primary care.


Dr Helen Kingston, Senior Partner, GP Frome Medical Practice & Dr Stevie Gold, GP Specialist Trainee

Together with Jenny Hartnoll, Helen set up the Frome Model of Enhanced Primary Care project in 2013. The project has grown since then and it began to expand across the Mendips in 2016 with the supportive involvement of Dr Julian Abel and Compassionate Communities UK. The project was designed to better connect and support patient and improve working lives for those in health care.  Integration and collaboration across our community were key to this development.

Dr Stephen Gold is GP Specialist Trainee in the Bath/Swindon programme. He has been at Frome Medical Practice for the last 6 months on placement and has been involved in a Quality Improvement Project of 'opioid de-prescribing'. He studied Biomedical Sciences and Medicine up at Newcastle University, before spending 2 years working in A&E in Brisbane, Australia. Alongside his GP training he is also undertaking a Masters in Sport and Exercise Management.

Session Overview

Helen and Stevie will discuss how by working together we enable individuals to build on their strengths, creating a vibrant and supportive local community. By supporting one another and making it more possible to use resources wisely we can help to reduce overmedicalisation and reduce the carbon foot print of health services as well as improving wellbeing for us all.


Dr James Szymankiewicz, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare 

James is a GP working in North Devon.  He is also the current Chair of Devon Local Nature Partnershipwhich focuses on enhancing Devon’s natural environment and reconnecting communities with the natural world. He has previously worked in healthcare commissioning for Devon and has been involved in the national sustainability and transformation reviews of the NHS. 

A passionate environmentalist he has worked with several organisations over the years and is a founder member of Plastic Free North Devon.  James has seen first-hand the toll our modern lifestyles take on our physical and mental health. James is also working to raise awareness amongst the healthcare community of the critical dependence of human health on a healthy environment.


Dr Simon Pickering, Principal Ecologist, Ecotricity

Dr Simon Pickering has been a professional ecologist for over 30 years from the Arctic to Antarctic, working on wandering albatrosses to flamingos, bats to beavers and wetlands to wildflower meadows. Since 2008 he has lead on all Ecotricity's ecological work, from creating new habitats to ensuring wind turbines and solar parks don't harm birds and bats. 

Simon has also been a successful environmental campaigner and for over 20 years an elected Green Party Councillor. As Chair of the Environment Committee on Stroud District Council, he led the authority to become Europe's first Carbon Neutral Council in 2015 and in 2018 worked to reduce the Council's residual waste to landfill to the lowest levels in England. 

Over the last 2 years Simon has been a key advisor behind many local Council Climate Change Emergency Declarations. He is also a member of the Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership Energy Board and an adviser to Business Declares, the national coalition of business working to become Carbon Zero in the near future. 


Jenny Hartnoll, Health Connections Mendip Lead

Together with Dr Helen Kingston, Jenny set up the community development and 'social prescribing' side of the Frome Model of Enhanced Primary Care project in 2013. The project was designed to better connect and support patient and improve working lives for those in health care.  Integration and collaboration across our community were key to this development. Jenny has been involved in community development for the past 30 years and the work with Dr Kingston was the first time she had worked in primary care. 

Session Overview

Jenny will discuss how 'social prescribing' works in Frome; how it isn't just about signposting people to groups/services. It is far bigger and all our business. Jenny will also discuss how both 'social prescribing' and 'green prescribing' are far reaching and fit within a whole community ecosystem.


Alex Hart and Helen Moore, Co Directors and Founding Members, Shared Earth Learning Cooperative

As a qualified secondary teacher, Alex has been working with young people in and out of schools since 1999. Finding that most children and young people are more relaxed outside than in, Alex gained the Forest School leadership qualification in 2011 and now works happily as a Forest School Leader in a variety of diverse settings and schools. 

Helen is an experienced Forest School leader, socially engaged artist and an internationally acclaimed ecopoet. She co-founded Shared Earth Learning Co-op with Alex Hart over a decade ago, and has co-led innovative ecotherapy programmes to support the wellbeing of adults in the Grampian region of Scotland, supporting veterans, people with severe and enduring mental ill health, and in recovery from drug and alcohol use. She is a passionate exponent of nature as our teacher.

