The Good Times ezine, September 2019

Page 1

Zephyr's Centre supporting those who've lost a baby or child

Top Tips: So you want to be a charity Trustee..?

South Yorkshire, Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire

The Good Times

September 2019

Welcome The charity sector, like the rest of the country, is operating in uncertain times. Brexit continues to dominate the headlines and the recent Machiavellian tactics of our foppish PM have provoked incredulity and rage, with those for and against remaining in the EU uniting to denounce his disregard for democracy. Meanwhile, millions of people across the country are living in dire poverty, reliant on food banks or worse still, homeless, and our over 65s are not getting the care they need. The NSPCC has revealed that thousands of families are living in B&Bs, disused office blocks and shipping containers in what they describe as ‘Dickensian conditions’. Many readers will be working tirelessly for and with charities to help those whose quality of life is affected by the fallout from ‘austerity’, as well as working for local government doing your best to deliver public services with limited budgets. It is within this context that I am delighted to announce that I will be providing communications training on behalf of Community Chesterfield – a lottery-funded project delivered by Derbyshire Voluntary Action and Derby University, to enrich the charity and voluntary sector locally. I am looking forward to finding out more about the organisations that are making a difference across Chesterfield and helping them to gain the skills they need to share their impact, which in turn will see them more able to access (albeit dwindling) funding and influence policy. The Brexit Civil Society Alliance has called upon Johnson to give the charity sector the same support as business in preparing for a no-deal Brexit - we are indeed facing Hard Times. For my part, I am pleased to be able to share my knowledge to help upskill the voluntary sector and to celebrate their contribution to civil society through The Good Times. Your help cascading the ezine to colleagues and friends is much appreciated. Please get in touch if you wish to have your charity or social enterprise featured, or would like to get on your soapbox about a ‘Hot Topic’. I’d love to hear from you. Be good Kate Dawson, Editor


Cover image: Creative therapy at Zephyr's Centre © Carly Williams

p 4-5 Kakou CIC: Using technology to break down barriers to music P6 Spotlight on: Tom French, Data and Evaluation Consultant 2

P7 Hot Topic: Creativity and mental health, by Bridie Squires

p8-9 Zephyr's Centre: Providing love and support to bereaved parents

p10 Top Tips: When considering becoming a charity trustee, by Jo Boardman


Tom French supports people, organisations and projects to evaluate their social impact through the collection of robust data. We put him under the spotlight on p6.

Jo Boardman has over 20 years’ experience supporting the charity sector around governance, income diversification and planning. On p10 she gives her top tips for those considering becoming a charity trustee.

Bridie Squires is Writer in Residence at Nottingham Trent University and Editor at Large, LeftLion. On p7 she shares how creative networks help keep her mental wellbeing in check.

THE GOOD TIMES is produced by Kate Dawson, a freelance communications consultant working as Well Read PR. The opinions, views and values expressed by contributors to THE GOOD TIMES are those of the authors of that content and do not necessarily represent my opinions, views or values. Nothing in the magazine constitutes advice on which you should rely. It is provided for general information purposes only. I do not accept liability for products or services offered by third parties. Links to third party websites are provided solely for your convenience. THE GOOD TIMES has not reviewed these third party websites and does not control and is not responsible for these websites or their content or availability. We therefore do not endorse or make any representations about them, or any material found on them, or any results that may be obtained from using them. If you decide to access any of the third party websites linked to THE GOOD TIMES, you do so entirely at your own risk.


Kakou: Using technology to break down barriers to music

by Kate Dawson

'Promoting the creative sciences’ is the phrase used by Ann Fomukong-Boden to describe the purpose of Kakou, the social enterprise she set up with her husband, Mark, four years ago. Kakou is Hawaiian for ‘inclusiveness’ and was chosen by Ann to reflect her passion for making music and technology accessible to all.

Having played clarinet from the age of 11 and then taught herself to play guitar, Ann played in bands and orchestras and also sang in choirs. “I wanted to become a sound engineer, but my Mum wanted me to have a more reliable career. We agreed on electronics, which can provide an entry point for sound engineering anyway!”

As a matter of fact, Ann’s interest in technology emerged through her passion for music. As a teenager, growing up in Derby, she needed to find a way to record herself playing electric guitar whilst listening to a backing track at the same time, without disturbing her mother. “I built a very basic mixer using an MP3 player and parts from an electronics parts shop. I took a lot of things apart and put them back together again,” she said.

