Our News

There are so many wonderful things that happen at Motivated Minds, and here are just a selection of good news stories of the amazing work that takes place in our community. 

 

Motivated-Minds

   Motivated Minds are a lifelong wellbeing provider who believe in supporting people of all ages and giving them various tools to live healthier and happier lives.  

First day of summer planting party a huge success despite the drizzle.

We are excited to say that we have teamed up with Peabody Housing Association to develop an under-used space in Laindon and create a beautiful community garden for local families to enjoy!

On Monday we hosted a Planting Party at King Edward Community Centre on King Edward Road in Laindon to celebrate the first day of summer, and were thrilled that the rain didn’t drive away our green fingered volunteers. 

Lisa Swallow, Business Development Lead at Motivated Minds said “this is such an exciting venture and we are thrilled to be working with Peabody who are striving to create meaningful, accessible open spaces across the borough.”

She continued “we have some ambitious plans for this community garden but will be relying on volunteers and donations to make our vision a reality. We are launching a new gardening group on a Monday afternoon soon and will be taking members through a horticultural pathway to teach and implement basic gardening skills that ultimately will drive forward the development.”

She added “Wellbeing is always at the heart of our work at Motivated Minds and gardening has amazing therapeutic benefits; we can’t wait to get started!”

The Planting Party was enjoyed by volunteers of all ages who came together to dig over some soil and plant the summer corner to brighten the space up and Peabody provided refreshments for all the guests from the community centre on site which offered some welcome respite from the rain. 

To find out more about the community garden project contact Lisa on lisa@motivated-minds.co.uk or search for King Edward Community Garden on Facebook. 

June 22nd 2021
<p><a href="https://motivatedminds.tumblr.com/post/651434919945469952/we-are-excited-to-have-teamed-up-with-peabody" class="tumblr_blog">motivatedminds</a>:</p><blockquote><p>We are excited to have teamed up with Peabody Housing to develop a new community garden in Laindon, and are inviting locals to pop by for a FREE Community Seed Planting Workshop next Monday, 24th May 2021.</p><p>The event will take place in the garden behind King Edward Community Centre, on King Edward Road, and is open to everyone. Free refreshments will be provided and guests will be able to plant a seed to take home to grow and find out more about how to get involved.</p><p>Lisa Swallow, Business Development Lead at Motivated Minds said, “we are so excited to be working with Peabody to develop this under-used space and create a wonderfully vibrant outdoor area for the community. We have already had some vegetable planters built by a volunteer and have a new fruit tree too!”</p><p>She continued “We are in the process of setting up a new weekly gardening group and are keen to hear from green-fingered volunteers who might like to lead our ‘Gardening Gang’, as well as anyone that is keen to learn about basic horticulture and help develop the site.”</p><p>For more information, get in touch with Lisa at <a href="mailto:lisa@motivated-minds.co.uk">lisa@motivated-minds.co.uk</a> or find King Edward Community Garden on Facebook.

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motivatedminds:

We are excited to have teamed up with Peabody Housing to develop a new community garden in Laindon, and are inviting locals to pop by for a FREE Community Seed Planting Workshop next Monday, 24th May 2021.

The event will take place in the garden behind King Edward Community Centre, on King Edward Road, and is open to everyone. Free refreshments will be provided and guests will be able to plant a seed to take home to grow and find out more about how to get involved.

Lisa Swallow, Business Development Lead at Motivated Minds said, “we are so excited to be working with Peabody to develop this under-used space and create a wonderfully vibrant outdoor area for the community. We have already had some vegetable planters built by a volunteer and have a new fruit tree too!”

She continued “We are in the process of setting up a new weekly gardening group and are keen to hear from green-fingered volunteers who might like to lead our ‘Gardening Gang’, as well as anyone that is keen to learn about basic horticulture and help develop the site.”

For more information, get in touch with Lisa at lisa@motivated-minds.co.uk or find King Edward Community Garden on Facebook.