Session Overview

Shared Earth Learning (SELco) is a collective of people who are passionate about being and working outdoors, and who strive to nurture a love of nature in as many others as possible. We use Forest School philosophy combined with gardening and nature inspired activities and run regular sessions for different cohorts on the outskirs of Frome. One of these projects is called 'SELGrow', where the focus is on growing edible produce and confident humans. 


Patrick Abrahams, founder of Men’s Shed Frome

Before launching the Frome Men’s Shed in 2014, Patrick worked for a number of technology companies in various management roles.   He was Chief Executive for a Web Community company providing services in the UK, Slovakia, Russia and China, which he has presented to an EU Ministerial Summit.

The Frome Shed has a Men’s Shed and a Women’s Shed, and has inspired two further Sheds – The Tech Shed and the Make:Shed. Together they have nearly 70 people a week attending the four or five sessions.  While Patrick no longer runs the Frome Shed, he is still a Shedder, and also a UK Men’s Sheds Association (UKMSA)  Ambassador, supporting all 100 Sheds in the South West, and also on the UKMSA Health & Well-being Advisory Group.

Since 2017, Patrick presented and produced the monthly magazine radio show “Shed Happens” on Frome FM.

Session Overview

Patrick will be telling a series of stories about people who have attended the Talking Café, been signposted by the Frome Health Connectors or have come to the Men’s Shed in Frome. We hope that this will inspire you and encourage you to become involved with similar organisations in your area.  The stories will include Shedders turning waste wood into a product, mending or recycling something, volunteering for community projects or helping with their health and wellbeing - We hope this helps the goal of sustainability.


Dr Sam Evans, Walled Garden Nursery

Dr Sam Evans is the owner of the Walled Garden Nursery in Mells, a new community plant nursery established in 2019 aimed at improving the health and well-being of those experiencing loneliness whether as a result of social, economic, geographic or generational isolation.

The nursery is building programmes that provide gardening-based activities and events for the elderly to improve physical well-being and provide opportunities to socialize and connect; promote, inform and support vocational and experiential learning by young adults, especially those with disabilities to improve their employability and feel a participatory member of society. The garden also provides an outdoor learning environment for young children and encourages intergenerational learning. 


Joanne Fordham, Senior Health Connector, Frome Medical Practice

Jo is a marathon runner and one of the core team behind The Old Showfield Parkrun, Frome.

She’s has a sports education background and was approached by Jenny Hartnoll to set up the Mature Movers exercise class when Jenny identified a gap. Jo has worked with Health Connections Mendip since 2015, particularly around GP referral exercise programmes for diabetes, obesity, chronic pain and falls prevention.


Anna Francis, Resilience Manager, Frome Town Council & Johannes Moeller, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Edventure Frome (a school for community enterprise)

Anna leads on Frome Town Council's climate emergency work and works with the local community to set up and support projects that reduce waste, carbon and emissions. She is a director of Frome Renewable Energy Co-op who, in 2015, put 150kw of community owned solar on Frome Medical Practice’s roof.

Anna has also worked with Edventure to set up the UK’s first community fridge and UK’s first Library of Things in Frome and manages Frome’s solar streets programme. In the past five years she has raised over £1m for local community projects.

Johannes set up Edventure Frome with the vision of creating a world in which all can thrive – people, communities, our economy and nature. Its education programmes enable young adults to progress towards a livelihood that matters to them and growing enterprises and initiatives as part of a sustainable economy that works for all.

Session Overview

Anna and Johannes will draw on their experience of working in partnerships to start-up community initiatives in Frome designed to contribute to a strong community, grow meaningful livelihoods and build a sustainable, zero-carbon economy that works for all. These include Edventure, The Welsh Mill Hub, SHARE – A Library of Things, Community Fridge: Frome, Remakery: Frome, Frome Wardrobe Collective.