WHO I AM......
At the age of 5 a key event happened to me which formulated a journey on which I’m still travelling.
I was told that I would be blind by my early teens and this had a profound effect on how I explored the earth, it meant that every day I was grateful I could see and be observant and taking information but it also meant that subconsciously I was training my hearing.
At night I would lie awake and teaching my ears so I could try and hear next door or what’s outside the window or listen to a plane passing.
I would also be more aware of my sonic environment, basically I was preparing myself for my eyesight to end which it never did.
However, it did leave me with a very curious way of navigating life through sound and realising the power of sound has in terms of emotions and well-being.
I followed the course of being an artist since this point and after being in the art school in the 90s I was a singer in a band called Subaqwa.
The 90s were an exceptional time for creativity and allowed me to explore new media on a different level. It also allowed me to see and interact with people from other cultures and backgrounds and taught me how to work under pressure, as a team.
I went into teaching art and design in U.K , Norway and Finland. I also met a beautiful girl called Oona from Norway and soon became a dad to my son Leon.
In 2011 we unfortunately had some sad news and my wife was diagnosed with very serious cancer.
Being a father as well at the time was very hard on a day-to-day basis to go through but it also started to make me realise the value that creativity has an attachment to well-being and resilience.
I’m happy to say that my wife survived and became all clear hence us moving to Cornwall and setting up a base here.
It’s from this point on that I was dedicated to being an artist who places community first and I set up a core mission : to help people reconnect to the sense of sound.
I want people to use sound as a tool to promote creativity and mental well-being.
My practice and approach has allowed me to work with members of the human race from all aspects of society and backgrounds and situations. From schools, hospitals, prisons, hospitals and homeless charities.
My career has been moulded by allowing the collaborative process to guide and nurture my approach in putting people first.
What I want to achieve......
Echo Point is abrand new well being programme for the Cornish Agriculture Community to foster resilience with mindful actions in daily life.
The Echo Point project will focus on providing a safe space with a solar powered sound bench which contains sounds to redirect negative thoughts into more positive ones .
This helps change both personal space and social space.
We will capture the sounds people working or living within farming communities associate with positive memories and happiness.
We will then create a soundscape which will help you to redirect negative emotions and enter a state of calm .
This sound scape will be shared across Cornwall’s agricultural communities.
Echo Point will co-produced with the Cornish farming and fishing community in collaboration with leading organisations Farming Health Hub and Fairwinds.
We want to change behaviours and attitudes around health and wellbeing in farming and reach those most in need.
Poor mental health is a widely discussed topic within the farming and fishing community with a perceived gap in support for farmers, especially in isolated rural areas in Cornwall.
The pressure of maintaining the family farm, alongside social and physical isolation, living in a close-knit community and perceived stigma, means people are reluctant to come forward and seek help.
This project will enable us to offer a product that farmers can directly engage with.
We want to be able to deliver a accessible, responsive and tailored service.
Providing farmers and fishers where they are with tools to use at the moment, they need them and built-in collaboration from an end user perspective are what we would like to pilot.
Echo Point will use sounds to influence breathing reduce agitation and build sustained resilience in Cornish Farming and Fishing communities.
HOW THE RAISED FUNDS WILL BE SPENT.......
A combination of listening synced to breathing exercises will aid to reduce anxiety and this will be incorporated onto the sound bench or post and onto QR codes, posters in shops, stickers, and resource cards.
Solar Powered Sound Bench and post and our resilience tool kits:
- Heavy duty modern street furniture Integrated solar electronics
- Modern oak
- Audio experience accessed by button
- Able to provide usage statistics
- No mains Power required
- Environmentally Friendly
- Virtually maintenance free
WHAT ECHO POINT DOES......
- Helps to try reducing the risk of self-harm and suicide
- Aid decision-making
- Breaking negative thought patterns
- Raising Nitric Oxide Levels (lowers blood pressure)
- Redirecting emotion
- Extending dwell time
- Controlling Breathing
- Improving mood
- Reframing environment and experience as motivation
The soundscape uses crowd sourced data from the farming and fishing community who have been asked to share the sounds they believe are their happiest, building:
- Community ownership
- Responsibility and Understanding
- Cross Culture Collaboration
- Safety and Grounding
- Empathetic Intergenerational Engagement
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT......
The Global Picture :
· Every year, nearly one million people die from suicide.
· Every forty seconds somebody takes their own life
· In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide.
· Suicide is among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15 to 44 years in some countries, and the second leading cause of death in the 10-24 years age group.
In Cornwall there have been between 50 and 80 deaths per year as a result of suicide or self-injury of undetermined intent since 1993.
In 2017, an estimated 45% of coastal fatalities around the coastline in the UK were believed to have been due to people taking their own lives.
These assets will be shared with the Cornish Farming and Fishing communities , communities which are under immense stress from recent issues and are effected historically by stress and depression.
Echo Point is a resilience tool kit for these communities to help them sustain good mental health in vulnerable times.
Farmers and fishermen and woman are one of the professional groups at highest risk of suicide in England and Wales, accounting for about 1% of all suicides.
“I want to say how amazing I found your project. I tried the breathing exercise on a stressful day and it really helped me to centre myself so thank you.”
“ I use it at least 3 times a week, this is at night time as I struggle to adjust to sleeping alone, even at 3am I have used it and found that though it doesn’t stop the nightmares or tears, it soothes me enough to be able to go back to sleep.”
Your support to Echo Point will help build mental health resilience for the farming and fishing communities , and this way we can give a little back to those who are the backbone to our society.