by jushardlow in Brixton

We did it
On 31st July 2015 we successfully raised £80 with 4 supporters in 21 days

A day of sample courses and mood-friendly food for people working with PTSD sufferers, their clients, and members of the public.

by jushardlow in Brixton

A day of sample courses and mood-friendly food for people working with PTSD sufferers, their clients, and members of the public.

WEBSITE: www.centrelondon.wix.com/taster




What is 'Centre'?

Centre is a holistic, arts-based therapy program for people dealing with PTSD caused by domestic, sexual and/or emotional violence, war/displacement and terrorist attacks. It takes its name from concepts in meditation and mindfulness, and the practice of centering oneself in order to be in the present moment and owning one’s power. The program would run in conjunction with services already underway for vulnerable people (recently/former homeless, refugees, etc.) and the “every day” person who is functional but is still struggling with PTSD on their own.

How will it work?

Centre would reach the right people via referral by social workers and therapists, and would eventually offer the opportunity for people to self-refer themselves. Centre could grow to become accessible to people within and without care systems. Services offered would comprise art, writing, body movement, meditation, nutrition, life and social skills development, and horticultural and animal therapy. The primary target to start with is people who are already receiving some type of counselling and support, but who feel that a creative outlet would serve them to manage and release what they are experiencing with their PTSD.

Why art and creative industries?

Centre is arts-based because of the organiser's own experiences in healing her PTSD through art and writing; meeting many other people in their journeys who benefitted greatly from having a creative outlet; and, reading several articles and studies pointing to arts-based therapies as being a viable way for PTSD-sufferers to heal. There is still so much research to be done, and Centre could hopefully contribute to the body of research based in London and elsewhere in the UK.

Life Skills Development

Centre would help people with PTSD by also offering life skills development, which is something that could go hand in hand with managing the anxiety and emotions they work through in therapy and at Centre. For both the arts therapies and life skills components, Centre would be staffed by people already working as instructors in the respective services offered, and who have the correct training for working with people who are dealing with PTSD. Centre would be a “mobile program” at first, taking place weekly at different organisations in Central and Greater London, until there is a permanent space set up via consistent funding and donations.

Why are you holding a Taster Day and how will it be organised?

Those invited to the taster day will largely be those who are already working directly with members of the target groups (“service workers”), and will also have interested members of the general public mixed in. The purpose of the taster is to gauge interest among service workers and potential funding bodies. This will help to further refine Centre as a concept and a program ahead of applying for further funding and registering as a charity in the UK.

Instructors and artists invited to present at the taster will also have experience or currently work with the target group. Each class/segment lasts approximately 35-40 minutes:

BODY MOVEMENT with Sissy Lykou. Sissy is a senior lecturer on the MA in Dance Movement psychotherapy at Edge Hill University and visiting lecturer on the PsychD in Psychotherapeutic and Counselling Psychology at the University of Surrey. She is also the co-ordinator (with Susan Scarth - ‘Moving Forth’) of the CPD training in Dance Movement Psychotherapy in Romania, and has run CPD trainings for the Greek Association for Dance Therapists and for the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy in the UK.

WRITING with Melanie Cox. Melanie has tried with Spectrum, The Institue for Art Therapy and Education, and City Lit.  She works with clients from a broad range of backgrounds, on many issues covering bereavement, stress and self esteem.  


WOMEN'S HEALTH with Dr Neha Pathak. Neha is an Academic Clinical Fellow from Queen Mary University of London, was last year awarded the ‘Ultimate Game Changer’ prize at the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Awards. 

NUTRITION with Elizabeth Montgomery Dip NN MBANT NTCC. Elizabeth is a UK based leading holistic nutritionist, health writer and speaker. She will be running a workshop on how what we eat affects our mood. 

OWNING PERSONAL POWER - with situation exercises for those with anxiety

ART - a hands-on creative session to look at painting and drawing as therapy.

MINDFULNESS - a discussion about how meditation and mindfulness can ease PTSD symptoms, followed by a short in-session guided meditation

FEEDBACK SESSION - what worked, what didn't, questions and notes. 

Each segment would have 5-10 minutes free time in between.


What’s in the goody bag?

The bag is intended as both a thank you for coming to the Taster, and as something of a starter kit to let interested people practice the things they learned during the day. There’ll be a notebook and pen for journaling and expressive writing, herbal tea samples for energy, focus and calm, sample recipes for preparing mood-friendly foods at home (meat, veg, vegan, smoothie and “picnic” options), and a short informational brochure about Centre and what I hope for it to become.

What will you do with the funds received?

Funds received go toward paying for hiring Brixton East for the day, covering travel for presenters coming from outside London, paying for the caterers, materials and decorations. Further funds left over and additional funds received will go toward promotion and website management, and covering a percentage of travel for particularly exceptional instructors interested in coming to do a talk or course but who live outside the UK.


£350 hire venue (counting £75 deposit)
£200 catering
£200 booklets, bags and art materials 
£150 furniture hire 
£50 tea and coffee, water package hire. 
£300 transport for speakers 
£200 PA system and projector for use at the day
£50 web development for Centre projects
£500 materials for the day, flyers, promotion, investment in future Centre projects
There will be tea and coffee available during the day, as well as vegan lunch provided by Brixton Village eateries. 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Invitation to Centre launch day & thank you on page

£20 or more

£20 Reward

Invitation to Centre taster day & free tea samples in the post

£50 or more

£50 Reward

Invitation to Centre launch day, free snack pot and recipe in the post

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Invitation to Centre taster day, free one session Yoga voucher at London gym.

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