Who we are
Tyddyn Retreat has been created by Romy Shovelton, Director of Wikima, as an extension of Wikima’s work with organizations, communities and individuals – while also being available for those wishing to holiday in a very special setting.
Romy moved permanently to Carno in Mid Wales in 2007, having lived part-time in an old farmhouse house about an hour south near Knighton for seven years. From the first day visting the Knighton farm Romy knew she wanted to live in Wales. Her heart was captured. After seven years of searching for the right place, she drove up the track to Tyddyn y Pwll and she was truly home.
While the original intention was simply to find a home for Romy and her husky Qimmiq, brought back from an expedition to the North Pole in 2000, she was met that day by a farmhouse cottage, four barns, two meadows and a dingle. The place cried out to become somewhere for many people to be able to come, to rest, to renew and to create together. From this first meeting, on a bright sunny and very hot day in the spring of 2007, the Tyddyn Retreat dream was born.
In October Romy and Qimmiq left Notting Hill, where she had lived for 23 years, and drove to Tyddyn.
In addition to a successful consulting career running Wikima, Romy has a range of personal interests, the most passionate of which is camels ! She rides camels wherever she can, races them and rides in camel polo to raise funds for The Wild Camel Protection Foundation www.wildcamels.com which cares for the critically endangered wild camels in North West China and South East Mongolia. Tyddyn Retreat is home to Romy's ever-expanding collection of camel figures and pictures.
This is Romy in action on Camel Day 2014 in Kent - watched by 5000 visitors.
Long-distance sailing and dog sledding are two forms of adventure that might call Romy away from Wales. Otherwise, she is blissfully happy exploring the extraordinarily beautiful mountains, valleys and seascapes that surround Tyddyn Retreat. There really is nothing better than a walk across the wilds of the unspoilt landscapes, and coming back to a roaring fire, tea of Welsh cakes and Bara-brith, and supper of Welsh lamb.
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Wikima formally began business in 1992 – focusing on the current specialist practice of deep engagement in organisations and communities.
Wikima was built on the foundations of the previous international experience of the founder, Romy Shovelton, in strategic planning, marketing and advertising – both within organisations and as a director in the global advertising business J Walter Thompson.
We are proud to work with a wonderful range of clients, in the private, public and NGO sectors. Examples of the work can be seen at www.wikima.com. Typical requests include building leadership alignment; addressing entrenched & new conflicts; undertaking tough strategic thinking & participative strategic planning; changing cultures eg. for mergers, collaborations and partnerships; creating active multi-stakeholder partnerships; delivering genuine community engagement.
2007 was one significant milestone, when Wikima won the tender for a significant two-year project for the government of the island of Aruba in the Caribbean. While building the capacity of local public and private sector organisations and individuals, Wikima assisted Aruba in changing the overall government planning system to:
- Integrate the various elements of government
- Base future plans on sustainable development
- Involve and engage the people of Aruba.
This project was selected as a Finalist for Best International Project 2009 by the Institute of Business Consulting.
More recently Wikima has been successful in receiving Department of Work and Pensions funding for a three project working with 14 and 15 years olds who are “in danger of becoming NEET”. Originally designed by Romy Shovelton, this project is being run with Adviza (formerly Connexions Thames Valley).
Local friends involved in Tyddyn Retreat
It is one of our principles to involve as many local people as possible in the creation and running of Tyddyn Retreat. Each year we have an Anniversary Party in August to thank and to celebrate them and all that we have collectively grown at Tyddyn. Watch this space for pictures and stories of some very special people - for example:
Richard Freeman - who designed and crafted the most extraordinary woodwork in stairs, window seats, benches and more
Richard Davies - who valiently drove his double-ended digger to Tyddyn a week after Romy arrived, to make sure the stream was running clear, and not over into the Tractor Barn
The builders who so beautifully converted the old stone barns, including crafting the traditional lime plaster and pointing