Rivkah Cummerson spent a childhood camping in Scotland, bird watching with a pair of salvaged opera glasses and making ‘nests’ from grass and mud at home and taking on long contemplative walks in the countryside as a teenager, and has always felt a strong affinity with outdoor spaces.
Her working life has taken her on a journey from secondary school music teacher to youth worker to participation worker with first social services and for the last ten years, child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
Early on in her CAMHS career she met Marina Robb and together they have developed a highly valued and successful woodland programme that supports the emotional well being of young people experiencing mental health challenges and their families. Through this connection Rivkah has been able to meet wonderful people, be inspired by new ideas and qualify as a forest school leader: co-running a pre-school forest school for parents and their children in the East Chiltington/Plumpton area.
Rivkah is passionate about supporting children and young people to live the lives they want to lead through active listening, sharing, a belief in the inherent skills and motivation of each and everyone of us and practical support. Especially important to Rivkah is the role individuals and services can play in supporting people to voice their opinions, ensuring these opinions are then taken seriously and acted upon.
Through working with Circle of Life Rediscovery, Rivkah has seen how extraordinarily powerful woodland spaces are in allowing us the freedom and peace to see ourselves with compassion and respect, allowing us to face challenges, problems and hurts and to connect with one another and the environment, openly.
Personally Rivkah is a musician and plays recorder and whistles in local folk band, Sussex Contraband. She is also a keen beginner gardener with an allotment and a community activist.