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Ministry of Change

Ministry of Change

By Marcus Pibworth
Storytelling and conversations about mental health, navigating the difficult bits of life and what it really means to be human
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#4 Permaculture: Reconnecting With What Being Human is All About (with Shift Bristol)

Ministry of Change

Story: Depression and a Cat Called Doris
In this short episode I tell an autobiographical story about depression and a cat called Doris.  As humans we like to share stories, and when it comes to mental health and wellbeing being able to share our stories is so valuable. When we can discover the gift in seemingly negative experiences (trust me, there is always a gift buried in there somewhere) and share our story it becomes a powerful healing tool, not only for us as the storyteller but also for those listening. It stops being our own story and reenters the sea of human experience. It helps people to feel less alone in their experience and to realise that we all experience life in a different way.  I hope you enjoy the story... If you enjoy the podcasts then please do support me on Patreon to enable me to continue to create. The music during the intro and outro was made especially for me by the very talented Graeme Walker To find out more about my journey with storytelling and mental health visit the Ministry of Change website You can now also leave me voice mails directly through the Anchor App - if you'd like to share a short story about yourself, some feedback or anything else relating to the show then please do. I'd love to feature some on the show if all goes well.
December 22, 2019
Liz Slade: Spirituality, Community and Collective Wellbeing
In this episode I chatted with Liz Slade - the Chief Officer of the Unitarian Churches in the UK - about different interpretations of spirituality, being supported to find our own way in the world and the power of mixing with people with different beliefs to your own. If you enjoy the podcasts then please do support me on Patreon to enable me to continue to create. The music during the intro and outro was made especially for me by the very talented Graeme Walker To find out more about my journey with storytelling and mental health visit the Ministry of Change website You can now also leave me voice mails directly through the Anchor App - if you'd like to share a short story about yourself, some feedback or anything else relating to the show then please do. I'd love to feature some on the show if all goes well.
December 8, 2019
Ani Lhamo: Buddhism, Compassion and Loving Kindness
This episode features a conversation I had with Ani Lhamo, who has been a Tibetan Buddhist nun for over 30 years and who is also the secretary of Lama Yeshe the abbot of the Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Scotland (featured in the previous episode - I'd recommend listening to that one first if you haven't already). We talk about Ani Lhamo's path from Glaswegian Computer Programmer to Tibetan Buddhist Nun, the importance of training the mind and the importance of the down as well as the up parts of life.  If you enjoy the podcasts then please do support me on Patreon to enable me to continue to create. I first heard the spider story from the fabulous storyteller Janet Goring The music during the intro and outro was made especially for me by the very talented Graeme Walker To find out more about my journey with storytelling and mental health visit the Ministry of Change website You can now also leave me voice mails directly through the Anchor App - if you'd like to share a short story about yourself, some feedback or anything else relating to the show then please do. I'd love to feature some on the show if all goes well. 
November 24, 2019
Lama Yeshe: Tibetan Buddhism and Compassionate Change
For this episode I traveled up to Scotland to meet Lama Yeshe, the head abbot of the Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery to talk to him about the role of Buddhism and spirituality in connection with mental health, environmental and social change.  If you enjoyed the podcast and would like to support me to make more please do take a look at my Patreon Page Read the transcript here To find out more about my journey visit the Ministry of Change website Thanks to the talented Graeme Walker for making the music for the show. Please do leave voice messages for me via the Anchor app, with your personal stories - I'd love to feature some in future episodes if all goes well with love,  Marcus
November 10, 2019
Radha Mohan Das: Hare Krishna and Social Change
In my on going exploration into how we can navigate the difficult bits of life and what it means to be human, I have been searching out people who have dedicated their lives to answering these questions through walking a spiritual path. This episode is a conversation I had recently at the Hare Krishna Bhaktivedanta Temple with Krishna Devotee Radha Mohan Das.  If you like what I'm doing then please do support me via Patreon To stay up to date with my journey visit the Ministry of Change website Thank you to Graeme Walker for creating the background music for me, visit his bandcamp page for more excellent audio adventures Read the Episode Transcript
October 28, 2019
38 Remembering Polly Higgins: Ecocide and Protecting the Earth
A conversation recored in 2017 with Ecocide Lawyer, Polly Higgins, who sadly passed away at the weekend
April 22, 2019
37 Sally-Anne Airey: How To Be A Mindful Leader
In this episode Sally-Anne shares her story of transitioning from her role as a commander in the Royal Navy to her work as a Mindful Leadership coach in the French Alps.
