September Church Street competition opens.. and first winner Nur gives prize back to Tree Shepherd!

You may recall that a few short weeks ago we launched a competition to win £100 Love to Shop vouchers for start-ups in or near Church Street that submitted a business plan. Well the September round is now open, so get submitting! Email your business plans to now. In Church Street, Westminster we are providing mentoring, business advice, courses and guidance to anyone looking to start up a business. If you would like to know more about our work or get involved please get in touch

So, we have our first ever winner Nur Abdullah-Perkins – but in an unexpected twist, she decided to give it back to Tree Shepherd!  Please believe us when we say we’re not suggesting by any means that others should do this  – but as our first winner – here’s more about Tree Shepherd entrepreneur, Nur…

TS: Nur, tell us about your business, what do you do?

Nur: I design learning experiences to help people understand how to create a harm-free, healthy global quality of life and sustainable way of living. The entire programme gives an understanding of current issues and follows them through to real solutions. The learning is solution focused, enabling learners to continually seek and develop solutions to achieve real, sustainable outcomes- healthy minds (and hearts), healthy bodies, healthy planet and healthy collaboration, for the good of all. Within this, we look at the impact of y/our choices and how we can choose differently, to bring better futures (learning sessions for adults and children).

TS: When did you start up?

Nur: At the start of lockdown – the end of March 2020, but  ensuring people have a global outlook and quality of life and what I call ‘Sustained planetary Eco Lifecycles’ is probably a life-long concern (for me and my collaborators).

TS: What are you hoping for the future?

Nur: That our hopes for a better quality of life and a sustainable clean planet, can become a reality; that our children will understand how to achieve and sustain these, together; that we will develop creative learning experiences,  which are accessible accessible to all and signal a brighter future.

TS: How has lockdown been for you?

Nur: Incredibly productive – it has removed distractions and allowed me,  the creatives and others working with us, to focus on what really matters, what is really of value and can bring deep and lasting positive change.  It also highlighted that people are amazing when we are working to help each other. This project is our outcome of lockdown, and is growing new branches/ leaves and roots as it develops.

TS: Tell us about your history with Westminster – what brought you to the area?

Nur: I studied and worked in London from 1990 to 2002. I worked abroad and then returned to this area in 2011. Westminster has offered so many important opportunities for personal growth and skills development, from Employment Support to WAES courses, and Tree Shepherd courses that I could access easily, which helped build confidence in an inclusive and enriching learning environment, with very talented, encouraging and patient facilitators throughout. The huge benefits to myself and others made me realise that our Solution-share/Learn-share programme must be available to all, inclusively; and we are working on the best way to achieve this.

TS: What involvement have you had with Tree Shepherd so far ?

Nur:  Tree Shepherd provided a mentor, who never once said what we wanted to do couldn’t be done; he worked hard to help me clarify the aims and steps to achieve them. This gave me the invaluable belief, . To help someone achieve that belief is so valuable and life changing (and probably took a great deal of unseen care and intensive mental processing from the mentor).

Since then I have been really fortunate to have experienced two tremendous role models of motivation and drive, with compassion and awareness, in the very capable course facilitators of Colin Crooks (Business clinics) and Georgina (Employ Yourself 8 week course). The content really helped me structure and clarify all aspects of my business, to take the steps to achieve my aims. I learnt a great deal from the way each of them managed the sessions and their interactions. I hope to attend any Tree Shepherd sessions and am very grateful for this learning opportunity, it’s turned a hope into a real path forward.

TS: And finally, what made you want to give back these vouchers?

I have had a lot of support from Tree Shepherd in the past few months and submitting my business/operating plan helped me clarify and focus my thinking and actions for getting the project moving.  I thought about the shopping vouchers, and decided I would prefer Tree Shepherd to keep the £100 for the prize, and do some more valuable workshops/ sessions for those who really benefit from these, changing lives.  Thank you.  My learning is my reward. I hope to participate in future sessions you offer.

TS: You are welcome Nur, and it’s been a great pleasure to work with you as you develop your business. We’re excited to see what comes next! Thanks so much for donating the vouchers back, we are excited to see what comes from you next.

To find out more about Nur’s business please email her on enter the competition for this month’s shopping vouchers please email


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