ERASMUS+ Youth Leader Mobility Scheme by Deborah Benham


Newbold believes in a life sustaining society where we can thrive personally, co-exist in harmony, feel interconnected with the living system of the planet and therefore protect and conserve this for future generations. We believe in empowerment and positive leadership. Newbold believes that to build a more positive society we must empower leaders to face the challenges of today.

Reports from a wide range of Youth charities show that young people face unprecedented challenges in the modern world. Finding meaningful employment is increasingly difficult, and with record levels of unemployment and decreasing job security, many feel a sense of anxiety about the future. Collectively, young people will be the most affected by alarming global trends like climate change, environmental degradation, and social tensions based on culture, religion, or class. At the same time, it is our young people who have the most potential and often the most drive to contribute to a sustainable future.

We aim to harness and empower that potential through recently awarded ERASMUS+ funding. Newbold have been awarded 50,000 Euros by the ERASMUS+ Youth Leader Mobility scheme to run two fantastic 8 day trainings for Youth Leaders in August and September.

In the training participants will learn how to empower young people to identify and use their unique strengths and qualities, in service to themselves and their communities. This will enable them to develop more rewarding careers and take an active and positive role in their local communities.

deb_poppyBy Deborah Benhan

A PhD Marine biologist and animal behavior expert, Deborah is an environmental educator and sustainability designer working to support the emergence of regenerative culture and the recovery of healthy ecosystems through innovative design, stakeholder engagement, multidisciplinary education and deep nature connection.


Ten videos about protecting the planet

April 22nd 2016 will mark a significant day in the transition towards a more just and sustainable future. On this day we celebrate Earth day; we celebrated the signing on the Paris Accord and action from over 160 countries towards protecting our environment.

The environmental movement has come together every year since 1970 until present to show solidarity for change. Earthday is now celebrated by over 192 countries with over 220,000 partner organisations.

Below is are 10 videos/movies around protecting the planet.

1. Sylvia Earle – Protecting our oceans

2. John Francis – Walk the earth – 17 year vow of silence.

3. Give earth a hand

4. Planetary: Movie

5. An inconvenient truth

6. Louise Schwarzburg – Nature/Beauty/Gratitude

7. Our Future

8. Save the oceans / Feed the world – Ted Talk

9. Nature is speaking series

10. A case for optimism on climate change



XjnMopamBlog by Allan Gray

Allan is local to the area of Moray and a graduate of the University of Highlands and Islands with a degree in Sustainable Rural Development. Allan has key interests in environmental protection, cycling and in the community of Moray.

Newbold House Garden ‘Stupa’

Stupa.pngThe location of this garden feature, formerly a potato patch, was chosen after consultation with the house management in the summer of 2001. Ramon, from Spain, Myrta and Helen, were the Managers at the time. Preliminary work on the foundations in the form of a 6-foot diameter concrete base, was begun in the autumn of that year. Helen, a New Zealander who was in charge of the garden, reported that her spiritual guidance informed her that on an energetic level, such a structure would be of benefit to the garden. The house was always keen to encourage individual projects in the past – beginning with a rush of enthusiasm, only to fizzle out some time later, when the instigator, for whatever reason, become discouraged or, as inevitably happens, left the community.


Charles C’s intention was to peruse the project whenever he visited Newbold from the north of England, where he was then living. The stones used in building the ‘Stupa’ came from a  variety of locations : in the surrounding forests, the beach, the garden itself and eventually from a working sandstone quarry a few miles south of Elgin. Collecting suitable materials took a long time, work was often interrupted by the weather, but the ‘Stupa’ was eventually completed over the course of the following two summers. It is about 12 feet in height. The House generously contributed to the costs in form of a donation. The simple landscaping in the immediate vicinity of the ‘Stupa’ including grassing and the planting of a protective hedge, was done with a tee-pee maker, woodsman and traveller, ‘Tree Paul’. He donated the various seedling trees which together form the crescent shaped border.

The ‘Stupa’ remains in our garden at Newbold decorated and studded with a variety of items; most of the crystals and fossils were found around the hills, mountains and seashores of Britain. Some were, however, donated by individuals. A small space was left in the ‘Stupa’ to accommodate a shallow box which holds a few items connected both with the house and world at large; photos of some of the house residents since the mid 1980s, as well as a few newspaper cuttings telling of some major national and world events of the time.

Why not come a see our ‘Stupa’ and the rest of our walled gardens at our garden taster events.



Star Beings by Sonja Grace

People around the world have practiced some sort of spiritualism throughout history. The human experience lends to our soul body having physical form and the opportunity to feel achievement. Our natural state is in spirit form. The pain and bliss all rolled into one when we incarnate is the threshold of transformation spiritually. This is why many religions have pursued everything from fasting to self-flagellation. The body can endure so much with our constant need to test and measure our strength. What did humans believe in and pray to prior to our known history? Archeology has provided much of the evidence with carvings, art and inscriptions of figures that were revered. But who are these beings and where did they come from? The number of star beings that have visited earth far exceeds the imagination of humans. We have experienced higher intelligence and their ability to cut stones with precision that can’t be reproduced even today.