February 16, 2019
#36 Anneli Roberts (Pigletish): You Are Not Alone
Anneli Roberts from the Pigletish Podcast discusses mental health, social media, PTSD, Anxiety and the fact that whatever you are feeling like, you are not alone
February 3, 2019
#35 James Arnoldi: The Messiah Complex & Growing into the Unknown
In this episode I chatted with James Arnoldi about a period in his life a few years ago when he experienced a spiritual awakening / psychotic episode where he believed that he was Jesus.
January 22, 2019
#34 Lucy Purdy: Positive News and How To Change The World
Lucy Purdy (editor of Positive News Magazine) and I chat about positive news and how to change the world
January 11, 2019
2019 Update: What's Next For Ministry of Change?
An update of where Ministry of Change is now and where it is going as we enter 2019
January 6, 2019
#33 A Year On The Road: Ministry of Change 2018 Review
Adam Bates interviews me about the evolution of Ministry of Change over the past year
December 26, 2018
#32 Kai Brouwer: What Happens When Adults Forget to Play
Kai Brouwer from Funbase talks about depression and what happens when we forget to play as adults
December 18, 2018
#31 Chrissy Kelly: No One Is Broken
Chrissy Kelly is a wonderful person and she does lots of amazing work around the psychology of thinking with children in the care system and teenagers, to empower them to access their wisdom and use their own agency.
December 11, 2018
(Interlude) Is this the real life or is this just fantasy?
Interlude: Are you Freddie Mercury?
December 9, 2018
#30 Bipolar Barbie: Mental Illness, Social Media & Your Authentic Self
In this episode I chatted with Bipolar Barbie - a mental health advocate and social media influencer from Australia, who blogs and vlogs about her experiences living with Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, and Generalised Anxiety Disorder.
November 30, 2018
#29 My Story: Depression, Anxiety & Learning that I am Enough
People often ask me if I'm going to share my own story on the podcast - well here it is. Last week I had the opportunity to speak at an event in Brighton run by Dave Perrins (featured in Ep.5 of the podcast) called Share Your Story.
November 21, 2018
#28 Kitty's Story: A Change of Perspective
Kitty's story revolves around depression, anxiety, PTSD and the road to rediscovering herself and using her second chance at life to make the difference she wants to see in the world.
November 6, 2018
#27 Dara Blumenthal: What Does it Really Mean to Be Human in the 21st Century?
Dara is a facilitator and coach, but more than that, she is someone with a deep love for people and the planet. We talk about how to self-author your life, the power of vulnerability and how we can change the world through having open conversations and allowing ourselves to experience pain and suffering.
November 1, 2018
#26 Kitchen Table Chat: On Anxiety with Steph, Charlie, Dave and Marcus
“Anxiety is trying to tell you something I think. I think that's why it's so different for everyone. It's not this one size fits all ‘this is an illness’. It's about what's behind it.”Earlier in the year I was sitting at my friend Steph’s house in Bristol, having a cup of tea and a chat with here around the kitchen table. The conversation naturally flowed into talking about anxiety, something that is a part of both of our lives. I realised then that this was the kind of conversation I wanted to record. A friendly chat around the kitchen table, over a cup of tea. The intimacy of the situation and the familiarity of the setting just seemed to work so well. Both Steph and I know a lot of people with anxiety, so we hatched a plan to invite some friends around the next time I was in Bristol to record a conversation on anxiety. So a few weeks ago Steph, myself, Dave and Charlie boiled the kettle, brewed the tea and switched on the recorder… here is the result. View the TRANSCRIPT hereTo find out more about my mental health journey around the UK check out my website: www.theministryofchange.orgTo fund this project I’m using Patreon, for as little or as much as you would like each month, your support gives you access to extra content I’ve made, as well as the warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing you are helping me to make more spaces to talk about mental health. And if you like the podcast, it would be wonderful if you could take a few moments to rate and review it on iTunes. It would mean SO much to meWith love, Marcus
October 16, 2018
#25 On Anxiety and Wild Swimming with Joe Minihane
In this episode I chat with Joe Minihane, author of 'Floating: A Life Regained' about anxiety and wild swimming
October 9, 2018
#24 Mark's Story: A Powerful Story of Addiction, Recovery and Transformation
A few months ago I was on the Isle of Wight and I was fortunate enough to meet Mark Langford. Mark has a powerful story about his struggles with addiction and his mental wellbeing. A word of warning, Mark is very open and honest, and his story contains some difficult parts regarding drug taking and suicide ideation/ attempts, so please bare this in mind if this is something that could be a trigger to you.