May 17th 2021
<p>We are excited to have teamed up with Peabody Housing to develop a new community garden in Laindon, and are inviting locals to pop by for a FREE Community Seed Planting Workshop next Monday, 24th May 2021.</p><p>The event will take place in the garden behind King Edward Community Centre, on King Edward Road, and is open to everyone. Free refreshments will be provided and guests will be able to plant a seed to take home to grow and find out more about how to get involved.</p><p>Lisa Swallow, Business Development Lead at Motivated Minds said, “we are so excited to be working with Peabody to develop this under-used space and create a wonderfully vibrant outdoor area for the community. We have already had some vegetable planters built by a volunteer and have a new fruit tree too!”</p><p>She continued “We are in the process of setting up a new weekly gardening group and are keen to hear from green-fingered volunteers who might like to lead our ‘Gardening Gang’, as well as anyone that is keen to learn about basic horticulture and help develop the site.”</p><p>For more information, get in touch with Lisa at <a href="mailto:lisa@motivated-minds.co.uk">lisa@motivated-minds.co.uk</a> or find King Edward Community Garden on Facebook.

<br/></p>

We are excited to have teamed up with Peabody Housing to develop a new community garden in Laindon, and are inviting locals to pop by for a FREE Community Seed Planting Workshop next Monday, 24th May 2021.

The event will take place in the garden behind King Edward Community Centre, on King Edward Road, and is open to everyone. Free refreshments will be provided and guests will be able to plant a seed to take home to grow and find out more about how to get involved.

Lisa Swallow, Business Development Lead at Motivated Minds said, “we are so excited to be working with Peabody to develop this under-used space and create a wonderfully vibrant outdoor area for the community. We have already had some vegetable planters built by a volunteer and have a new fruit tree too!”

She continued “We are in the process of setting up a new weekly gardening group and are keen to hear from green-fingered volunteers who might like to lead our ‘Gardening Gang’, as well as anyone that is keen to learn about basic horticulture and help develop the site.”

For more information, get in touch with Lisa at lisa@motivated-minds.co.uk or find King Edward Community Garden on Facebook.

May 17th 2021

Top tips to help you cope with Lockdown 2.0

1) Try to keep to a routine

Get up at the same time each morning and go to bed at the same time each night. This is important because we generally function better with routine and structure in our lives. If the world around us is chaotic we can feel out of control – so setting a routine will help to counteract that.

2) Learn something new…

Most people learnt to make banana bread in the first lockdown. For some reason it was very popular. So why not learn to cook something different this time? You could learn to cook a new evening meal or get ahead and find some Christmas treats to make early. You could even incorporate this into a random act of kindness and deliver a treat to someone (in a socially distanced way of course).

3) Get active

Many of us know the importance of daily exercise. This lockdown is different because you are allowed to meet a friend for a walk, so why not reach out and meet a friend for a stroll? You’ll get some exercise, fresh air and companionship all at the same time!

Not a fan of walking? No problem! Many people who offer classes are putting them online – so now that we all know what we are doing with Zoom you can find a class to suit you and work out from home!


4) Stay connected 

We may not be able to see our friends and loved ones in person, but we can keep in contact by skype, telephone, Facetime or Zoom. They aren’t quite as daunting as you may think, so make it your mission to let technology connect you and get back in touch with the people that matter most. Although it isn’t the same as being together, it is the next best thing. You could organise a
games night? Bingo works well over Zoom – one of team members said they had a game of Pictionary online one time! Be creative, what have you got to lose?

5) Limit how much news you watch and how much you go on social media. 

If you find it depressing to keep on watching the news – don’t do it. If you go on social media just skip over the posts that make you feel down. If you are reading this you are likely to already be on #TeamMotivated so check out the other positive posts that we have.

6) Schedule in some quality time

If you are isolating within a household use this time to have some quality time
together. Be it a games night, movie night or music night. You know the things that you all enjoy doing, but never have time to do together. Well, now is your
opportunity. After the first lockdown you will have a much better idea of what
works within your household. But remember that it is equally as important is to
have some space on your own. This will help stop you from getting on each other’s nerves!

Be aware that this can be a flashpoint for relationships – so try to be kind to each other and have patience. No one wants life to be like this, but if we all want to come out of it the other side it has to be this way for a while. Give each other space when required and support when that is needed.

November 13th 2020

A British Citizen Award for our Managing Director, Carla.

We are incredibly proud to announce that our Managing Director, Carla Andrews, is to be presented with a British Citizen Award, an honour in recognition of her hard work and commitment to the health and wellbeing of others. 

Carla founded Motivated Minds in 2010 to challenge the stigma attached to mental health, and provide meaningful tools and guidance to empower local people to create positive change in their lives. However, Motivated Minds wasn’t always the successful non-profit business you see today; Carla has fought through years of hardship to build a vibrant, sustainable service supporting thousands of local people along the way.

It is her compassion and determination that drives Motivated Minds forward enhancing the lives of those we work with and this recognition is very gratefully received.

