Collaborator Profile: Melanie Dean

Melanie Dean created and delivered a series of interactive workshops on the Smells & Feelings project, celebrating the history and culture of lavender, mint and other herbs originally grown in Sutton. These hands-on workshops took place care homes, at schools and with community groups; allowing attendees to experience a 'curated menu' of smells and fill the air with sweet scents of lavender.
Melanie Dean

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m an Aromatherapist, trainer and tutor. I am the Principal Tutor at Neal's Yard Remedies and also deliver training and workshops at the School of Natural Therapies. I also train therapists in the Luxury Spa Industry.

How were you involved in Sutton STEAMs Ahead?

I applied to the tender calling for a workshop developer and deliverer. I was awarded the contract to provide a sensory exploration of the sense of smell which would unlock the fragrance of lavender & other cultivated herbs that have contributed to the aromatic tapestry of Sutton's heritage.
Melanie Dean with two female residents in a care home
Melanie Dean providing lavender to two tables of school children
Melanie used the sense of smell and how it links to memory to spark creative responses to the different scents.

Were there any highlights and/or take-aways from being part of Sutton STEAMs Ahead?

The workshops allowed the attendees to experience a fragrant journey that unlocked aromatic treasures hidden in the rich history of lavender and herb cultivation in Sutton. 

Each workshop was unique and explored the fascinating science of smell; a sensory adventure which unlocked memories, brought people together and sparked conversations.

It was a privilege to see the participants enjoy the craft activities and design their own lavender bags to infuse their wardrobes with the fragrance of lavender.

What does STEAM mean to you?

Allowing time for creativity is so important. It can be empowering, engage the senses and help to improve both brain function, physical and mental health.

What’s up next for you?

I intend to continue to teach and develop students' knowledge; helping them to embark on a fragrant journey to discover the power of nature, and the use of essential oils for therapeutic benefit.
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Sutton STEAMs Ahead