THE GOOD TIMES September 2018

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Support for young people who are grieving

How to engage vulnerable people with creative writing

The Good Times Celebrating the organisations and projects making a difference across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire

September 2018

Yama Sanneh: a participant on the equipped2succeed programme

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Welcome Welcome dear readers This edition would not have been possible without the help of everyone who has contributed – special thanks go to Claire Hanley-Öpik and Kate Partlow for their journalistic efforts. THE GOOD TIMES really is beginning to feel like a community of kindred spirits committed to making the world a better place. So what have we got in store? Well, the exceptionally sunny weather this summer has been a treat, but with wild fires rampaging in the Peaks the heatwave has provided a salutary reminder that we all have a responsibility to respond to the damaging effects of climate change. Claire Hanley-Öpik, an environmental communication's expert, shares her opinion with us. We also report on the Let's Talk About Loss project, which illustrates how even the most devastating life event can be the spur for doing something positive. We reveal how the Behind Closed Doors campaign is turning the spotlight on the shocking prevalence of food bank usage. Leonie Martin provides her Top Tips on how to engage vulnerable people with a creative activity and last but not least, we share our conversation with educationalist Beverley Burton, who explained how we can all be better ‘equipped2succeed’. I hope you enjoy reading and remember to pass it on, like and share on social media. Keep up the GOOD work! Kate Dawson, Editor

Contents p 4-5 Behind Closed Doors - an exhibition curated by the End Hunger UK campaign revealing the shocking extent of food poverty in the UK

Yama Sanneh , a participant on SCLA's equipped2 succeed programme, pictured left and on cover

P6 Spotlight on: Beverley Burton founder of the Second Chance Learning Academy (SCLA) on the meaning of success. 2

P7 Hot Topic: Charities have their work cut out ensuring climate change stays in the limelight, argues environmental communications expert Claire Hanley-Opik. p8 -9 How the untimely loss of her mother motivated Beth Rowley to support other young people who have lost a relative.

p10 Top Tips for engaging vulnerable people with a creative workshop, by creative writing facilitator Leonie Martin.

Contributors Claire Hanley-Ă–pik is a communications consultant with experience working for the Wildlife Trusts and environmental NGOs. Charities have their work cut out to keep climate change high on the government's agenda and in the public eye, she argues on p10 Kate Partlow, First-class (hons) PR and media graduate, budding journalist and avid reader. Using her writing skills for the greater good. Read her feature about the Let's Talk About Loss support network on p8

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.


Food poverty comes out from Behind Closed Doors by Kate Partlow

Florence, ©James Florence, Lane 10 , Andy shows and 10 years Huw Sandra, Nicholls with91 xxxxx some 2018wild flowers Volunteer Ashmore sews items for the charity's Boho designs range By Kate Dawson

She also set out to discover their personal stories, in order to challenge the misconceptions about food bank users and created a Stories of Us facebook page.

Nottingham based Ursula Kelly’s day job involves photographing business people and celebrities, but her latest project Stories of Us has seen her photograph people who are invisible in society – food bank users.

A collaboration with the End Hunger UK coalition ensued, enabling Ursula’s images to be incorporated into a touring exhibition called Behind Closed Doors. The exhibition also includes images of cheap food by Huw Nicholls and James Lane and words by an academic (Jon May, Queen Mary University of London). It has been designed by Jon Reeves.

Ursula explained: “I had a relative that was trying to find work and facing significant food poverty whilst negotiating the UK benefits system. I did some internet research into what was happening with people accessing benefits and to my horror I discovered there were large numbers of people who were living with extreme food insecurity. It then dawned on me that without my support, my relative would easily have slipped into the same situation."

Ursula decided to use her skills to photograph people accessing food banks. 4

Behind Closed Doors aims to highlight the scale of food poverty in the UK, whilst putting a human face to the problem. The exhibition is on show at The Nottingham Trent University on 29 September alongside the Poverty Free Nottingham event.

An image from Stories of Us © Ursula Kelly

Mara, 10 and John, 83

The exhibition is being taken to Westminster on 16 October for an event hosted by Emma Lewell-Buck MP to coincide with World Food Day.

"It's shameful that so many people are Shaun w having to resort to food banks, particularly tumble at busy times such as Christmas and the school holidays. Food insecurity needs to be addressed right away, and the first step in doing so is to introduce a way of properly measuring how many people are facing this issue in the UK", said Rachel Visit the End Hunger UK website for details of how to lobby your MP for change. Food Poverty Statistics

Florence, 10 years with xxxxx

The exhibition aims to prompt people to take action by writing to their MP asking them to lend their support to the Food Insecurity Measurement bill. This bill is asking for a routine measure of all people in the UK who go without food or worry about where their next meal is coming from. The campaign responds to the findings of a report published by End Hunger UK, entitled Fix Universal Credit, which describes how the introduction of Universal Credit has resulted in many people going hungry due to delays, errors, a lack of flexibility and adequate support. In some cases, people are worse off after being put on Universal Credit. Rachel Alcock from End Hunger UK said: “There is an average five week wait from applying for Universal Credit and receiving any money, which means that people are often still reliant on friends and family, or face getting deeper into debt. 5