July 16th 2020

We are excited to say that we have moved into our new Happy Hub in Eastgate Shopping Centre, Basildon! We are on the look out for volunteers to help run the Hub and coordinate wellbeing activities, and skilled professionals to help renovate the space ready for use too!

Our Managing Director, Carla, said “our amazing team of volunteers have done an incredible job of cleaning, and painting the space, but with some more profound work still needed, we are looking for skilled professionals that might be able to lend a hand, or businesses that can donate items for the Hub.”

She continued “We have already had an amazing offer for support to install a new kitchen which we hope will go through, but with so much still to do we would like to invite tradesmen to pop in and get involved in our wonderful community project”

The unit that was previously occupied by Trespass, an outdoor clothing store, is being transformed into our new Basildon Happy Hub and will be open for wellbeing activities such as meditation, positive mental health courses and youth support. There will be private counselling rooms available, a community cafe area, and an upstairs conference space for courses and networking events, but it is first in need of a face lift.

As well as volunteer tradesmen we are looking for general help to run the shop and coordinate wellbeing activities.

If you are interested in volunteering call Carla on 07846 209846 or email carla@motivated-minds.co.uk. If you would like to make a donation to support our new Happy Hub visit: https://localgiving.org/charity/motivatedminds/project/HAPPYhub/

July 9th 2020

Men’s Health Week 2020

Men’s Health Week is celebrated annually during the week leading up to Father’s Day to raise awareness of health issues that predominantly affect men, and this year the focus is around managing men’s mental health during Covid-19. 

This year’s campaign comes at a time where many are struggling from social isolation, and a complete break in routine, and we want men to know that their mental health really matters, especially in times of crisis!

Male suicide is being described as a ‘silent epidemic’ and is the highest cause of the death in men under 45, and Carla Andrews, our Managing Director, said mental health services must become more appealing to men if they are to successful engage with them and save lives.

She continued “men and women cope with stress very differently, and a lot of traditional 'talking therapies’ are naturally suited more to women who often feel more comfortable opening up about their mental health.”

She added “We have specific services at Motivated Minds like our MEN'd programme that appeals more to men, and creates a supportive working environment, and we want men to know they don’t have to suffer in silence.”

To commemorate Men’s Health Week, we sent three large HAPPY Boxes for 150 workers at Basildon Borough Council to remind the male workforce that their mental health matters. Each box contained fruit, chocolate treats and Coronavirus Wellness Journals full of practical tips to manage stress and anxiety during uncertain times. 

If you would like to order a workplace wellness delivery you can get in touch with Carla at Motivated Minds on 07846 209 846, or email carla@motivated-minds.co.uk

June 19th 2020

Computers donated to help families home-school

With one in three children owning their own tablet, online learning platforms are getting more popular and schools have been relying on them throughout the lockdown to help parents home school. However, with 4 million children predicted to be living in poverty, the assumption that a child has access to a tablet or laptop to work from is a big one!

At Motivated Minds we are supporting the most vulnerable members of the community during these trying times and are supporting countless families through our emergency food bank, and we were elated to receive a donation of computers from Clear Thinking IT for families that need them.

Managing Director, Carla Andrews said “ Technology is a wonderful way for children to stay connected and access important school lessons, and everyone should have the opportunity to participate in meaningful home-schooling during the current lockdown. When we received a call to say that seven refurbished computers were being donated, we were over the moon, as we know that for some, the purchase of such equipment is impossible”.

Carla continued “These computers have gone to very worthy homes and have made the lockdown a little less stressful for those families, and we cannot express our gratitude enough for this kind donation.”

The Motivated Minds emergency food bank in Laindon is at King Edward Community Centre, and is open on Monday, Wednesday from 3pm - 6pm. For more information call Carla on 07846 209846, or visit www.motivated-minds.co.uk.

June 11th 2020

“...it has changed my life.”

Losing a spouse is devastating, but when Lindsey lost her Husband last year after just a short illness, her world understandably crumbled. She had suffered with PTSD and anxiety for 14 years (which followed trauma in her mid 20’s) and just like the perfect storm, her health erupted into an inconceivable crisis that left her suicidal and at the lowest point in her life. 

Suicide was responsible for the death of 6,507 people in UK in 2018, and as Lindsey looks back on a time that could have seen her life reduced to just another statistic, she reflects on what she has learned with her newly found passion for life. She said “I understand that I may still have dark days, and I need to keep myself safe during these times and remember that tomorrow is another day.”