October 1, 2018
#23 Transforming the Way We Live and Learn with Nadežda & Justus
Exploring how alternative education and community can create a healthier society. A conversation with Nadia and Justus from DNS Necessary Teacher Training College, Denmark.
September 21, 2018
#22 Charles Eisenstein: Mental Health and Interbeing
In this podcast I chat to Charles Eisenstein about mental health, wholeness and the deeper social, political and economic problems that lay behind the high levels of depression and anxiety in our culture today
September 9, 2018
#21 Reclaiming Cornwall From Depression (an audio adventure)
This episode is a bit of an experiment - earlier in the year I filmed a mini 'documentary' about a journey I made to reclaim Cornwall, UK from the dark and stormy memories of depression that I had associated with it on a former trip while depressed a year or so earlier. I decided it worked quite well as an audio story as well, so this is what I've uploaded here.
August 28, 2018
#20 Kim Brown's Story: Wolf Medicine and Connecting with Nature
Kim talks about her work with wolves, mental health and helping people to connect with themselves through nature
July 15, 2018
#19 Bethan Christopher's Story: Grow Your Own Gorgeousness
A few years ago Bethan wrote a book called ‘Grow Your Own Gorgeousness’, with the mission of tackling body image issues and empowering girls to be and to love themselves. Bethan has since developed this into the ‘Grow Your Own Gorgeousness Programme’ which she delivers directly to schools.
July 8, 2018
#18 The Neanderthal Bard's Story: Borderline Personality Disorder and the Spoken Word
In this episode spoken word artist Stephan Gambrell, a.k.a The Neanderthal Bard, shares his experiences of his diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, over stretched and under funded mental health services and the power of the spoken word, interspersed with some of his amazing poems.
June 25, 2018
#17 Esther's Story: Addiction, Recovery and Yoga
This week Esther shares her story of alcohol addiction, recovery and how yoga helped her stop looking externally for answers and to start looking inside to find more peace.
June 13, 2018
#16 Scott's Story: Depression and the Journey of Self Discovery
"Why is this happening FOR me" - Scott shares his story about depression, grief and the journey of deeper understanding of the self that this has allowed him to take
June 3, 2018
#15 Sian's Story: Alcohol Addiction and beyond
Sian tells her story of moving from being a functioning alcoholic with a young child to being sober, and the journey of discovery and understanding things about herself this has led her on
May 21, 2018
#14 Monique's Story: Growing Up with a Bipolar Parent
Monique shares her experience of growing up in Canada with her mum, who has Bipolar II, and the highs and lows that came with that for her and her family.