In 2014, UN data showed 4.2 million people in the UK were severely food insecure; this ranked the UK as second for having the highest number of people living with severe food insecurity in Europe, after Albania. Today there are 2009 Trussell Trust and independent food banks in the UK . In 2010 there were just 78 Trussell Trust food banks. An unhealthy diet is linked with obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer and type II diabetes Diet related ill-health costs the NHS £6 billion each year. The cost of 2 litres of ASDA Smooth Orange Juice is £1.50, compared with 17p for 2 litres of ASDA Smart Price Cola It would cost between £50,000 £75,000 to accurately measure food insecurity in the UK annually.

First Taste: bridging the generational divide To find out more about Stories of Us visit

Spotlight on... Beverley Burton, founder and lead trainer at the Second Chance Learning Academy Beverley set up the social enterprise Second Chance Learning Academy (SCLA) in 2014 to support organisations who work with second chance learners – those held back by personal challenges, circumstances or environment. SCLA trains organisations to deliver the equipped2succeed programme which raises aspirations, improves learning skills and helps people be more resilient. THE GOOD TIMES spoke to Beverley about her work... 4. Who is equipped2succeed for? equipped2succeed has supported 11-16 year old girls, undergraduates, people in the community who have lost their way and middle-aged business people. We can also tailor the programme for organisations; for example, we are now delivering a bespoke programme for Chesterfield's Health and Wellbeing Board, (which is being delivered through the Monkey Park CIC).

1. What is the meaning of success for you? Success can mean different things to different people – the old adage 'health, wealth and happiness' is in most people’s meaning of success. That is financial wealth to live the life you choose, as well as wealth in terms of strong, mutually supportive relationships. For me, I’d add making a positive difference in people’s lives. 2. What are the main barriers individuals face in achieving success? It’s about having the right thinking, attitudes and behaviours; not having these always holds people back. People with the right mind-set can overcome huge barriers and enjoy success, whatever their background.

5. Your equipped2succeed programme for young women involves boxing and golf. How do these activities help people achieve in other areas of their life? Well, for example, the golf enables girls to expand their comfort zone in so many ways – new environment, new sport, new people. It gives them new found confidence and self belief - which is extremely powerful.

3. Describe how equipped2succeed enables people to overcome their personal barriers to success? equipped2succeed involves workshops that help people develop core capabilities. Participants are given the tools to think more positively; look after their energy and overall wellbeing; set and achieve goals and manage stress.

6. Many of our readers are striving for success by working around the clock for a charity. What would your advice to them be? Be DEAR (Diet – Exercise – Attitude – Rest) to yourself. You ‘ll then have the energy to be able to manage your stress, to achieve your vision, or to support those around you. 6

Visit the Second Chance Learning Academy website at

Hot topic This summer's 'Hothouse Earth' cannot be ignored Claire Hanley-Öpik, a freelance environmental feature writer and forager, describes why the recent heatwave is a wake-up call requiring not only changes at a policy level, but public recognition of the need for greater environmental protection. It was a long, hot summer. The heatwave, welcome at first, began to cause concern as the green hills became brown and wildfires on the moors raged out of control. The headlines screamed ‘Hothouse Earth’ as a paper published in scientific journal PNAS described the speed and severity of harmful environmental effects if we pass climate change tipping points. These shocking events certainly helped to get the public’s attention on the environment - the challenge now is keeping it front and centre. Environmental charities, of course, have known for some time that the climate is changing. They have amassed evidence of shifts in species and seasonal events happening earlier each year and are working tirelessly to protect our green spaces. It can feel, however, like we are constantly fighting against the tide of development which is eroding our natural world. Research also shows that access to green spaces is important to our physical and mental health. A wild landscape can also protect urban spaces from events like flooding. Not to mention the contribution our wild spaces make to the economy. 7

When the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which provides the overarching planning policy for England, was released in draft form back in March, environmental organisations were quick to point out the flaws relating to green belt land, ancient woodlands and local wildlife sites amongst other things. Lobbying by The Woodland Trust has ensured that ancient and veteran trees in England are on a par with the best of our built heritage. A Wildlife Trust petition, signed by 25,000 people, ensured that protection for Local Wildlife Sites was reinstated. The Trust’s statement said, “Taking away protection for these beautiful places, as originally proposed, would have been a disaster for wildlife.” It’s clear that charities can and do make a difference to policy at national level. They must continue to fight, and to do that they need to get their message out there to the people who will support them. One lone voice may be quiet, but 25,000 makes quite a racket! Claire Hanley-Öpik is a freelance feature writer and editor specialising in the environment and wildlife. Email :

Let's talk about loss: a support network for young people by Kate Partlow

Losing someone close to us can leave us feeling helpless and alone. Even if you're surrounded by people it can often feel as though there is nobody to turn to. Let’s Talk About Loss is a new support network for 16-30 year olds that have been bereaved. It was set up by Beth Rowland, who lost her mother to cancer in 2015.