But Lindsey’s journey away from death’s door hasn’t been easy. After an 8 weeks stay at Basildon Mental Health Unit she was diagnosed with Clinical Depression and discharged after making ‘sufficient progress’, but she had to return to her matrimonial home with very little support around her and was still suffering intensely with her mental health and isolation. 

She recalls “Following my discharge from the unit I was assigned a Care Worker and was able to move back to my home where Paul and I lived, but with no family around me I continued to struggle with negative thoughts and finding a purpose in living.”

She continued “I was given a leaflet about Motivated Minds and the Happy Hub based in Basildon, and after 3 weeks I found the courage to visit.  This was very stressful for me but the best decision I made as it has changed my life.”

Since visiting the shop and meeting the team, Lindsey hasn’t looked back. She is now a valued volunteer helping countless other people on their journey through recovery.  She added “Motivated Minds have given me a purpose to live, given me the opportunity to rebuild my confidence and find out who I am, and motivated me to stay active too”

Carla Andrews, Managing Director said “Volunteering is such a great way of rebuilding your life after a stumble, but Lindsey has overcome so much more than just that, she has built herself up from rock bottom and is an absolute inspiration to the people we support.”

Carla continued, “for Lindsey, our Happy Hub is a safe space that helped her recovery and has given her back her fighting spirit, but for us she is a vital piece of our puzzle and gives real hope to those in a dark place. She is committed, hard working, and a wonderful character bringing joy to our Hub. That’s the beauty of volunteering, everyone benefits, and the positive ripples it creates changes lives!”

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering and takes place every year between 1-7th June. If you would like to volunteer with Motivated Minds get in touch with Carla on 07846 209846. From tradesmen to help renovate their new Happy Hub in Eastgate, to volunteer counsellors, and Walk 4 Wellness leaders, they have a role for everyone.

June 4th 2020

“When someone says 'Jo what you said has really helped me', it still astonishes me”

As well as the emotional challenges that raising a family brings, stay at home Mum, Jo, found herself needing to overcome an unhealthy dependency on alcohol, but with 24% of adults in England and Scotland regularly drinking over the recommended guidelines, Jo wasn’t alone. She recognised that she needed to take control of the problem before it completely took control of her, and after receiving help from several agencies she completely turned her life around.

However her journey had left her feeling battered and bruised and she admits feeling like her mental health took a hit from years of turmoil. Whilst feeling more stable, she soon found herself in a mundane cycle of school runs, housework and food preparation and now with a clear head, her sobriety left her with a thirst for life.

Whilst research suggests that stay at home parents are more likely to report depression than their employed counterparts, finding work that fits in around childcare can be problematic, and that’s why Jo decided to look for a voluntary role that would complement her family arrangements, not challenge them, and help her to finally move away from her demons.

She said “I had worked up to being 4 years sober when I decided I wanted more for myself so I hunted out some volunteer work. I searched through various organisations and came across Motivated Minds, I thought ‘brilliant that’s a bit of me’ especially considering they were offering all the help I had just been receiving and more.”

She recalls “I was so nervous on my first day, I could only muster up the courage to serve teas and coffees to the staff members, but slowly I took on extra work.”
Despite her evolving role, there was still one thing that Jo couldn’t do, and that was drive. But over time it became increasingly apparent that this was a much needed role, so she saved up enough money to complete an intensive week long course and took her theory test too. She failed her first theory but didn’t let it get her down, she said “I had been trying to learn to drive since I was 18, but this time I had a real purpose and motivation to try again as I knew passing my test would make a huge difference to my role at Motivated Minds.”

Jo soon passed her theory and practical test and to this day being a volunteer driver is proving vital to Motivated Minds as she currently collects food donations for their food bank at least twice a week. 

But driving is just one of the many personal goals that Jo has achieved since volunteering at Motivated Minds. In 2018 she joined the team in Wales to climb Mount Snowdon after months of training and emotionally preparing for such a big challenge. She said “Climbing that mountain was the most physically and mentally challenging thing I had been through (apart from getting sober). Climbing this mountain was more than just walking up a hill for me, it was the most special, amazing, liberating feeling standing at the top of the mountain….AMAZING !!”

After the challenge Jo returned to Essex with a new sense of confidence and pride which has since enabled her to participate in long distance learning. Despite 'failing’ school, she has now completed a Level 3 in Mental Health and Level 2 in Understanding Autism, Challenging Behaviour and Mentoring, which has not only helped within her voluntary role, but because both her children are autistic, she has grown as a parent too which has had a positive impact on her home life. 

