I recently had the privilege to visit two amazing institutions in the the North-West of England – Raise Education and Wellbeing School and the Peace Foundation.
The former educates young people for whom mainstream school has not worked. They take in young people on the margins of society: in trouble with the police, involved in gangs, struggling with domestic abuse and other various traumas. Through care and compassion, the staff build a loving environment that supports the young people, builds their confidence, gives them hope and helps them move on in life in a more positive direction. The CEO, Jason, has brought mindfulness into the centre of this work. He runs courses for the staff and young people and it was lovely to hear how they use mindfulness to help them support them in their difficulties.
The second supports people suffering from the trauma of terrorist incidents. The centre is an oasis of calm and provides a wide range of activities to alleviate the distress of those caught up in terrorist attacks. One amazing young woman, Emily Brierley – herself a survivor of the Manchester Arena bomb – has introduced the use of mindfulness to help terrorist attack survivors regain a sense of agency. Building on this, iBme UK hope to run a weekend mindfulness workshop to support those affected by the Areas bomb in October in conjunction with the staff at the centre.
Please look at the work of these amazing organisations (links at top of page). They are providing an invaluable service helping to alleviate suffering in people and are a shining example of how mindfulness provides a beautiful strength and support.