Aonghus is passionate about the need for people to break out of dependency and marginalisation, believing that everyone has the potential to shape their own future.
After training as a potter, Aonghus started Ruskin Mill Trust in 1981 as a centre for cultural development, a small project linked to a nearby specialist school in Gloucestershire. It is now one of the UK’s leading educational charities working with learning disabilities, with twelve centres across England, Wales and Scotland. Aonghus has pioneered its unique method of Practical Skills Therapeutic Education (PSTE), inspired by Rudolf Steiner, John Ruskin and William Morris’s ideas about social renewal, healthy human development and the importance of art, crafts and land work.
Aonghus is a Trustee and Board Member of numerous charities and was awarded Social Entrepreneur of the Year for the South of England by Ernst and Young in 2005. He is a charismatic motivational speaker and is not afraid to challenge his audience, which has led to frequent requests to lecture and run workshops in the USA, Europe, China, Russia and the Middle East. He is a Companion of Ruskin’s Guild of St George and, like Ruskin, has a fascination for meteorology and geology.