From stabilisers to streaking ahead: Wayfinder update

Apr 01, 2021

Our second Wayfinder, Helen-Anne Smith from Burum Collective looks back at her residency and ahead to

Just two months ago, when I first considered how I might feel at the end of this residency with Cloudwater, the metaphor in my head was one of someone taking the stabilisers off the bike of a kid who is definitely not ready to cycle without them. Today a different metaphor comes to mind.

I used to learn how to skate with a roller derby team, a sport that involves two teams of skaters moving fast around a track. In roller derby there’s a play called a ‘whip’ which involves a skater using another skater's momentum to propel themselves around the track, giving them more power and more speed to break out of the pack. That, to me, is the best way to describe the Wayfinder project. The Cloudwater team have given Burum Collective the confidence and momentum we needed to fly round the track on our own.

So what have we been working on? Well over the next few months we will be launching Burum Basics, a series of educational pieces covering the foundational knowledge of beer, wine and cider. We have assembled an incredible group of educators and writers within these fields to provide you with a well-rounded syllabus for free. The project is also being overseen and supported by myself, Rachel Hendry, Adam Wells, and of course Elliot-James Comanescu.

To support our beer module we have created a step-by-step video of the brewing process, with the help of the team at Cloudwater, which will hopefully provide you with a better visual understanding of brewing. Plus thanks to Cloudwater we are also now able to pay for one extra writer a month, which means we are able to support more new writers, writers of marginalised backgrounds and exciting folk in our industries who have stories to tell.

On a personal level, having the chance to be around and a part of the Cloudwater team has been such a joyful experience. I moved away from my wife and home, during a pandemic, so I am very grateful to everyone at the brewery and 73 Enid Street for being warm and welcoming. I did struggle with my confidence levels, and my anxiety has definitely gotten the better of me at times, but I am so proud of everything we achieved. To all future Wayfinders I would like to say; I urge you to be brave, don’t underestimate yourself and remember that the team at Cloudwater are both some of the best people you will ever meet, and are there to help you.

The most important thing I learnt over the past few months is simply that communication is so key. There is so much work that needs to be done in beer, cider and wine to make them safer, friendlier and most importantly more equitable spaces. There is not one project that can do all of it on their own. Moving forward we need to think smart, support pre-existing structures and utilise each other's platforms.


If you want to collaborate with us at Burum Collective please email us at

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