Not content with all that she had achieved, the sky really was the limit as Jo made the bold decision to take on a skydive raising over £200 for Motivated Minds whilst falling fearlessly from a great height! Carla Andrews, Managing Director of Motivated Minds said “Jo has made a spectacular transition from stay at home Mum shackled to modern day unhealthy coping strategies, to a courageous individual inspiring others to reach new heights.”

She continued “not only am I incredibly grateful to Jo for her hard work and dedication but I’m very proud to have had the privilege of being part of her journey. At Motivated Minds we want to see people overcome barriers and achieve great things, and Jo has done this in abundance. She is a real inspiration, and her journey has only just begun!”.

Jo now leads a weekly support group called 'A Cup Of Kindness’ which is followed by a craft class delivered by her Mum who is always there for moral support - which Jo admits helps a lot with her anxiety. She said “I get a lot from helping and relating to others, I have been there so I know how it feels and I want to be a wellbeing champion who whole-heartedly believes in people.”
She added “I still to this day find it strange when someone says 'Jo what you said has really helped me’, it still astonishes me.”

Carla concluded “Jo has been at Motivated Minds for nearly 3 years and has taken her voluntary role by storm. While some give a little, Jo has given everything, and this has transformed her life. All we can do is provide opportunities for our team to grow, develop, and meet new people along the way, it is Jo’s passion and drive that has led her to get the most from volunteering with us, and we look forward to more life changing successes over the coming years.”

Jo added “I owe a lot to Carla for seeing so much potential in me, she sees more than just my diagnoses, and sees beyond my past, she has always just treated me with kindness and respect. She helped me realise that I have the tools, I just needed the help to find them and to be shown the ability to use them and I haven’t stopped since”

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering and takes place every year between 1-7th June. If you would like to volunteer with Motivated Minds get in touch with Carla on 07846 209846. From tradesmen to help renovate their new Happy Hub in Eastgate, to volunteer counsellors, and Walk 4 Wellness leaders, they have a role for everyone.

June 1st 2020

Life After Lockdown

It’s been 9 weeks since Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown and just as light appears at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel, it seems that the positive news is curiously having a detrimental effect on people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Although the UK watched on for weeks as other countries tackled the pandemic ahead of us, nothing could quite prepare us for the harsh reality of a national lockdown. What followed Boris’ announcement on the 23rd March was weeks of fear, anxiety, and a drastic change to life as we knew it. 

Schools closed, businesses closed unless they were deemed as ‘essential’, shopping was rationed, and homes were on lockdown only leaving for an hours exercise per day. 

We missed birthdays, funerals, and stood on our doorsteps in solidarity at 8pm every Thursday to thank our keyworkers who were keeping the UK afloat. We always knew it wouldn’t last, yet the fear of returning to 'normality’ seems to be filling people with more dread than the news of the lockdown itself! But after weeks of adjusting to a new 'safer’ way of living, is it any surprise?

Any kind of withdrawal or isolation is likely to result in a loss of confidence as we become unfamiliar with what once was the norm. Weeks of watching how the virus (that has now been attributed to over £37k deaths in the UK) can be avoided by staying safe at home has been entirely flipped upside down as we venture back out supposedly safe in the knowledge that there is now room in hospital should we fall sick. 

Whilst inevitable, this transition for many is daunting and playing havoc with anxiety levels. Whilst some are flocking to open spaces to enjoy the outside for the first time since the social restrictions were in place, others stay safe behind closed doors too terrified to undo the good that has taken place so far. Whilst the journey towards life after lockdown will be unique for everyone, one thing we can agree on is that we must all somehow take a step in the right direction.

Photo credit: Your Southend News and Media Website

Because some have been seriously affected by the pandemic, whilst others may have found working from home and enjoying a slower pace of life a welcome change, we want to bridge the gap and ensure everyone transitions safely. To do this, our Therapeutic Lead, Sarah, has devised a short, snappy introduction to Managing Anxiety that she will be delivering online next month to help anyone feeling overwhelmed about the post lockdown transition. This free 3-week course will take attendees through coping strategies, and techniques to combat anxiety and improve wellbeing.

Our first course has already had a great response, but if you could benefit from support for your anxiety, or you know someone who could, please do get in touch. We have a handy Coronavirus Wellness Journal available too which also has handy hints to keeping safe and well during the current climate. 