Ann met her future husband and business partner, Mark, when they were both working at an audio equipment manufacturing company In Manchester. ©James Nicholls 2018in a lot of At theLane timeand weHuw were involved

community work; I was teaching guitar and involved in a community choir. Many people were struggling to use music technology because so much of it relies on touch screen – not great if you’re blind," explained Ann. This sparked the idea of setting up a social enterprise to develop music technology to support musicians with disabilities. “We started by consulting with disabled musicians about what technology would help. We interviewed Baluji Shrivastav of Inner Vision Orchestra, a blind Sitar player. He wanted something to interface with his braille reader, or some kind of voiceactivated technology.”

Above: Ann playing the guitar at home

Kakou became incorporated as a business in 2016 and has developed its first prototype, from the long wish list of innovations they drew up during market research. The innovation is being trialled in partnership with Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.


The instrument is a touch-sensitive device which creates electronic sounds controlled through movement. The device uses Bluetooth to transmit the music to a synthesiser with a speaker output.

Since moving into Derby University’s business incubation unit, Chesterfield, in December 2017, Kakou has grown from strength to strength, delivering regular STEM workshops in local schools and in partnership with organisations, such as Barrow Hill Roundhouse Shaun w Railway Centre. tumble “There are lots of arts and crafts workshops, but technology is viewed as a classroom activity. Our activities are designed to make science and technology fun.” said Ann.

Ann explained: “Many of the children and young people who attend Bluebell Wood have complex medical needs. This new device will give them the power to control and make their own sounds, either by hand or by attaching it to their wheelchair.”

Dr. Tim Zijlstra, Resource Centre Manager, Derby University, Chesterfield, said: “It's been wonderful to bring Kakou and Bluebell Wood together and encourage a bid for the Community Fund. As a civic University, we are passionate about making a difference to the communities we operate in and this project will hopefully inspire many people to see how innovation in technology, care and creative fit together ”

Bluebell Wood’s music therapist, Caroline Anderson, said: “This new instrument will offer a different experience for the children we support; it will show them cause and effect, using their movement to trigger the sounds. Music therapy is about helping people communicate and express their Florence, yearsand withwithout xxxxx words. We emotions, both10with welcome any new technology that can engage children and young people with music, help them to play and express their feelings.”

Ann shares shares some of what she’s learnt setting up Kakou:

4 year old Jackson tries out the prototype instrument

The wider remit of Kakou is to work with businesses and other organisations to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) to children and young people.


Get as much advice as possible. We’ve received fantastic support as part of Derby University’s Innovation Hub and Adrian Williamson, Business Innovation Manager at Chesterfield Borough Council has also been very supportive. We learnt very early on to talk about the creative side of what we do; our work to help musicians with disabilities has been a good selling point. Don’t be put off by set-backs. There will always be obstacles, but you just need to keep your eye on the goal. Don’t get disheartened and believe in what you’re doing.

To find out more visit or

Spotlight on... Tom French, Data and Evaluation Consultant Tom supports people, organisations and projects to evaluate their social impact. Through the collection of robust data they can continually improve what they do to enhance outcomes, as well as better describe the difference they make. 1. How did you end up working for the third sector and public organisations? I've always been a bit geeky... I've a degree in maths. Having tried being a teacher and then working in insurance IT, I decided that I wanted to apply my skills in the third sector. I got my first job with a social enterprise back in 2010 and it's gone from there really.

Charities try out an approach, gather feedback and then adapt their activities to have the desired outcome. They work best where the output of the project is the learning, rather than restrictive targets. 4. Tell me about Sheffield Data for Good. We hold events around particular social challenges in Sheffield, such as homelessness or social isolation, to see if we can understand something new about it. Importantly, about half of the people attending have ‘data skills’ and the other half have expertise in the particular challenge. They can ask each other questions and guide each other’s expertise to see what we can learn. The group has helped Roundabout, a youth homelessness charity, to unpick some of their own data which has helped them streamline their data collection.

2. Can you explain what you do in layman's terms? Charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises are often asked to describe why they’re needed and what they do to address that need. These organisations are experts in their field because of the conversations and experiences they have with people every day. Data modelling is about using data and statistics from freely available sources, as well as the organisations themselves, to back up that expertise and guide people in terms of where their energies may be best applied. This might be guidance towards a particular geographic area or a specific group of people. This intelligence also helps with describing things to potential funders and other stakeholders. 3. What are ‘test and learn’ projects and why are these a good thing? Test and learn projects provide an opportunity to understand what works (and what doesn’t) for a particular challenge.

