Your community

We chose to set up our Breathe-London wellbeing business in a community centre back in 2005. The idea was to create beautiful treatment rooms that would be places of healing and learning. We also wanted the rooms to attract local business users into the Colombo Community Centre so that they would appreciate how it is a focus for wellbeing in Waterloo. We are proud that our rental costs directly support local initiatives such as the MEND childhood obesity program and many other community programs run by the Colombo Centre.

I was recently reminded of the importance of engaging young people in their communities and why I believe the activities of the Colombo Centre are so important. In my work as a trustee for a local youth development charity called YourStory, I was recently asked to take part in one of their workshops for young offenders at Portland Prison. This is a closed prison, perched on a windswept outcrop, overlooking the sea, three hours by train from London. Most were aged about 18, had come from London and were serving sentences of two to three years for serious crimes.

What struck me was the professionalism and tenderness of the prison warders to these young men and the love, positive energy and hope for a brighter future that the YourStory staff gave them. As the workshop progressed the young people became relaxed and increasingly engaged in our workshop about choices. I asked my group how long they had to go in their sentences and most responded about twelve months. Many had not seen family and friends for a long time. For some this was because of the cost and distance from London but for some it was because they didn’t have anyone back home who cared. At the end of the workshop the warders told the lads that they had to return to their cells for the evening and as the heavy doors slammed shut and the keys rattled we felt positive that something good had been achieved in our brief session but sad about the waste of young talent.

Adrian Jones, the CEO of YourStory told me once that if you don’t engage in your local community, your local community may engage with you in ways that you may not like. Austerity Britain is really hurting YourStory at the moment. Two years ago they were paid over £650 a week to mentor, coach and educate the most difficult, excluded young people. Now some local authorities are paying them just £100 per week. You cannot put your dog in a kennels for this.

If you live in Southwark or Lambeth and want to support your local community, there are lots of ways you can lend a hand this month.

– Come along to The Crown Pub, 108 Blackfriars Road on 24th Sept. from 5.30pm and sing for YourStory. Annabel at the Symbian Foundation has organised a fun-filled karaoke fundraising event with all proceeds going to support YourStory’s work with young people in the area If you are a local business on the Southbank and want to take part please contact me and I will forward to Annabel

– Sponsor me as I attempt the Great North Run this Saturday in aid of YourStory. Please follow the link to my page on the Justgiving website and give generously.

– Go to and help support YourStory’s work by making a donation or offering your skills as a volunteer.

– The Colombo Centre needs funds and volunteers to decorate some of its community areas. To make a donation please send cheques made payable to “the Colombo Centre”, 34 Colombo St, Waterloo, SE1 8DP. Mark the letters for the attention of Ashley Hargreaves Smith, Centre manager and write on the back of the cheques “Centre Improvement”

Our new workshops:

Positive Psychology Taster Workshops
All our 90 minute workshops are held in our coaching room at the Colombo Centre, Waterloo, SE1 8DP on Wednesday evenings from 6.30 to 8.00pm, and cost £30.  To reserve your place, visit and pay online.  When making your payment, please add a comment specifying the date of the workshop you wish to attend.  Click here for map/directions to the Colombo Centre.

Wednesday 22nd September- Can you train your mind to be happier?
Discover surprising findings from Positive Psychology about which activities promote happiness and wellbeing.

Wednesday 29th September – An introduction to Positive visualisation techniques
Practical exercises using visualisation, relaxation techniques, Tibetan Bon practices, breath work.  There is no theory in this workshop just practical techniques

Wednesday 6th october – Emotional intelligence
Explore ways in which you can learn to develop your emotional intelligence capabilities

Wednesday 13th October – Playing to your strengths
At work and school we often receive feedback which focuses on deficits rather than successes. This workshop gives practical tools to help you identify your core strengths and how to make the most of them .

Wednesday 20th October – The power of human touch
Learn how human touch changes our brain chemistry affecting the way we learn, age and form relationships.  Learn about the amazing effect of oxytocin on trust and wellbeing

If you are unable to attend our workshops in person, you can order our online 30 day positive connections program from

The team at Breathe London
Breathe is a London based wellbeing business specialising in the fusion of ideas from Positive Psychology, Yoga and Massage Therapies. Our physical therapy centre is based on the London’s South Bank and we run Business Psychology and Personal Development courses throughout the UK and online.

Other lifestyle benefits can be found at


Posted on September 15, 2010, in Coaching, Meditation etc. and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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