In July 2018, Jess Bayley came to our Summer BrightonSoup at St George’s in Hangleton, to pitch on a project for the Centre for Ecotherapy. Her project won the vote and was awarded £441 from tickets and donations on the night. At this year’s Summer event at All Saints, Hove, Jess came back to give us an update on how the project went and how the money helped.
Some of you may have been there the night she won, maybe even voted voted for the project. Well if you didn’t make the last event or hear her update, Jess will tell you about it here.
Project Update: Jess Bayley from Centre for Ecotherapy
“We won £441 from Brighton Soup.
The project that we pitched for was to fund food purchases for the years youth provision. The programme provided twice monthly ‘Lifeskills’ sessions for young people with Educational Health and Care Plans (EHCP). We based our work around the fire, learning the skills of building, lighting, and maintaining a fire throughout the session and cooking on it. The money provided the food and cooking utensils.
Meals we cooked were chosen to be simple, healthy, fresh and diverse so that the young people could learn and potentially cook them again at home.
Meals such as: Pasta and vegetables in a tomato sauce; wraps and salad with a selection of different cheeses and houmus; sausages (vegetarian and meat) and mash; curry and rice; leek and potato soup; toasties with ham, cheese, tomatoes and onion; macaroni cheese; sandwiches with selection of fillings; you get the picture!
“Being at (the Centre for Ecotherapy) puts me in my safe zone. It lets me be open minded and try new things. It’s a place where I can speak my mind and listen to others, and talk about my problems in a safe place… Now I come to Ecotherapy, it feels like nothing can get in my way.”16 year old participant
Fundamental in the sessions is the discussion that goes with the tasks, encouraging and guiding good behaviour, social modeling, highly focused attention to individual need and concern.
Added to that the calm and nurturing natural space the Centre for Ecotherapy provides with opportunity to learn from what goes on around, the young people benefitted enormously from the programme.
“My son really liked the calm atmosphere of being in the woods and learning outside the classroom, taking pressure and stress away from him, therefore enabling him to learn more.
He liked the course sessions because it showed him how to do things differently with things around him, so I believe this helped him to ‘think outside the box’ and could be used in different situations and would give him confidence to try other new things and believe in himself.”Parent of young person
The young people shared the preparation, creation of the food and the clearing up afterwards, along with sawing and chopping wood for the fire, making drinks for the group and participating in the tasks assigned them.
“Ecotherapy engages the young offenders in nature and the community simultaneously…(It) works particularly well at engaging young people who are failing to attend school, or who display extremely challenging behaviour in the class room. The young people learn and stay focused doing the practical work and keep calm and relaxed in the open, outdoors environment.”BHCC Youth Offending Team officer
During the time we worked with this group I was asked to submit an article on ecotherapy for young people by the British Holistic Medical Association. The article was published in the Spring Edition of the Journal of Holistic Healthcare.
I was able to base a some of my article on the current experience with the young people in our group.
The event was great. I felt particularly supported, valued and informed throughout the whole process. I enjoyed it all immensely and feel it is a wonderful community event.
Thanks to you all.”
The Centre for Ecotherapy
That’s all for now, but we’ll be announcing the music for our September event soon! They haven’t played at soup before, you have probably have met at a previous event.
Start guessing :).
There’s still time to submit a project if you fancy facing the room, and tickets are available here.
See you soon