However quickly you get to life after lockdown, however bumpy your path is, we are here to make it that little but smoother.

May 26th 2020

Support from the One Green Bottle Bikers is a ‘Triumph’

We have been overwhelmed by the camaraderie of local motorbike group, One Green Bottle Bikers, who are now helping us to deliver food parcels to vulnerable residents across the Basildon Borough. 

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The One Green Bottle Bikers are  a group of friends that share a love for motorbikes and usually meet in Battlesbridge, Essex. However, due to the lockdown they are putting their social circle and bikes to great use by being emergency Coronavirus Crisis Volunteers for Motivated Minds.

Biker friends Mandi and Sean first suggested the idea to fellow riders after reading how the Bike Shed Motorcycle Club in London mobilised their community into a volunteer rider’s group, to provide free courier-style services to support the fight against Covid-19. The Bike Shed partnered up with Team Rubicon UK, the disaster response unit, and Gophr Couriers to recruit hundreds of motorcycle volunteers nationally to get PPE, vital medical equipment, food and much more out to those most in need.

However, with most of the work being based around London these kind-hearted bikers wanted to volunteer locally and help the community they care so very much about. 

Mandi explained “We wanted to share our passion and help the community and this is a great way to do that.”

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She added “We get to go out on our bikes, doing what we love, but helping out at the same time!”

Carla Andrews, Managing Director at Motivated Minds said “this kind of support means the world to us and those we are supporting. What a wonderful way to have emergency supplies delivered, I can only imagine the smiles on people’s faces as their shopping and medication turns up at the hands of such iconic community characters.”

She added “this fantastic biker movement helps those feeling lonely and isolated during the lockdown to know they are not alone. We’re all in it together, and our biker volunteers are helping us stay connected with those most at risk, and safeguard some of the most vulnerable people in our community too.”

If you would like to join the fight against Covid-19, you can make a donation to help here, or to get in touch with Carla call 07846 209846 or email carla@motivated.minds.co.uk.

May 13th 2020

Guest blog from Wellness Advocate, Christina Barter.

You may not be able to control what is happening at the moment, but you can learn to control your emotional response. 

 I have been a Wellness Advocate for over 5 years now and have found an array of natural ways to take control of  emotions, improve mental wellbeing, and lead a calmer, happier life. From exploring the use of essential oils and the vast health benefits they bring, to practicing Tai Chi, yoga and even Indian Head Massage, it is important to me that I reach out and help people build a more natural and positive lifestyle. 

I am a Mum to six wonderful children, but being a parent can be stressful so I know all too well how daily life can take its toll on your wellbeing. But with only 43% of people suffering from stress and anxiety utilizing alternative therapy I often ask myself what stops people getting additional support? 

 It’s no secret that lavender can be calming and aid sleep; manufacturers have been adding it to cushions, and microwavable teddies, to bring comfort to the consumer for years! But what if you had the knowledge to be able to use essential oils in all aspects of your life? From a zesty lemon mood boost when you’re feeling low, to a peppermint pick me up when you’re feeling tired, essential oils have a wide range of health benefits. PLUS they can be a great addition to any home, who doesn’t like fresh fragrant linen for example? 

I hold free weekly online classes and can help you to know your Ylang-Ylang from your Jasmine, and really understand how to use essential oils meaningfully and of course, safely. Many people can be skeptical about alternative therapies, but the proof as they say is in the pudding. So join me on a Tuesday night and have a taste and prepare yourself for an array of immediate health benefits! 

You will find my Facebook group here and join in with my free weekly classes too!

Yours in health and wellbeing, 

Christina.

May 11th 2020

We’re stronger together

While news circulates that fast food chains and pubs consider re-opening their doors, work in Essex to ensure local families have access to essential food continues because for many, the Coronavirus has caused additional financial hardship making everyday food worryingly out of reach.

The UK economy is fragile with a drop in sales and furloughed workforces leaving businesses short, but this hasn’t stopped them doing what they can to help keep people safe and well during the pandemic. With vulnerable people self isolating, and under-privileged families struggling for income, the support from local businesses is proving to be a life-line and really helping us to support more and more people every day.

We have been overwhelmed by the support and generosity of our local businesses and would like to extend our thanks to our community partners too. Our volunteers are working hard to help people in crisis, but this would not be possible without the phenomenal support we have received.
Carla Andrews, Managing Director of Motivated Minds said “You can measure the strength of a community when a crisis hits, and we have seen remarkable unity in the Basildon Borough.”