We have monuments in the earth that tell time and mark the seasons with mathematical and astronomical accuracy and yet we refuse to look beyond our own earthly existence. How can God create such a magnificent place and out of an infinite universe only create life on earth? This is the limited thinking of our species. Scientists today are finding other galaxies with earth like planets. They have even stated that life on other planets seems more and more likely. Extraterrestrials or star beings come in all shapes and sizes, some more advanced than humans and with physical form. Some aliens have no form and try to inhabit other bodies that are already here. We have limited our minds to believe if we can’t see it then it’s not real. That negates your energy systems, what you feel and the entire spirit realm! The unseen can be scary to many people and this comes from living in a society that has nurtured the wounded child. Until we parent that inner five year old and comfort their fear we have a tendency to experience ‘fear’ as if we were still five years old. This results in a lot of adults running around acting out their wounded inner child. Our beliefs coupled with our fear about facing the truth has perpetuated this problem resulting in a wide spread denial. It seems nearly impossible to ignore the facts that science has discovered thus far.

We once thought humans existed for the past 200,000 years. That number recently jumped to 400,000 years. That is mind bending in relationship to religion and puts what people worshiped in the past into more perspective. Star beings have come to earth to help our species, educate, experiment on and simply observe. Others have already integrated and cross pollinated with humans. There is an influence from above that has marked many sites around the world from Stonehenge to the Great Pyramids. We have been intercepted by the Gods in many lifetimes and those who experienced such an encounter left us the messages carved in stone with a much different understanding for the star beings that came to earth.

sonja desert-2

By Sonja Grace

For over thirty years, author and Mystic Healer, Sonja Grace has been offering her international clientele, immediate stability, clarity, and guidance. Sonja is an energy surgeon who works with the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. She helps clients process emotional wounds, clear karma and gain inner peace. Sonja’s new book ‘Spirit Traveler’ will be available through Findhorn Press this October and her latest book ‘Become and Earth Angel’ Advice and Wisdom for Finding your Wings and Living in Service is now available at Findhorn Press. Her companion film series ‘Earth Angel’ can be found on her website

BookExperience and learn with Sonja Grace Earth Angel Training in the Spiritual Body. May 11th-May 15. It includes meditation, processing, healing and ultimately a deep inner peace. This 5 day intensive is about releasing all resistance and attachment to who you are and discovering what it feels like to sit in deep meditation and feel inner peace. Experience the soul body as Earth Angel Sonja Grace guides you to your original consciousness.


My journey to connect the Gift Economy with intimate embodiment…

Many studies have shown that regular sexual activity can benefit our health in a myriad of ways: boosting immunity, reducing stress, and even preventing heart attacks. Yet so many of us still struggle with intimacy and sexual expression. More and more people, though, are becoming conscious that they can change this.

I passionately believe the power of the work I do as an Embodied Intimacy Coach can be transformational and that everyone should have access to it if they need it. I invested and trained so that I could make a real difference to peoples’ lives and wellbeing. So recently I’ve been asking myself ‘If I’m serious about this, why should only those with a certain amount of money benefit?’

lilytorso1Through my work with Newbold Trust I was lucky enough to be part of a presentation and discussion about the Gift Economy with Fabien Barouch. In brief this is based on the principle that my work is my gift to you and you may choose to show your appreciation by making a gift to me in return. Your gift may be monetary in value. But it may be that you feel better able to offer me a gift which has some other kind of value, or even a combination of the two. Most importantly there are no obligations or expectations.

And – as many of my clients experience a ‘lightbulb moment’ when they start to really connect with their body – I experienced a sudden inspiration that if one of the key principles of how I work is through co-created experience (working collaboratively with my clients to explore the path that is right for them, and taking that journey together), then shouldn’t I also be using a ‘payment system’ based in co-creation?

This is a radical step in a world where practitioners and therapists are urged to value their work more fully, and many often don’t acknowledge the true worth of what they do. And, of course, it also raises questions about what we actually mean by ‘value’.

Money is a key factor in how most people approach the idea of value. And often doing things ‘by donation’ are seen as cheapening. But for me it helps to think of it differently: that there is a difference between a donation and a gift – not so much ‘PAY what you WANT’ but more ‘GIVE what you CAN’ – acknowledging the real value to you of the work you receive from me, and understanding everything which has gone into enabling it.

This way of doing things involves trust for both of us. But, after all, trust is a crucial part of becoming more conscious with intimacy. Engaging with this work is all about building relationships – with yourself, with others. Without trust it’s hard to have an authentic relationship, or to explore what you really need.

So I’m about to embark on an experiment in trust, value, reciprocation and authenticity which feels exciting: from now on I’ll be offering my work on a Gift Economy basis – helping folks rediscover their connection to their body, intimacy, touch, and their erotic potential as a gift rather than a transaction.

