sUStain: transforming climate concerns into Active Hope

sUStain is a pioneering new climate anxiety project, which provides support for adults and young people, in partnership with UEA, the Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA), The Resilience Project and other partners.  

The project started in March 2022. We offer a range of support around eco-anxiety and climate grief. These include: 

  • Awareness events to normalise concerns
  • Monthly 'Climate Cafe' drop ins co facilitated by UEA students where feelings and thoughts can be shared
  • A 6 week programme based on mindfulness and elements of the Active Hope approach (following the best selling book Active Hope: How to face the mess we are in with Unexpected Resilience and Creative Power by Resilience expert Chris Johnstone and eco-philosopher Joanna Macy).

What is Active Hope? The Active Hope element of this approach, is radical in that it does not require us to feel hopeful to take action, or paradoxically, to focus on the outcome. This frees us to try new, creative ways to resolve issues. We can use gratitude, mindfulness and a whole range of resilience practices to resource us to do this.  

There are also opportunities for group participants to be mentored to continue run their own Active Hope book groups.


Active Hope in Challenging Times Workshop

BBC News Coverage: Don't let doom win project tells worriers

A new project has been launched to address rising climate anxiety in students at the University of East Anglia.

At the opening in Norwich, students told BBC News they felt
hopelessness, anger and despair about climate change.

They worry how they will live in a world with an unpredictable climate and the destruction of nature.

Read more here


More about Climate Cafe's

Climate cafes offer a friendly, facilitated space to talk about how you are feeling about the climate emergency over a hot or cold drink and some cake. Talking with like-minded others can help us find, or revive, our agency and compassionate resourcefulness, rather than leaning into despair, shame and helplessness.
  • Monthly Climate cafes at University of East Anglia (UEA) 
  • Monthly Climate Cafes in Norwich now take place at Norwich Millennium Library
  • Climate Cafes- North Norfolk



Planet for our Future: How do we adapt to a Transforming World?
Exhibition and Climate Cafes

We are thrilled to partner with the Sainsbury Centre in this exciting series of events exploring the transformative power of art and creativity in responding to the collective challenges of ecological degradation and climate change, as well as the difficult emotional states and feelings that may be associated with this. 

The events are part of the first season of Sainsbury Centre’s ‘Big Question’: Planet for our Future: How do we adapt to a Transforming World?
Three special exhibitions of environmental themed art-works will stimulate discussions and provide fertile ground for an enriching Climate Café session facilitated by Norfolk and Waveney Mind. 

Each session will begin with an introduction to the special art exhibit and a discussion in the gallery facilitated by the Sainsbury Centre. This will be followed by refreshment in the studio for the Climate Café facilitated by Norfolk and Waveney Mind. 

The Climate Café is a safe, supported and empathetic space where fears and uncertainties about our climate and ecological crises can be shared and expressed. 

Dates: Thursday 28 September, Thursday 26 October, Thursday 30 November  
Time: 5:15- 6: 45 

To book, click here 



Active Hope and the Seventh Generation Experience

Join us for a special evening exploring Active Hope and the Seventh Generation Experience. Step into the future and hold a conversation with your descendants to hear their advice and support!

The Haudenosaunee First Nations people of North America follow a principle that everything they do should ensure a sustainable world for at least the next seven generations. The “Seventh Generation Experience” is an imaginative activity that puts us into dialogue with future beings–who become very real to us. Through this guided activity, we use our imagination to travel to the future and meet these beings who view us as their ancestors living at this pivotal time on earth. When we speak as future beings to someone in the present, tremendous compassion, wisdom, and insight pour through.

This workshop, inspired by the Active Hope model (following the best selling book 'Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in with Unexpected Resilience and Creative Power' by resilience expert Chris Johnstone and eco-philosopher Joanna Macy) and, is offered by the sUStain eco-anxiety project at Norfolk and Waveney Mind.

Date: Wednesday 22nd November
Time: 6-8pm 
Location: The Feed, Rest Hub, Churchman House, 71 Bethel Street Norwich NR2 1NR

To book, click here 


Active Hope Book Groups

Book discussion group exploring 'Active Hope- How to face the Mess we're in with Unexpected Resilience and Creative Power'.

Were you inspired by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone's book Active Hope? Want to explore it in more detail, in a small informal group? Come along to this book group.
This will be the first of a series of up to six sessions. This first one will be on zoom and future sessions dates and location are still to be decided. Could be face to face if participants can travel to central Norwich.

More details about the book are here. 
Register here.


Would you like to join our free Climate Cafe's, events or courses?
For further information about the project, please contact Caroline Fernandez, Project Co-ordinator at


Get involved with the project as a volunteer!

There will be more exciting opportunities available for students at UEA to volunteer with this project.

We are looking for student volunteers to take an active role in steering the sUStain project, co-designing workshops and helping to run climate anxiety cafes. Research has shown that giving yourself agency within climate anxiety can improve your own wellbeing, as well as benefiting others you are supporting. And there are also opportunities to continue aspects of the project into the future. 

For more information about the project and opportunities available please download the link below.


Coffee & Geography - Georamblings

Kit chats to Rebecca Nestor & Caroline Fernandez about tacking climate anxiety, active hope through conversations, knitting, TV box sets amongst other things!

Rebecca is a climate activist and climate psychologist, and a recovering doctoral student at the University of Essex. She works mostly through the Climate Psychology Alliance, where she is on the board of directors and lead on climate cafes, but also a freelance organisational consultant and facilitator. Rebecca’s work is about supporting those facing the climate crisis. She lives in Oxford and regularly splashes about in the Thames.

Caroline is Project Coordinator for sUStain. She is a networker, food grower, environmentalist and chirpy ex Londoner, now living in Norfolk. Eldest of eight siblings, Caroline loves to travel the world through food, loves speaking German, and has family in India.



For more information about climate anxiety, including our partners, please see:




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