As a mindfulness teacher running my own business I appreciate that mindfulness is generally for the middle/upper class i.e. those that can afford it.  

I wanted to make mindfulness accessible for everyone - including those on lower or no income - but the cost of hiring a venue, wear and tear of equipment, travel etc. with just a minimal amount for myself made this impossible.

However I have found a way and I am actually earning more than I do teaching private courses where I only get between 3-5 students.


Adult Learning Centres, funded by a County Council department, offer courses for free or at a discounted rate to the general public.  They require an up-front quote, which they use to bid for funding, but I approached this as I would for any private organisation – my time (including setting up/down at 50%), equipment wear & tear, refreshments etc. but the venue is sourced and paid for by them.

N.B. All councils have a standard hourly rate usually somewhere in the region of £25.

Initially I ran a 5-week ‘Introduction to Mindfulness’ course of 1 hour each week.   This covered weeks 1-3 of the Mindfulness for Stress course and I did not provide books but created a few sheets for home practice instead, giving the students the option to buy the books.

Over the first 18 months I ran 12 of these ‘introductions’ but kept pointing out to the centre that an 8 week course would be a better alternative!

As it is Public money funding the courses there is a lot of setting up and form completion including session plans, tracking progress forms and objective forms, plus the ‘what do I know at the beginning of the course and what do I know at the end of the course’ – the council wants to make sure that public money is spent well. However once the course is set up with the forms it is easy to repeat.

In addition, the councils may request that you complete some on-line training which include multiple choice tests that you have to pass – the topics I had to do were PREVENT (part of the government’s anti-terrorism strategy), British Values, and so on.

I am now running 8-week courses for them and have been able to negotiate a much higher hourly rate and they are still getting funding for 6 courses during a school year.

Once you are on your council’s purchase system more work may follow.  I have received several requests to run classes in schools within the county, Mindfulness for Families and Mindfulness for Seniors (60+) as they can see that I am a now preferred supplier.

  • The public are able to access mindfulness courses for free
  • I don’t need to find students
  • I don’t need to find a venue
  • I am guaranteed a fee
  • More work follows from other sources

What’s not to like?!

Donna Brown

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