A woman of great heart, fierce intelligence and immense practicality
Anne Yarwood – 24th January 1934 -25th January 2023 a woman of vision, deep generosity, compassion, creativity and courage.
Anne Yarwood was one of the founding members of Values and Visions back in 1990. With her passion for justice, peace and care for the earth, Values and Visions was a project that stayed dear to her heart for over 3 decades. She was steadfastly, quietly encouraging, nurturing and developing not only the original Framework for Transformation but also helping to think through its practical application in schools and organisations for 33 years.
Anne spent many decades of her life seeking to create a way of education and a world that was just, compassionate and kind, an education that included the marginalised, listened to the call of the time, raised awareness about the peoples of the world and the issues facing them and the planet. She had an unlimited vision of what was possible and has been utterly tireless in supporting and sustaining projects that seek to create a better world for all. For example, her baby, RISC, the Development Education Centre in Reading, set up 40 years ago, is still one of the most successful Dev. Ed. centres in the country, and Values and Visions has been one of the most ground-breaking of projects for some 33 years. Anne was instrumental in our development. All that she did was done through the many hundreds of people that she inspired to get involved in whatever she saw needed doing right then, be it spirituality in education, action on climate change, awareness of the Palestinian people’s plight, Wells for India, Save our Insects, peace education, development education, The Imagination Acts, Quiet Garden and so on and on. Her breadth of action was remarkable and her insights deep.
A woman of great heart, fierce intelligence and immense practicality, Anne would see into the potential within each individual and then egg them on to get on and fulfil that potential, believing in them and enabling them to go further than they would have thought possible. Her courage to speak out, her compassion, her endless creativity contributed to countless lives and has been invaluable to Values and Visions. At times she was impatient – there was no time to waste: she had a lot to accomplish within this one lifetime and did it with an unbridled enthusiasm and an artist’s eye for detail.
Anne planted seeds, both physical seeds that grew into a joyously beautiful garden, full of colour and exuberance, in which many hundreds of friends will have found stillness and space to reflect and wonder at the complexity and minute perfection of life. She also planted seeds of hope, a catalyst for innovative projects. She would then go on to lightly water and feed these projects for years, sometimes decades, through her faithful encouragement and inspiration.
Her and David’s home, Constables, was a hosted space for meeting, reflecting and creating.
She is loved and irreplaceable. The ripples of her love for people, for nature, for the planet and her projects will go on far into the future.
At her wake, as requested by Anne, ‘The Summer Day’, by Mary Oliver was read. Ever a believer in the power of interactive gatherings, we were requested to each turn to face the person next to us and to read aloud the last 2 lines of the poem:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
Georgeanne Lamont, co-founder of Values & Visions