Tricia is an artist, a brewer and a baker. She came to Brighton from Canada in 2015 and runs ONCA’s kombucha classes and fermentation station. She is the life force behind Brighton’s monthly Morning Jams. She also works for our fabulous friends Old Tree Brewery.
Tricia is fundraising for a visa in order to stay in the UK and continue her work with ONCA. Please read her story and donate to her GoFundMe platform!
“In April 2014 it all started. I visited ONCA on a whirlwind trip to England. I stumbled in, and felt grounded. Rooted. Amidst the chaos of my trip (at the time I was still living in Canada), ONCA allowed me to breathe. But this breath of fresh air was soon forgotten as I continued to live in Canada until 2015.
“In December of 2015, I made the move to Brighton. Taste a new flavour of life. Explore a new jungle. Discover new companions. As I rooted in, I needed more than anything a place where I felt supported, held, and accepted. It was not long until I was popping my head into ONCA. I remember talking with Persephone in February 2016 on the phone, while visiting a friend in the Lake District, standing next to Lake Windermere, discussing whether or not I would be interested in becoming the new kombucha brewer at ONCA. Hell yes! I could barely contain my excitement and prayed what I heard was correct, as the reception was not very good. My title soon became Kombucha Queen, which, to this day, I wear with pride.
“My first experience volunteering with ONCA was at Blackbirds Film Festival in 2016. I loved it. I was finding life hard in Brighton, but being in ONCA’s space felt right. I remember telling Alice (the gallery curator at the time and now good friend) that ‘I feel like I am in a living room. It just feels so comfortable and accepting, even though I don’t know anyone here.’ ONCA was my place.
“Since then, I have worked with ONCA to deliver kombucha workshops, empowering dozens of people to take control of at least a small part of their health and food. I also brew kombucha at ONCA where, if you pop into the kitchen at any time, you are likely to see a few jugs bubbling away. I have also helped with welcoming people into several evening events at ONCA. I helped with the renovations for the re-branding this year, participated in several beach cleans and worked as a graphic facilitator at this year’s Dream Your School conference day.
“I design jewellery (TUBEDJewelry) from up-cycled materials, mainly bicycle inner tubes, and I decided I wanted to have a community photo shoot with lots of silly people! I had never had a photo shoot before, but the team at ONCA kindly offered me space to explore this new avenue of my jewellery. It was an amazing event which re-ignited a confidence in myself that I am on the right track.
“Besides getting crafty and silly, I love to dance. Anyone who has met me knows this. I used to organise morning dance parties in Canada, because silly dancing in safe spaces is, well, the best. It was time to drop it here. So when I was thinking of venues in Brighton, ONCA was the first spot I thought of. And, as you expect, they welcomed my idea with open arms. We had our first Morning Jam a few months ago and won’t be stopping anytime soon.
“This takes us to here, now, this exact point and moment. It’s a pivoting point. My current visa runs out in November 2017, but I want to stay in Brighton and continue volunteering with ONCA in the new year, so we are applying for a volunteer visa. Unfortunately this is not cheap and we need your help. The minimum amount we would like to raise is £1500 which will allow me to stay on in Brighton bringing about more awesomeness. Thank you for your help!”
Please show your support for Tricia via GoFundme! https://www.gofundme.com/triciastayinbrighton