She added, “from food donations from Asda and Tesco, to financial support from Essex Association of local councils (CIF) and Essex Community Foundation to name just a couple, it all helps us continue our work within the community, and proves that we are stronger together.”

Our new Motivated Minds emergency foodbank in Laindon has now supported over 150 households since it launched at the beginning of April and we have supported 141 people with food parcels and medication, but without ongoing community partnerships, this wouldn’t have been possible. We are incredibly grateful to our volunteers and supporters for their continued support.

To find out how you can support Motivated Minds, contact Carla on 07846 209 846 or email carla@motivated-minds.co.uk. 

May 7th 2020

Motivated Minds recognised as a valued Royal Society for Public Health partner

We are thrilled to announce that we have been recognised as a valued partner of the Royal Society for Public Health.

This news follows a nomination for ‘Health on the High Street Award’ last year where we were runners up in a campaign to recognise work being done to make our high streets more health promoting places. 

Our HAPPY Hub in the heart of Basildon may be temporarily closed, but we are working hard to ensure that we are still engaging with our community throughout this lockdown, and this recognition has come at a wonderful time for our staff and volunteers working on the front line.

Our team are currently responding to the crisis with free practical and emotional support for hundreds of people in the Basildon Borough, and they will continue to do so while it is needed. We have set up a new emergency food bank already reaching out to over 150 households, and have around 400 volunteers supporting people with shopping and medication needs. 

But at Motivated Minds we have a positive attitude to change and are already looking at ways we can develop our existing services to continue supporting people long after the Coronavirus has gone. 

Our Managing Director, Carla Andrews, said “We are thrilled to have received recognition from the RSPH and will continue to work hard to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the people in our community. Right now we are having to live very much in the moment and respond to the current crisis, but we will ensure that there is also ongoing support available to help our community adjust over the coming months.”

 "We are calling this next step 'post traumatic growth’ as it is an opportunity to build on what has happened, and make positive change as a result. From crisis, through to recovery, we will be there to support our community take the steps needed to rebuild itself and build a better future.“

She added "We are keen to hear from Universities and research parties that might want to support us as we explore the effects that positive psychology can have on strengthening our communities post pandemic; not only will this give us vast learning opportunities to improve crisis management, but it will also allow us to ensure that wellbeing provision develops with our evolving community needs.”

If you need support, or would like to get involved in the work we are doing, contact Carla at carla@motivated-minds.co.uk.

May 1st 2020

Get Motivated, and Get Moving with Motivated Minds

We are so excited to be hosting a free 2 month challenge called ’Get Motivated and Get Moving with Motivated Minds’ and encourage you, your friends and your family to all get involved to make the next two months a positive time. 

Our HAPPY Hub in the Eastgate Shopping Centre, Basildon may be closed, but we have a virtual network that can connect us all and give us that little boost and encouragement we may need right now.

It has been a tough month for everyone, and the pandemic looks set to continue for the weeks ahead, so focusing on your wellbeing is vital right now.

Rather than getting engrossed in the news, we want people to step outside in the fresh air and take a look at all the positivity around us. With windows plastered with rainbows, neighbours sharing a weekly applause for our brave keyworkers, and schools making wellbeing calls to their pupils, there is more to Covid-19 than just negativity.

Exercise is a vital part of your wellbeing and will help to boost your mood, and decrease stress levels, so join our challenge and get motivated and active with Motivated Minds.

The Motivated Minds ‘Get Motivated and Get Moving’ challenge is free for everyone. To find out more, email carla@motivated-minds.co.uk or call 07846 209 846

Motivated Team Member, Lisa, gets stuck in to the challenge with her family.

April 30th 2020

She. A story of gratitude.

She asked me for the time, “midday” I softly said, and with a sigh, she grunted, “oh no! Only 10 hours until bed!”

Intrigued I asked what she had planned for the day ahead, ‘cos I was tired and couldn’t wait for the safety of my bed!

“I lost a friend a year ago before her time was here, I promised not a day I’d waste, and it’s been my favourite year!”