I believe that putting trust at the heart of ‘value’ will bring an authenticity to this work that money alone can never achieve. And bring rewards to both me and those I work with far beyond even the importance of the work itself. I’m grateful to those like Fabien and the Foundation who have already begun to tread this trail for allowing me to make this profound realisation. We can never truly know the wider benefits our actions may have on helping others to feel things differently. I’ll let you know how I get on – and maybe you’ll be inspired to explore this path with me!

quintasensual profile picBy Michael Dresser

Certified Embodied Intimacy Coach, Newbold Trust Operations Manager and Homecare Focaliser.

With a background in music, theatre, graphic design, and office and project management, Michael brings creativity to the Homecare department, and order to the rest of the team! 



A journey on the Dava Way by Charlotte Goodwin

“Walking, I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands” Linda Hogan (native American writer, poet and storyteller)


As another cross-roads in life approaches, and my time as a volunteer at Newbold Trust comes to an end, I’m planning to walk the Camino de Santiago.  For me there’s something primal and life-affirming about embarking on a journey.  I also hope, or intend, for this to be a spiritual journey and one of self-discovery.

In preparation, several Newbold members have shared their stories with me, including Sylvia who walked the route of St Francis of Assisi through Italy several years ago.

scotlandInspired by this talk of journeying, Sylvia and I decided to walk the Dava Way – a two-day hike from Forres to Grantown-on-Spey following the route of the old Highland Railway.  We set out on a beautiful crisp winter morning, feeling energised by the adventure ahead and the chance to deepen our friendship as we went.



“Many aspects of life are condensed into the act of planning, transacting and completing a journey” (Sacred Journeys)

20160226_104202The Dava Way is full of variety, passing through farmland and woodland up onto the wide open land of Dava Moor, before descending back into Strathspey.   As we crossed these landscapes I also caught glimpses of a historic landscape; one of steam trains, and ambitious Victorian engineering, and also signs of a harder way of life on remote crofts.

The time of year added a touch of magic, with deep snow in places and rock cuttings hanging with icicles.  We also experienced great peace and solitude, with few other people around, at one point pausing in silence to watch three small deer run across the snowy path, leaping fences as they went.

20160226_085945After 16 miles or so we reached the Dava School House B&B, our resting place for the night. As dusk turned to darkness, Dava felt like a small and isolated place and we were grateful to be warmly welcomed by Andy and Sharon.  We chatted over dinner by the fire before heading for bed.

The next day we continued south, with the snow-capped Cairngorms ahead of us.  After a while we left the moor, and made our way down into Speyside and Grantown, passing the former private station for Castle Grant – another sign of a bygone time!

Even after a short journey, we felt a real sense of arrival and achievement having come by foot, slowly, really seeing and experiencing the world around us.  I can only imagine what it will feel like arriving on Santiago de Compostela after several weeks of journeying.

charlotteby Charlotte Goodwin

Newbold Volunteer

Newbold Volunteer Stories: Ted Talk

Hello, my name is Ted and I’m a Newbold Volunteer. I come to Newbold every Tuesday to do what I can to help this very special community sustain itself. Sometimes I work in the garden other times I work in the kitchen. I love cooking and I love growing vegetables so the lure of a fully stocked and competently run vegetable garden was too strong to resist. So when Newbold appealed for volunteers to help with Autumn harvest and processing and preservation of garden produce I said Yes. I know Martin, the gardener, and I love his garden so I offered my help.

IMG_2795.jpgThe first thing I got stuck into was the Autumn apple harvest and that was marvellous. Of course you have to something with them when take them from the tree; although storage is fine some apples do not keep well so I made gallons of apple compote, gallons of apple chutney and after Xmas I made gallons of marmalade, thats the sort of thing I do. Iv also done a lot of washing up which is always appreciated in the kitchen because there a lot of people to feed; the washing uproot to keep moving to keep the cooks happy and you have always got to keep the coops happy; everyone knows that.

I enjoy volunteering very much because I have become part o f a community I admire a great deal. A community which is run on mutual respect. Many Newbold volunteers come in and choose to help out with assistance from the volunteer co-ordinator that makes sure everything is running smoothly. I think this is very valuable. It opens the community to a wider audience than it would have if it was enclosed in itself. It introduces this community to a wider audience in the town. Im always trying to convince those at Newbold to join me in enjoying the town and they are always persuading me to enjoy myself at Newbold. It works out very well.
12671927_1244274505586997_1689305229711156822_oWhat makes this place tick is the trust and respect for one another. Newbold has done a lot for me personally: i have become more tolerant of other peoples attitudes and methods. Iv had interesting talks about marmalade and jan which is all in good fun.

Mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual enjoyment of each other. Iv met some wonderful friends here. Some friendships are deeply engrained I know Martin very well and we enjoy each others company very much. I believe it is very important for the greater community of Forres to know what happens at Newbold and for Newbold to know what happens in the nearby town and immediate environment. I think the tow can learn from each other; the town can learn a lot from Newbold. I know I have.By Ted Percy

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By Ted Percy

Newbold Volunteer & Musician