5. Is there a particular book, person or philosophy that inspires you? I have been very inspired by books such as the The Spirit Level Level by Kate Pickett and Richard G. Wilkinson. More generally though, I'm inspired by the musician, Michael League of Snark Puppy. In a parallel universe I'd be a jazz musician for a living.


Find out more at Blog:

Hot topic :

Creativity and mental health

Mental health issues are common as ever. Recent research from Smart TMS says that a third of millenials are suffering from undiagnosed depression, while Mind says at least one in four people experience a mental health problem each year. Here Bridie Squires, Writer in Residence at Nottingham Trent University and Editor at Large, LeftLion, talks candidly about how she manages her own mental wellbeing. There are many examples of supportive creative organisations to get involved with in Nottingham, such as Dance4, Nottingham Contemporary, Backlit Studios, Broadway Cinema and City Arts, to name but a few.

"I’ve always been up and down when it comes to my mental health. While symptoms should always be checked with your GP, there are a few things I’ve found helpful. This is no cure-all, but I find that breathing, nutrition, movement, goals, play, sunshine, and social interaction all help me ward off anxiety and depression.

There are also a multitude of charities and organisations utilising the craft of writing to address mental health issues. Maggie’s Nottingham Creative Writing Group, for example, is based at City Hospital and offers anyone affected by cancer the chance to express themselves through the written word, as well as practical and emotional support. Nottingham Women's Centre provides support and guidance for women facing a range of challenges, and the opportunity to explore their creativity through poetry workshops to aid their wellbeing. Then there’s Miggy Angel’s Do or Die Poets; a collective who use poetry to combat drug and alcohol misuse problems, with the opportunity to share work at Speech Therapy; a monthly open mic at The Running Horse.

As a writer and poet, I believe that better mental wellbeing can be maintained through creativity when pursued in a certain way. Social interaction is key. I was part of a now-disbanded spoken-word collective based at Nottingham Playhouse Mouthy Poets. The group met weekly to explore different creative writing techniques with playful exercises, and work together towards the common goals of our bi-annual shows. Writing, as well as any form of creativity, is cathartic but it’s natural that in dragging up feelings from our bellies, we can be left feeling wobbly. In Mouthy Poets, we were able to support each other not only emotionally, but in achieving our goals when it came to writing. We also took part in physical activities and breathing exercises to get our brains moving and to promote feelings of calm.

The first step in bettering our well-being is by sharing our problems. And art is expression, after all. Together, with the organisations and individuals that make up our creative worlds, I’m certain we can help our communities to continue to thrive - in both art and mind.



Zephyr's Centre : providing love and support to bereaved parents Nobody imagines they will go to hospital to give birth and go home childless, but sadly out of every 1000 births in the UK, 4.2 are still births (ONS 2017). For new parents Carly Williams and Martin Sommerville, the unimaginable happened in December 2013 when their baby son, Zephyr, died just before coming into the world. In the following weeks Carly and Martin tried to make sense of their tragedy. Although nothing would ever replace their loss, they felt compelled to help others who had suffered in the same way.

by Kate Dawson

Within a year the Zephyr’s Appeal had been set up by the Nottingham Hospitals Charity. A former doctors’ accommodation was secured and Zephyr’s opened its doors in April 2017. Volunteers affected by the death of a child rallied around to decorate the space, which has a homely feel with sofas, plants and rugs. Drop in craft, photography and gardening sessions allow people to express themselves, socialise and help the healing process.

Florence, 10 years with xxxxx

Carly explained: “The bereavement care we received at Nottingham City Hospital was exceptional, but we found it difficult visiting the maternity ward – the place where just a few days before we’d been happy expectant parents. “It was then that we realised we needed to create somewhere which didn’t have a clinical feel, for people to receive support.” In the autumn of 2014 Carly and Martin began talking to bereaved parents and hospital bereavement staff, who agreed there was a need for a dedicated place for parents who had experienced loss. Together with other charities and support organisations they developed their vision for a centre within the hospital grounds, which would offer warmth and love to families affected by the death of a child, whenever they needed it, and not just for parents, but for siblings, grandparents, and the wider family too. 8

Craft workshops provide a therapeutic benefit © Carly Williams

Zephyr’s is open every Thursday afternoon between 1 - 3pm for anyone whose life has been touched by the loss of a pregnancy, baby or child. Zephyr’s is used by bereavement staff to meet newly bereaved parents and counselling sessions are also offered by the Laura Centre, a bereavement charity. There’s also a regular support group run by Sands, the Stillbirth and neonatal death charity.

feedback“When we started with the CarlyThe explained: from this project thereyoung was already lots of support out person says it all there; we’ve just brought it all together under one roof.”