“But madam” I interrupted “that’s all well and good, but we all need to rest sometimes, your friend would have understood”

“There’s just so much to do and see” she said with a little haste. “Even the days I’m tired, I make sure it’s a not a waste”

“If I can’t leave my bed, I play a long forgotten song, and if it’s raining out I look for rainbows, as the sun can’t stay away too long” 🌈

“Enjoying life is easy, when you’re thankful for the sun, and when a morning song from a nesting sparrow, makes you sing along”

“Or when you’re counting out your pennies, and you haven’t got that much, but then someone kind holds your hand, and you feel the warmth of their touch”

She changed my life that lady, I think of her everyday. I look for the good, I try real hard, and all that I can say…

Some days are harder than others, some days can be real tough, but everyday I look for the good and fill my world with love ❤️

April 28th 2020

One month in lockdown with Motivated Minds…

It’s been one month since the UK went into lockdown and we have seen an amazing transformation in the way we work. From video conferencing to telephone counselling, lockdown hasn’t stop us reaching out to those that need support with their wellbeing.

Our HAPPY Hub in Eastgate shopping centre may be temporarily closed, but our team have been busy spreading cheer across the borough and we are overwhelmed by the response.

At the beginning of April our volunteers pulled together to open a brand new food bank in Laindon after discovering that it is the only town in the Basildon Borough to not have such a service.

Already we have had 100 households stop by for essentials and Easter treats courtesy of supporting partners. The financial strain on the UK is rife with many families, business owners, and local providers suffering a drop in income, so a little extra help to stock up the cupboards can be both a physical relief when you have hungry mouths to feed, and a financial relief too!

But this has taken immense community spirit to achieve and we couldn’t have done it without our partners, supporters and volunteers. We estimate over a 1000 hours have been dedicated to supporting people through the pandemic over the last month by our core team.

So far we have gathered around £16,000 in emergency funds that will be continually invested into the work we do. Much of this money has been spent on (or ring-fenced for) our new food bank. Whilst we have gratefully been in receipt of ‘foodshare’ items from Asda and Tesco which equate to over half a tonne of food a month - food that would otherwise go to waste- we have also purchased items such as infant toiletries and nappies, cleaning essentials, fresh items, and store cupboard ingredients for our food bank visitors.

This funding will also really help toward ongoing free one-to-one counselling and mental health support, but with the lockdown extended, we are working hard to secure additional funds to meet the growing need for our services.

Currently, through the Essex Welfare Service we are co-ordinating around 400 additional kind-hearted volunteers who are being paired with local people in need to keep our community safe and connected; and we have been hearing wonderful stories of people coming together in solidarity.

Whilst a challenging time, we are in awe of the gratitude, spirit and strength we are seeing and have decided to proudly add a rainbow to our marketing materials to thank our keyworkers and volunteers on the front line, and remind everyone of the power of hope. Just like how the sun breaks through a grey sky on a rainy day, our community will pull through this virus, because we are resilient, and stronger together.

We’re one month in and immensely proud of what we have achieved. If you are able to support our ongoing work with a donation, no matter how small, you could be the reason someone smiles again during these dark hours.

To make a donation towards our Coronavirus Emergency appeal, click here >>> https://localgiving.org/charity/motivatedminds/project/corona/

April 23rd 2020

Motivated-Minds launch new food bank in Laindon to support local people in need

Volunteers from Motivated-Minds based in Basildon have pulled together at this time of crisis to launch a new food bank in Laindon, the only town in the Basildon Borough to not already have a service like this running.

Our Managing Director, Carla Andrews, has been working with Basildon Council over the last few weeks to ensure that there are fresh and store cupboard items available for local people that are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and we have already supported 77 households since the beginning of the month.

Carla said “we are proud to support the Basildon community and enjoy our work very much, but these are worrying times not just for those that we usually support at our Happy Hub in Eastgate Shopping Centre, but for so many people across the world!”

She continued “When we identified that there was not a food bank already operating in the Laindon area, our volunteers and partners rallied together to get one opened immediately. There are hundreds of people in our Borough that are struggling, and the additional stress the pandemic is causing is phenomenal.”

The Motivated-Minds food bank is situated at King Edward Community Centre on King Edward Road in Laindon and is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 3pm - 6pm and is open to anyone struggling through the crisis.

Carla added “we’ve been working hard to secure essentials for the foodbank but were delighted to have had Easter Eggs donated from the Rayleigh Lions, and Holland and Barrett too! Plus the Basildon Round Table kindly donated £500 to help further our work, but there are still so many people that need our support!”

If you would like to make a donation to Motivated-Minds to help us reach out to those most vulnerable during these uncertain times, visit: www.localgiving.org/charity/motivatedminds/project/corona.  

April 17th 2020
 
 

01268 520 785 / admin@motivated-minds.co.uk

HAPPY Hub, Eastgate Shopping Centre, Basildon, Essex, England.

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