How we help each other matters

How we help each other

We’ve been thinking about this, a lot, lately.

Partly, because it’s that time of year again when we bring friends, family and supporters together to celebrate our birthday. This year we turned 4 and were joined by over 70 people to congratulate some of our most recent NEXT, Feminism for Change and Knowledge for Change graduates, and get reunited with some of our oldest.

Among them was Stephen, who joined our first NEXT intake as an independent charity four years ago. In his speech he spoke about brokenness, healing, connection and empowerment:

[Liz and Bob]…showed me that I was smart and able to learn. And if you can learn, you can grow. They showed me that I was not alone. So many people go through bad stuff and you can sit there and feel sorry for yourself or you can step up and make the change…They laid the foundations…and I have built on that a sturdy frame.

Learning, empowerment, laying foundations and building a frame…these are themes that emerge in a recent report from NESTA which grabbed our attention, on “Good and Bad Help“. This idea –  that the way in which we support and learn from one another, is just as important as the content of that learning – really sums up our approach and belief in the power of inclusive education to transform lives, a fact that Liz movingly spoke about.

Dr Paula Corcoran also shared some reflections on the research she is carrying out into the impact of our approach to facilitate learning and what this might offer for others who work in the field of recovery from addiction and mental health challenges. We look forward to hearing more from her as the year goes on!

Thanks to everyone who could make it and congratulations to our graduates. A special mention goes out to those who completed their Level 3 Accredited Practitioner Training. One of them Bex Excel, now works with us as the creator of our Clothing for Change project. Read her interview about her journey with us.

And speaking of journeys….our amazing trustee Elle has been training, travelling and fundraising all over the place in order to run two marathons for us in April! She joined 10,000s of others to take part in the London and Manchester marathons to raise money for Foundation for Change, so a big thank you to Elle. Donations from supporters such as these allow us to offer up our courses to a wider number of people as well as remain independent and connected to our grassroots.

It was inspiring to see so many old and new friends we’ve worked with over the years. We hope to organise more events that bring our extended family and friends together so watch this space!

Bob, Liz, Bex, Katie and Tonya

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