Idea #1:  Alternative healing walk-in clinic for people on lower incomes

Holistic, Metaphysical, Energy or Mind, Body, Spirit healing has existed since the beginning of time amid religious beliefs and practices, along with the mystery, superstition, fear, and misunderstanding. Holistic Healing is now becoming recognized regardless of what anyone chooses to believe or think.

-There are five homeopathic hospitals in the NHS
-One out of three drugs prescribed in Germany is an herb.
-The World Health Organization estimates that between 65 to 80 percent of the world’s population (about 3 billion people) rely on holistic medicine as their primary form of health care.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) includes a group of diverse medical and healthcare systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. Complementary medicine is generally regarded as a complementary treatment that is used alongside conventional medicine, whereas alternative medicine is regarded as a treatment used in place of conventional medicine.

CAM does appeal to patients; many feel it is more natural; some feel the holistic approach benefits them; others may turn to it when they feel conventional medicine has let them down.

The cost of CAM can be, and is usually, quite high with many therapists charging anything from £40 upwards for a session. This prices many people that might benefit from CAM out of it. It is a sad truth that some therapists are just in it for the money and are not in service to those that need it the most.

I would like to set up a weekly/ fortnightly walk-in clinic that offers various CAM therapies such as shamanic healing, reflexology, reiki, indian head massage, and other therapies for those on lower incomes. All the work would be done on a donation basis, and the income received would be evenly distributed between the therapists working on the day. It doesn’t matter if it’s £10 or £1000, it’s about making those forms of healing accessible to those that can’t normally afford it.

The clinic would be held either in a hall or possibly at Epiquest Alternative Education Centre.

The long-term aim would be to extend the clinic so it runs for 2 or 3 days a week. All therapists would need to have liability insurance to be able to help out.

Why is this Idea important? Because we are living in times where healing is needed by many on a much deeper level than just medical help.

How would funding help with your Idea? Pay for the venue, refreshments, and promotion

Your Idea takes off; what’s happening 6 months from now? The clinic expands to 2 or 3 times a week/fortnight and gives access to healing for many people

 Idea #2:  Intergenerational arts project (deferred to next soup)

Southend people are fabulous when the chips are down. The area is in need of revamping and I would love to help but I can never get enough people to help me. I have always wanted to hold a 7 days and Counting performance show which collaborates with Artists, Actors, Singers, Musicians elderly, young, disabled, businesses to raise funds for a good cause.

The show would run over 7 days. The kids would have to get in touch with people, businesses, communities, shops and local people to obtain materials, advertising and a performance space to stage the show on the last day. I have attempted a similar venture and it was very successful.

I would do this to establish a Growth for Youth Centre with a real sense of the arts helping to overcome difficulties. The local kids in the area need a kind of a centre that is their very own where they can have access to computers, music, and advice and link with different people who are actually interested in them and what they think about things. I have taught so many kids that are totally disinterested in life because they cannot get jobs, the youth clubs have all but gone and everything is so expensive. I would like to help kids launch their own businesses starting with their own market stalls to sell their own made produce and gifts and services that they can provide.

Why is this Idea important? it will empower the youth and encourage them to work with the general public. Elderly people have a wealth of knowledge to offer young people, yet they work little with them anymore. I would love to help with providing a centre for this very important community kind of hub.

How would funding help with your Idea? it would help me to be able to rent a permanent space for the kids, to stage a show, to work, to feel safe. Its expensive to advertise, to publicise and we would be able to get things done in a very short space of time with that kickstart funding.

Your Idea takes off; what’s happening 6 months from now? I hope to have established a place for the youth of Southend to feel a part of a working community, with a safe place to have leisure, to obtain advice, to communicate, to have access to information to gain proper employment and be running their own self-employed ventures ie their market stalls.

We would celebrate with a Free Community Party for everyone with donations being given to good causes in the community and to keep the place running , the kids are let down time and time again with funding being withdrawn. I would hope to be self funding.

