Well I can’t quite believe its August already – which means I have just celebrated my first anniversary working at The Breathworks Foundation!  Here’s what I’ve been up to, which since May has been roughly one day a week, as I am also working with the Mindfulness in the Workplace team encouraging corporates to learn and share these skills with their staff too.

When I last wrote we’d just put our first application into The Big Lottery’s new pilot scheme Leaders with Lived Experience.   We thought we had a great chance as Vidyamala created Breathworks to share how mindfulness positively changed her life, which she brings to thousands of others through courses and enabled over 500 teachers around the globe to train too.  However, The Foundation was not successful as competition was very high with over 600 applications for up to just 20 projects.  

In May we were delighted to receive a payment from the US for £4,253 which is what protoCapital’s generous gift of five items of signed music memorabilia raised through the online CharityBuzz auction.  

The last few months have been a whirl of activity supporting our six generous fundraisers who boldly took on two physical challenge: Liverpool Nightrider and Yorkshire Three Peaks night walk, donations for which we have been able to collect through individual fundraising pages on our lovely new website.

It was great fun driving over to Liverpool at 10pm on a clear July Saturday night, watching the sun set over The Three Graces on the waterfront and seeing 300 plus cyclists gather to set off on their 50km or 100km ride.  The atmosphere was fantastic, and we cheered the team of five off at midnight with bells, shouts and high energy bars. Sona had been the first to commit keen to try out his new electric bike, which he got as a 70th birthday pressie.  However when it came to the night he turned off the power assistance to be alongside the team: Deb (Vidyamala’s twin sister) & Dave and Vidyapala and Karen from Manchester. They all loved the camaraderie and thrill of cycling through deserted streets at night in a large group and were instantly talking about a repeat ride, maybe next June in London - so watch this space if you fancy joining them!!  A big shout out of thanks to all five of them who, once all donations and Gift Aid have been collected, will have raised an amazing £4,000.

Nadia, recently qualified Breathworks teacher trainer, took her physical training for the Three Yorkshire Peaks 24-mile night walk very seriously, given her health condition.  This payed off as she had a ball scaling the total 5,200ft ascent with the support of two great friends. They had a wonderful warm, dry evening and with the amazing skills of our digital Volunteers who sent out videos, tweets and Instagram posts raised over £500 too!  Still time to sponsor here and thank Nadia.

Thank you all very much for your good wishes, support and donations – it’s very much appreciated and will help continue our bursary work and enable more individuals to benefit from the skills of mindfulness, by coming on our course and training to teach.  Look out for news of others taking on various challenges this autumn to raise much needed funds and our campaign for 20 mindfulness challenges in 2020 or get in touch with me directly at [email protected] if you have a fundraising idea up your sleeve.

Lastly, hopefully you have been enjoying both the weekly item on the e-newsletter and new Foundation website, which now has many more blogs, testimonials and partnership stories nicely illustrating the great work The Breathworks Foundation does in reaching people in all sorts of situations from hospices to cancer care centres and from Poland to Brazil.

Karunatara Green