May 17, 2018
#13 Mental Health Stories: Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DiD)
A story about living with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DiD)
May 15, 2018
#12 Simon's Story: Acute Anxiety Following a Car Crash
Simon Richards shares his story of dealing with acute anxiety following a car crash 7 years ago
May 13, 2018
#11 Depression, Confronting our Fear of Death and Grieving for our Planet with Simon Medhurst
Exploring difficulties accessing statutory mental health services, why we need to confront our fear of death, and how we can heal the planet with Simon Medhurst in Thanet
May 8, 2018
#10 Qigong and Connecting with Your Self with Max St.John
Max discusses his relationship to depression and how martial arts and his Qigong practice have helped him navigate life more easily
May 1, 2018
#9 Finding Strength in Grief with Toby Moore
Toby Moore shares his experience of losing his father and we discuss how we deal with death and difficult emotions as a society
April 11, 2018
#8 Finding Your Own Rhythm in Life with Henrietta Jadin
Hen and I discuss how to stop following your 'shoulds' and find your own rhythm in life and how to slow down and improve your mental health
April 5, 2018
#7 How To Go Slow And Avoid Burnout with Rik Turner
At the end of the month I had to opportunity to go to Portugal for a retreat organised by two friends Henrietta Jadin and Rik Turner, which was very appropriately a Slow working retreat, focused on just that - slowing down and reassessing our priorities.Wow - what a week - it was just what I needed. On this podcast I chatted with Rik, at his flat in Lisbon, the day after we got back from the retreat. This was our second attempt, as we tried to record an alfresco podcast in the Portuguese countryside a few days earlier, but were drowned out by the sound of frogs and dogs. I really never knew frogs could be so noisy!Aside from helping Hen organise Slo-Working (and I’ll be releasing a podcast with Hen in the near furute), Rik is also the founder of Haps, a startup that focuses on wellbeing and nutrition. As their strapline goes, it’s a ‘SuperFruits powder to feed your happy’. Rik and I chatted about slowing down and how to avoid burning out at work. It’s a topic that keeps coming up as I talk to people about their mental health. If you’ve listened to podcast #2 you’ll remember my chat with James from Sanctus on a similar topic. It’s just so prevalent. The pressure to work hard and fast is so prevalent in our culture, that people feel like they have no other option that to work long hours, and constantly strive for growth at speed.Thanks to Rik for taking the time to record this interview - to find out more about Rik’s startup Haps check out the website : and to find out about Rik and Hen’s Slo-working project go to their site: follow my mental health journey around the UK visit my website, and make sure to have a listen to my other podcast episodes and rate it if you enjoy it! And do please get in touch if you are doing something that you think could be of interest to me as I’d love to drive the ministry of change bus to you and explore with you.
March 30, 2018
(Bonus: Walking Interlude) The Importance of Space and How to Use it
A short bonus interlude. 5 minutes of musings on space, slowing the pace and listening to your deeper self, as I walk through the fields of rural Buckinghamshire, UK
March 6, 2018
#6 How to Build a Happy Business with Laurence McCahill (The Happy Startup School)
The startup world can be a real minefield when it comes to creating a work life balance. Being an entrepreneur can be quite a lonely experience, and there can be a lot of pressure for people who are starting their own businesses - a feat which requires you to go out on a limb and put your vulnerabilities out there. Stories of mental health being neglected in the startup world are rife. Of people wearing their lack of sleep and long hours at work as a badge of honour. Of people putting profit and growth above everything else. Burn out is common and it can often be hard for people to see the real intentions behind what they are doing. In this episode I went along to meet Laurence McCahill, who along with his lifelong friend Carlos Saba, founded the Happy Startup School in Brighton. Their mission is to help people to connect with their true passions and hopefully avoid a lot of the problems I just mentioned. They do this through events such as their annual Summer Camp in the UK, Alptitude, and event in which they take entrepreneurs to the alps, Ashram, their retreat to India, which Laurence touches upon in our conversation, and many other smaller events and workshops throughout the year. They also run an online course to help people in the early stages to turn ideas into reality. They have a thriving global community of people who are connected with the Happy Startup School, and I think they are a great example of how being honest and open will help your business thrive and allow you to live your passion. I’ve always found Laurence very approachable. He is a man who is not afraid to show his vulnerabilities, to reach out and ask for help when it is needed and to share his wisdom to help others gain clarity on their ideasWe cover lots of topics in our conversation, including: -Sharing experiences over being prescriptive-Being honest and vulnerable in business and in life-Tapping into your own ideas and vision-Building a community-How to stay open to change as your business grows. Find out more about The Happy Startup School at www.thehappystartupschool.comFind out more about my journey with Ministry of Change at:
February 19, 2018
#5 The Importance of Sharing the Difficult Bits with Dave Perrins
