Sustainable Life Voluntary Organisation

Sustainable Life created the Sustainable Life Voluntary Organisation on 19th September 2016. This means any profit made on our courses is re-invested into communities across Birmingham and expanding our course range.

Sustainable Life General Goals

  • Regular monthly events and courses that promote sustainability and learning in the Birmingham area.
  • Community development in the Birmingham area.
  • Generate an interest in healthy food.
  • Generate interest in the care of natural green spaces in Birmingham.
  • Teach people how to be more sustainable for themselves and thier community.

Board Members

Vice Chair: Stephanie Adelaar
Chair: Alan Bale
Secretary: Dean Gammon
Treasurer: Afric Crossan Wale
Member: Rebecca Cowley

If you wish to become a member of the Sustainable Life Voluntary Organisation please get in touch with us via email to admin@suslife.uk

Who We Are


Name: Stephanie Adelaar
Title: Course Leader & Admin
Jobs: Maintain the Sustainable life blog/website/facebook, manage courses, create marketing materials, manage accounts/finances and run or assist with courses.
Experience/Skills: Foraging, “allotmenteering”, managing livestock, preserving foods, IT and graphic design.
Extra: Stephanie is currently working with Forest Schools Birmingham on the Veg Champions project for schools and the Kingstanding Food Community project.



Name: Alan Bale
Title: Primary Course Leader
Jobs: Run courses, engage with the community, manage training opportunities.
Experience/Skills: Foraging, “allotmenteering”, trees, outdoor learning.
Extra: Alan Bale is a qualified and experienced tree surgeon, an experienced forager, a bushcraft enthusiast and a qualified Forest Schools Birmingham practitioner. He worked for 3 years as a gardener for the Kingstanding Food Community (a lottery funded charity) where he taught vulnerable adults how to grow and cook their own food. He now works as a freelancer for the Kingstanding Regeneration Trust, Forest Schools Birmingham and St Martins Social Care Project.


Name: Dean Gammon
Title: Course Leader
Jobs: Run courses.
Experience/Skills: Archery, Photography, Rehabilitation Services.
Extra: Dean Gammon is an experienced professional photographer and social care worker with many years of service in the rehabilitation and support sector.


This website began as a blog in 2013 called Foraging in Birmingham (FiB). After a year of investigating the frugal life in Birmingham however, we discovered there was a wealth of areas we wanted to explore including building from reclaimed wood, bushcraft, keeping livestock and other free foods. We therefore expanded on 25th March 2014 with Sustainable Life and created a new facebook page to showcase our new website.

Basecamp – Humble Beginnings

Our base of operations is now in Perry Barr, we started life in a small terraced house in south Birmingham with nothing but a small paved back yard. Many of our courses are available across Birmingham including Stirchley/Bournville, Highbury Park (Kings Heath), Kingstanding, Perry Barr, Hall Green. We are always looking to expand our venues to make our courses more accessible so if you have a venue you think we may be interested in please let us know!