We’ve had a busy summer with a schedule of courses that now includes Feminism for Change, alongside the NEXT Project and Knowledge for Change. All three have been up and running so our office has become increasingly busy over the past few months!
As autumn arrives we’re coming to the end of our first Feminism for Change group facilitated by Tonya, our new Feminist Lead. The subject matter has at times been difficult (‘Shame and Vulnerability, Consent, Power and Control’) but there has also been a lot of laughter and connection as the group have explored their own experiences from the perspective of feminism. As one group comes to an end we are busy preparing for a second starting on 31 October.
We’ve also been running NEXT and Knowledge for Change and have a brand new intake of NEXT Project participants due to begin on Monday 8 October. We’re delighted to welcome volunteer Stephen into the office, who will be joining Tonya, Bob and Liz to help co-facilitate. Like all of our staff and volunteers, Stephen has lived experience and is a graduate of both NEXT and Knowledge for Change.
In our training we talk a lot about the importance of connection and building healthy relationships. This applies as much to those we develop with our bodies as with our selves, friends, family and community. An important part of what we do is enable access to some of the practices that support this with the people we work with. Those with histories of drug and alcohol abuse often experience regular dissociation from their bodies, through childhood or adult trauma, years of continued self-destructive behavior or both.
Yoga is a healing practice that can be used to develop healthy embodiment and establish a foundation for deeper psychological work. It’s what inspired our name and forms a core part of our weekly program every Wednesday.
In August we were lucky enough to host a special “gentle flow” yoga class led by Bob at the Triyoga studio just round the corner from us in Shoreditch. The event was a huge success and raised funds and support for Foundation for Change. We will be hosting another on Friday 7 December, 7pm. The class is open to all, particularly those who are new to yoga or would normally be put off coming to a studio, so save the date and do bring your friends.
“Yoga is an incredible way to develop a healthy relationship and connection to your body, but it’s often too expensive or intimidating for people to give it a go. I wanted to teach a class that made it possible for the people we work with to experience yoga, to visit a yoga studio and to bring together different sections of the community that very often don’t get a chance to come together.”
– Bob Bharij, Director of Operations, Foundation for Change
For more about the impact of the work we do, see our latest interview with George, about the challenges he had to overcome long after putting down drugs and alcohol, in order to establish a firm foundation for his future.
Keep your eyes peeled for some exciting organisational developments we have in the pipeline before the end of the year.
Bob, Liz, Tonya, Bex, Katie, Niki and Stephen
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