Meet the Team

Rajni Patel

Rajni Patel

Founder/Director

I love being with trees and making with wood. I began Old Ways New Skills in 2018, as a way to work with schools to support young people having the right to explore their own creativity whilst valuing nature and being a steward of the future.  

I am passionate about the benefits of crafting in nature to support mental health and nature connection. Taking time to understand the inter-connectedness between maker, material and ecology.

Lydia Frater

Lydia Frater

Secondary Curriculum Advisor

I have been teaching in London schools since 2010. This experience has re-embedded the knowledge that spending quality time in nature is vital for children's development.

I now work alongside the Old Skills News Ways education team as a writer and educational practitioner, helping to reconnect children with the natural world.

Linda Lemieux

Linda Lemieux

Basket Maker

I am a crafts person, basketmaker and outdoor nature-facilitator teaching mainly from my Chagford workshop and wild field.

I am involved with OSNW as I want to help drive forward the practise of connecting young people with the crafts of their ancestors by experiencing the making themselves especially with locally harvested sustainably grown natural materials.

Sky Williams

Sky Williams

Web Designer

I’m a graphic designer and nature lover. My work with OSNW allows me to help other’s to appreciate nature and deepen their understanding of it.

Emma Capper

Emma Capper

Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide

I love to be in the woods. It is where I feel most at home. I believe the forest has just what we need to find balance in our busy lives. Time to tune into our body wisdom, creative and crafty skills and give our busy brains a rest.

I love weaving baskets and playing with my imagination. OSNW is a project dear to my heart as it is so aligned with all my passions - rural crafts, the care of our natural environment and getting folk of all ages together in nature.

Sean Hellman

Sean Hellman

Woodwright

My craft practice is primarily traditional and contemporary woodwork. I’m also a toolmaker, an author of craft books and a teacher of woodworking and other heritage skills.

I have been with Old Skills New Ways since the first school project, and have relished teaching the lifelong skills of correct tool use and how to construct and manipulate wood safely, effectively & with great delight.

Sam Walker

Sam Walker

Film Maker

I am a filmmaker and musician based in Ashburton with a young family. 

As a music facilitator I am fascinated by all ways of learning.

I am passionate about exploring and capturing on film the experiences, skills and conversations around all of the aspects involved in the Old Skills New Ways project. I have been working to build a filmed bank of resources to help share the impact of the project going forward.

Rachel Dawson

Rachel Dawson

Primary Curriculum Advisor

I feel passionately about all students having the opportunity to learn outdoors, to be able to connect with the natural world and to learn practical skills outside the classroom environment.

Working with OSNW has enabled me to bring this passion to life by connecting the project to schools and the curriculum.

James Dyson

James Dyson

Rural craft worker

I am a rural craft worker working in coppice and hedgerow management to produce user friendly locally sourced materials and handcrafted objects. I aim to reinvigorate and facilitate connection with our natural surroundings. Practice of craft is paramount to me as practical creativity is a large part of what makes us feel human and helps us understand our place in the World. Old Skills New Ways provides school aged children with a desperately needed link to real life design and craft which has been eroded from school curriculums.

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