Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Winning Hearts and Minds; A Lottery Win for a North East Company Is Helping People in the Region Improve Their Physical and Mental Fitness. Health Reporter HELEN RAE Finds out More

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Winning Hearts and Minds; A Lottery Win for a North East Company Is Helping People in the Region Improve Their Physical and Mental Fitness. Health Reporter HELEN RAE Finds out More

Article excerpt

Byline: HELEN RAE

ACOMPANY in the North East has been successful in obtaining National Lottery funding to enable it to provide free classes and courses to help enhance people's physical and mental fitness.

In operation since 2013, Mindfulness Based Therapies, co-founded by Rachel Jones-Wild, a qualified counsellor and mindfulness trainer, is now set to launch the Mindful Communities Project.

The 48-week scheme has been funded by a PS9,700 grant from the Big Lottery Fund and will provide eight drop-in classes per week in meditation and mindful exercise such as yoga and pilates.

Rachel said: "I was over the moon when I found out about the National Lottery funding. It is such a great opportunity for us and for the communities we work in.

"The practice of mindfulness is becoming increasingly popular as a way of helping people to take a break, take a breath and appreciate the moment. While this has the potential to benefit so many people, courses can often be too expensive for people on low incomes.

"When I retrained as a therapeutic counsellor in 2010, this was very apparent. I realised that so many people were missing out on something that could potentially give so much and this seemed totally unfair.

could potentially give so much and this seemed totally unfair.

"When we started the not-for-prof"When we started the not-for-prof-prof it company over a year ago, it was always the intention to offer donation-based and subsidised classes to make them more accessible to people on low incomes or from disadvantaged backgrounds.

"The classes we already run have been working extremely well and we have already taught over 200 people. Our existing students have a range of needs such as anxiety disorders, depression and fibromyalgia.

"It was seeing the progress in our current students that made us want to do more free classes, and this funding has allowed us to do that, it really is fantastic."

current students that made us want to do more free classes, and this funding has allowed us to do that, it really is fantastic."

P es such as meditation, chairbased yoga and pilates, mindful yoga, and Tai chi.

People can expect gentle classes such as meditation, chairbased yoga and pilates, mindful yoga, and Tai chi. Classes are open to all, and are particularly suitable for those experiencing chronic pain or mental health problems.

to all, and are particularly suitable for those experiencing chronic pain or mental health problems.

"The classes can really help people with severe chronic pain to begin to exercise again and build confidence that their bodies can do "The classes can really help people with severe chronic pain to begin to exercise again and build confidence that their bodies can do what they want," explained Rachel.

"People can think that exercise is all about going to the gym and jogging as it's very cardiovascular, but From Page 25 that's not the case as things such as pilates and yoga provide exercise too. …

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