Idea #3:  Brighten St Mark’s community outside space.

To really get the community involved and a small work party engaged in renovating a space that could then be used for the benefit of different groups.

We would love to remove the shingle and level the ground to enable this garden to become more practical for people of all ages.

To brighten this environment by having artwork on the walls, plants thriving and surface material that would encourage use by the community.

Why is this Idea important? So many groups use St Mark’s and with weather improving for different peoples to use the outside space within the centre. The simple act of sitting/playing/conversing outside in a nice environment enabling people to get fresh air and sunshine on their face whilst being at St Mark’s. To simply be outside during nice weather instead of the hall whilst being connected to the community. To utilise an outside space that is for all, where many residents do not even have a small patch of garden for themselves in the overcrowded ward of Milton.

How would funding help with your Idea? We have a few volunteers willing to help with labour. The funding would enable us to buy the cement needed to kickstart the groundwork which would fuel other improvements such as art work and planting. We need to get the ground level and material down before any decorative schemes can be implemented by other volunteers.

Your Idea takes off; what’s happening 6 months from now? If the garden was made practical all the groups at St Mark’s would have an outside space.

The groups that would benefit would be:

Tuesday Club – an over 50’s group that has been running for over 10 years. They would be able to have a hot drink and play cards outside.

Big Bears and Little Bears – the 3hr toddler group could engage with sand and water providing the surface material was suitable

After-school group – every week would be able to play board games, do craft outside

Milton Youth – would be able to do graffiti on the walls or any artwork

Idea #4:  Adult cooking sessions

At St Mark’s we have been running adult cooking session every Tuesday for the past month. We have funding only to run another couple of sessions and the people that come have such a great time that we would like for it to continue.

Between 6 and 8 adults from the local community turn up at 4.30pm and learn how to cook basic, tasty nutritious meals with only a suggested donation. As the group have bonded and we are getting interest from other adults it would be really really nice if we could continue to cook and eat together every week.

Why is this Idea important? The cooking provides an activity, meeting point and meal for specifically adults in the community.
As many ventures, events and activities are geared towards families and young people it is really important that we can carry on this group to cater for adults in the community. Many adults feel intimidated to come to community events without children. This group enables those who would be eating on their own to come together and be social with other adult members who might also be on their own during mealtimes.

The skills that are being learnt hope to change people’s lifestyles by concentrating on going back to basics for those who might have gotten into the habit of just cooking something out of a packet.

We have young adults and older adults and this allows for a great mix of people connecting on all levels.

How would funding help with your Idea? Funding would play an extremely important part in this group as without it the group will no longer continue and the members so want it to now that we are all friends. The money would enable us to buy the ingredients so the sessions could continue to be by suggested donations only. Keeping costs really low would encourage more people to come which would grow the group and number of sessions.

Your Idea takes off; what’s happening 6 months from now? Visions for the next 6 months would be for the group to continue with new members starting different groups at different times in the centre. As the kitchen can only really manage between 6 and 8 people we are at maximum capacity already! This shows that there is a demand for this group in the area.

We have a great mix of people from people who cannot cook at all to those who can but want to learn new tips and techniques. The more skilled members share their expertise with the not so skilled.

If we manage to get some money it would be lovely to enlarge the original group by buying some flat gas stoves to enable the whole hall to be be used by new members!

Idea #5:  Get the Kids Out – WINNER

Get the kids out is a voluntary community organisation designed to help families on low income take their children out on trips during the school holiday.

Why is this Idea important? The holidays can be very stressful for parents especially if you don’t have money, we write to companies, theme parks etc and appeal to them for discount. We also do the same for coaches. This not only takes a massive weight off the parents it also helps the children/ young person to be out and about instead of stuck in the house. When children participate in our trips they have a sense of being safe, economical wellbeing, and
making a positive a contribution.

How would funding help with your Idea? To receive this money would be amazing as we don’t have any and would love to continue with the low costing prices we currently provide.

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