For this episode I went for a chat with my friend Dave Perrins at his house in Brighton. I first met Dave a couple of years ago, at an event run by our mutual friend, Adam. Over the past few years we’ve had many a chat over cups of tea about mental wellbeing, productivity and getting stuff done, and also about the importance of sharing the lows and the struggles and not just the high points. Dave is the brains behind, Share Your Story, a popular event in Brighton which as the name suggests creates a platform for people to share their experiences, around themes such as immigration, death, building happy businesses, mental health and creativity. He also runs The Dad Course which helps fathers to be learn the ropes as they enter into life as a first time dad. Dave also writes a blog called Do What Matters Most, about living simply and making the world better.At the beginning of the podcast, we mention how we are not going to just talk about our projects - and then proceed to talk about our respective projects - but weaved around that we cover topics like: -how to ask yourself difficult questions, -being honest about your comfort zone, -what is happiness? -Loneliness - the useful side of experiencing pain. -The importance of sharing experiences This is a much more conversational episode than some of the others, and I feel despite the microphone it captures the essence of some of our past chats, and hopefully you will find it fun, entertaining and maybe even find a few nuggets of wisdom buried within it. Find out more about the projects Dave is involved with here: follow more of my mental health journey
February 14, 2018
#4 Permaculture: Reconnecting With What Being Human is All About (with Shift Bristol)
As part of my mental health trip around the UK I’m keen on getting off the beaten track, and exploring projects that may not immediately shout, “Mental Health!”, at you, but are in some way looking into the way we live our lives or have structured society.Permaculture is something that has been on my radar for a few years now, but I haven’t really had the chance to explore fully. I first came across permaculture through my work with systems change and was intrigued by how the principles of nature can be applied to make human systems more effective. Permaculture is the ‘study of nature and the understanding of how nature works, and it’s the application of those principles’ to how we provide for our human needs’. It is quite counter-cultural to the way mainstream culture currently works, with focus on how we can meet our needs for fuel, transport, housing, and community in an affordable, and most importantly, sustainable way. In this podcast episode, I went along to Shift Bristol, to talk to Sarah Pugh and Bryher, who both know a great deal more than I do about permaculture and the positive effects it can have on society. I believe it is through ideas like permaculture, that encourage a deeper connection with the land, an understanding of our impact on the environment, and which nurtures a deeper sense of community and communication, that we can start to heal some of the more broken aspects of society and improve our collective wellbeing. As Sarah says during the interview, permaculture “reconnects us with what being human is really all about”. Now, that seems like something we should sit up and take note of. In the podcast we discuss:-The underlying ethical foundations of permaculture.-The practical application of permaculture-Community-Permaculture in the city-The mental health benefits of natureCheck out more about Shift Bristol: out more about my mental health journey around the UK:
February 5, 2018
#3 "Helping Young People Talk About Mental Health" with Off The Record Bristol
Discussing our mental health can be hard at the best of times. We are in a world that is increasingly hard to navigate. For young people especially talking about what they are experiencing on the inside, social pressures, misconceptions and lack of understanding can make it seem nearly impossible. Organisations such as Off the Record do great work in normalising the discussion around mental health, and helping young people to make sense of the world and really thrive. In this episode I met with Liam and Laura from OTR to talk about the work they are doing to help end stigma, the way technology can effect mental health and the positive power it can also yield, and much more. To find out more about OTR check out their website: website is amazing - for both young and old!)
January 28, 2018
#2 Mental Health In The Work Place with Sanctus founder James Routledge
A few weeks ago I travelled to London to meet James Routledge, the founder of Sanctus, an organisation who focus on improving mental health in the workplace. There mission is to change the brand of mental health and bring awareness around it into the mainstream. In the interview, James discusses his journey and talks about the lessons he has learned in business and the art of slowing down and focusing on what is important. Check out their website: for lots of blogs and articles around mental health and startup culture.For more about Ministry of Change and my mental health journey around the UK head on over to
January 22, 2018
Anxiety Interlude: It's Okay to Cry in Screwfix
This is a monologue I wrote about an anxiety attack I had in the UK DIY shop Screwfix. This isn’t a very polished piece — it’s really a stream of consciousness I just wrote without much thought for editing and making it logical and beautiful. Maybe that is quite apt, as what goes on inside my head often isn’t logical or beautiful (at least in the generally perceived interpretations of these concepts!) This is a link to the original blog post:
November 5, 2017
#1 A Space for Men to Talk and Celebrating Mental Health with Kate Mabbett and Ella Marshall
I recently took the Ministry of Change down to Bristol to Freedom of Mind, a festival designed to celebrate mental health, conceived two years ago by Ella Marshall when she was just 16 years old. One of the most captivating events I attended was 'Creating a Space for Men to Talk' organised by men's mental health organisation Man Up Man Down. In this podcast I sat down with the co-founder of Man Up Man Down, Kate Mabbett and then with Ella Marshall, to talk about mental health.
October 19, 2017