Dr Lucy Kean, Service Lead for Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Nottingham University Hospitals, said: "Zephyr's provides a space to see families who have experienced loss or difficulty in pregnancy that is away from the maternity unit, it allows for a calm and more relaxed meeting in a neutral space. "Before this, we only had clinical areas to meet families, many of which were impersonal and sometimes just inappropriate. We are very grateful to the whole team who have enabled this to come about. We signpost families to Zephyr's all the time and wonder ever managed Florence, 10 yearshow withwe xxxxx Florence, 10 , shows Sandra, 91 some wild flowers without them." Whilst Zephyr’s provides a dedicated space where people don’t have to put on a brave face, it’s also a place for laugher and where people can take pride in their parenting. “At Zephyr’s you can talk openly about your child by their name. People often come back at special times, such as birthdays and Christmas,” added Carly. “People often presume that it’s only the Mums who sit around and talk, but everyone in a family is affected when a baby or child dies. Dads and partners are welcome at Zephyr’s too.” Since getting the Zephyr’s Centre off the ground, Carly and Martin have become parents to Sol, who’s now four year’s old. “Sol means sunshine. He’s a really happy beautiful boy,” beamed Carly “we’re so glad 9 to be parents to our two boys.”

Lottie with animal care assistant Richard Grainger Anya presenting her cheque to Carly © Eleri Tunstall]

Zephyr’s relies on the generosity of donors and fundraisers to stay afloat. One of the youngest supporters is Anya, 4, who cut off her hair in care memory of her brother,atSebastian, Animal is integral to learning Turner Farm raising an incredible £2,500 for the charity.

Carly shares some of what she’s learnt Animal care is to learningZephyr’s: at Turner Farm setting upintegral and running Get the support of all the important stakeholders early on in planning. We were amazed to get so many senior people around a table so quickly, this helped us get things moving much more easily. Don’t be afraid to ask and dream of something. 30 years ago, people didn’t talk about the death of a child, but times changed. Through our Animal care have is integral to learning at Turner Farm project we’ve created both a space and a platform to have those conversations. Involve your volunteers in championing what you do. They are your best asset.

To find out more or to donate visit

Top tips when considering becoming a charity trustee

There are over 168,000 registered charities in England and Wales, ranging from small low-profile local charities to the high-profile national and international charities. If you're considering becoming a trustee how do you know which charity to choose and what questions should you ask before getting involved?

1. Think about your own motivation before you get involved to ensure you're making the right choice. Is it a cause close to your heart, or do they need your specific skill set and experience?

2. As with any job, it is essential that you do your research. Look at the Charity Commission website and ask the existing Chair, or other current trustees, for further information or clarification about the charity if needed. You should be armed with the essential financial and legal reporting information as well as an insiders’ perspective before you commit.

3. Consider your capacity for the role. Find out if there are any strategic or operational issues, and whether there are additional sub-committee responsibilities which will require your time and attention. Also check out the term of office and think about whether you're prepared to make that length of commitment.

4. Request a Trustee induction pack from the charity - this should contain details of the role of the board, responsibilities of trustees, policies, procedures, meeting dates, business plans, financial information, governing document and copies of previous minutes. It's also worth reading the Charity Governance Code for further insights into your responsibilities as a Trustee.

5 Learn from the experience. Make sure you think about what you want to get out of the role, as well as what you can offer the charity. Being a charity trustee can provide you with numerous CPD opportunities, as well as being an integral part of the strategic team responsible for the overall health and wellbeing of the charity.

Jo has over 20 years’ experience supporting charities and social enterprises with governance, income diversification and planning and currently works all over the UK. Visit her website at: 10


Families affected by loss enjoy the therapeutic benefits of gardening at Zephyr's Centre. © Carly Williams

"When you wake up in the morning, wake your forgotten and forsaken "A garden is theup best therapy." dreams up as well, wake them likealternative an insisting rooster!” - Germaine Greer - Mehmet Murat ildandd

We hope you have enjoyed reading The Good Times. Please share and subscribe below.

Copyright © 2019 THE GOOD TIMES, All rights reserved. Address: 52 Ennerdale Crescent, Newbold, Chesterfield, S41 8HL All photographs copyright © unless specified otherwise