Beth with her parents

Beth felt there was a lack of support for young people, with many charities catering more specifically to children and adults. The network offers young people a safe spaceFlorence, to open10 upyears andwith meet others in a xxxxx similar situation.

Animal care is integral to learning at Turner Farm

Let’s Talk About Loss’ monthly meet ups in Nottingham provide young people with an opportunity to meet others in a similar situation.

After her Mum passed away Beth began transcribing her feelings into a blog, which she published on Facebook after encouragement from her brother. The blog received an overwhelming response from other young people who had been bereaved and found themselves in a similar situation.

Beth explained “The meet ups are really informal. They can range from a pub quiz to a walk in the park. It’s just a group of friends who can offer advice and personal experiences of loss to one another.”

Let’s Talk About Loss offers support in a variety of forms. Young people can share their personal experiences of loss on the website, which features blogs written by Beth and other contributors. The webpage also lists a variety of ways people can chat to Beth including Facebook, Twitter and email – chosen to appeal to young people who may feel more comfortable writing their feelings than they would speaking over the 'phone.

One user of the support network described how it has helped them: "It is so helpful being around people who have a similar experience to you. Attending the Let's Talk About Loss meet ups has shown me that grieving is normal, and you are not alone."

First Taste: bridging the generational divide 8

The feedback

The next step is to register as a charity, involving more volunteers and reaching out to young people in other cities.”

Bethfrom organised a black tie ball, held at this young Nottingham’s St. person says it allNic’s church in July, which raised £4,500. These funds, along with donations to the webpage, will be used to help register Let’s Talk About Loss as a charity.

Beth shares what she has learnt from setting up Let’s Talk About Loss:

Beth speaking at the fundraising ball

1. Make sure you are supported. If anything goes wrong have people you can turn to who are ready and able to help. Don’t lose heart if things don’t go exactly as planned. It takes time to take an idea from the drawing board to reality Philsmall Pearce with donated palletes – take steps towards achieving your vision.

The feedback from this this young man says it all. Florence, 10 years with xxxxx Copyright The Florence, 10 , shows Sandra, 91 some wild flowers Children's Sleep Charity.

Animal care is integral to learning at Turner Farm

2. Reach out to other people who can help you and share your charitable purpose – having a team of people with a variety of skills is vital.

Animal care is integral to learning at Turner Farm

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for donations! People have been very generous and supportive of my cause. I’ve found that if you have a good idea, others will want to help. It is important to believe in the generosity of others.

Animal care is integral to learning Turnerup Farm The next Let's Talk About Lossatmeet will take place on Monday 24th September.

Beth said “Let’s Talk About Loss is a huge passion of mine. It has not only helped others, but helped me with my own grief. It has given me a reason to carry on and it’s amazing to see something so positive to come from something so awful.

To find out more visit


Top tips How to engage vulnerable people with a creative activity Leonie Martin is a freelance writer who also facilitates writing for wellbeing workshops. Leonie, who is based in Chesterfield, lives with a long-term condition herself and therefore knows first-hand the benefits of writing for wellbeing. Here she gives her Top Tips on how to engage a vulnerable group with a creative activity. 1. Dont allow one person to dominate discussions . Even though I work with people who may have suffered trauma or are facing serious health issues, I always treat them with empathy, rather than pity. Everybody has something to offer and it's my job to coax that out of them. 2. Delivering the sessions in a safe and comfortable space is important. Be clear about how long the session will take and when there will be a break. Anything shared in the sessions stays within the group and don’t forget the tea and biscuits! 3. Reassure people that there are no expectations and people do not necessarily have to contribute in the first session. This is a not a classroom - there’s no pass or fail.

4. Begin by warming people up with a simple prompt for discussion, such as ‘what’s your favourite cake, or musical instrument’. Then hand around a few objects which may evoke memories and feelings. It's good if they have a smell or are tactile. You can then move on to simple writing exercises, perhaps based around a fictional character from a postcard image, so that people don’t have to give too much away about themselves

5. Let people know that everything they say and write is valued. I write a group poem which incorporates snippets of what people have said in the group session. It’s wonderful to see their faces light up when I read out the poem and they recognise their contribution. It boosts their confidence and spurs them on with their own writing.

Leonie works with the public sector and charities and can support applications for grant-funding for her programme. Contact her via email: or mob: 07759587164. She is also on Twitter @leonie_martin and 10

"When you wake up in the morning, wake your forgotten and forsaken dreams up as well, wake them up like an insisting rooster!� - Mehmet Murat ildandd


Asma Shakmak , left and Mariama Faye , right who completed the equipped2succeed programme this summer

Volunteer Lynn Jagger helping to make items to sell at the next charity sale for Hope Springs.

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be” "When you wake up in the morning, wake your forgotten and forsaken ― J K Rowling dreams up as well, wake them up like an insisting rooster!” - Mehmet Murat ildandd

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