Updated 22nd June 2023

Removing barriers to mindfulness is one of our missions at Breathworks. At the centre of our work as a charity is our Bursary Programme, which opens the door to people in financial hardship or physical or mental health conditions that restrict their ability to work. Our bursary recipients tell us that Breathworks courses and training have changed their lives. They have been able to share the benefits with their loved ones and communities, allowing the positive reach to grow. 

Through our charitable Foundation, fundraising and support of generous donors, we have helped 213 people to attend courses and train with us as teachers.

As part of Small Charity Week, our goal is to raise £10K by the end of June 2023. We're asking people to donate what they can to enable us to continue making sure that those who need mindfulness can access it. If you're moved to give, please consider leaving a gift here

Here are two heart-warming stories from individuals who shared how their bursary places reshaped their lives and future.

A Revolutionary Approach After 20 Years

Aged 26, Elsa  (real name disclosed) developed severe chronic back pain following a failed surgery. When healthcare professionals explained they were unable to help her, she was left in a dark place. Elsa was forced to give up her career, plans to travel the world, and the volunteer work she was so passionate about. She was at a point where she was sleep deprived and walking caused terrible pain.

After finding Breathworks, Elsa spoke to the team about her situation and was encouraged to apply for an 8-week Mindfulness for Health course.

She found what she learnt on the course to be revolutionary. She learnt to truly relax for the first time in her life, allowing her to finally rest and experience less pain at night. Elsa had hoped the course might help her sleep better, but never expected it to give such positive, long term outcomes for both her physical and mental health. 

As Elsa continued to listen and be kind to her body, she found she was able to do more with less pain. Having adopted a ‘push and punish’ approach for many years, Elsa found the concepts of pacing and self-compassion to be transformative. She could now breathe gently into her pain rather than trying to escape it (which often caused it to become worse).

Today, she is able to independently run errands without the need for a kick scooter, and even walk for 30 minutes at a time which she enjoys doing around beautiful natural parks in her area. She feels empowered by the knowledge that she now has the resources to draw on to help her. 

A Path for a New Future

Peter was left feeling burnt out and disillusioned after losing his job in the pandemic. He decided to use this closing of a door as an opportunity to explore what a more fulfilling future might look like to him. 

As a regular meditator and practitioner of Qi gong, he had experienced the first-hand benefits of mindfulness. His volunteer work with older people with restricted mobility showed him that he had something to offer to others, and his path towards more purposeful work was starting to feel clearer. 

Unable to afford the Breathworks training fees after his redundancy, he was relieved to hear from the team that his application for a bursary place had been accepted. 

Peter felt invigorated and positively challenged by the Teacher Training programme, unlike other trainings he’d attended, he was truly learning something different - he was developing a closer relationship with himself.

Not only was he suffering from fewer headaches, the training had helped him become a much calmer person. It had finally brought healing and restoration following many years of stress. 

Peter is passionate about using his own mindfulness journey to help others in the world who are struggling with stress and pain. He has plans to adapt his courses to appeal to men in need of mental health support, and wishes to widen his reach to university students who are struggling with their wellbeing. 

Would you like to make a meaningful difference to a stranger in need? Consider helping us to reach our £10K fundraising target for Small Charity Week: