Did you hear about our launch?

It was a great afternoon launching the day and it’s theme to York and area wellbeing businesses, how to get involved, what’s going on and a lots of networking and meeting others in ‘the business’.

I have sent quite a few emails out about the day, so it seemed to make sense to produce a weekly email to let everyone know how it’s going, who has signed up to host a pop-up event or have a stand at the Wellbeing Evening at Hotel du Vin.

Keep an eye on your inbox, every Friday (if you don’t want to hear about it, let me know and I will just email you about our other events and workshops).

So who has signed up to the York Wellbeing Day?
I am very pleased to welcome:

Kirsty Smith of Stobohealth Ltd
Hypnotherapy from David Sear
They are exhibiting at the York Wellbeing Evening at Hotel du Vin

Kicking off our Pop Up events during the day on 4 October
is Helen Thorburn
Helen is running a wellbeing event with her colleagues (theme to be confirmed!)

Those who have signed up will receive their leaflet bundle, posters and wellbeing branding soon!

You can create your own event and invite people along, you can go into a business/organisation and invite employees to attend, you can collaborate with others and do a joint event, you can target people already using your business or brand new people.

Have you got your idea together for a pop up?
Would you like a stand at the Hotel du Vin?

You can come along to our Wellbeing Meet-Up and brainstorm your idea with others.

Do you have a question? Would you like to run your idea past me? Would you like to collaborate with someone but not sure who? Do you need a venue?

Give me a shout and I’ll do my best to answer your question.

Juliet

REGISTER/BOOK POP UP EVENT
REGISTER/BOOK STAND

It Won’t Surprise You to Hear

It won’t surprise you to hear….
that I found doing a variety of crafts and making as therapeutic and supportive.

I found it a distraction, something utterly absorbing, I found being part of a group who often you could speak openly with as a wonderful break from some very difficult things for me.

I usually did half day or day long workshops (sometimes quite challenging) as a way of getting away from home, a way of producing something to take home and be proud of, I usually chose something I could wear or use such as jewellery, hats, bags, coasters etc. It was a great way to improve my self-esteem and a great way of meeting people, some of whom I have kept in contact with.

Craft Workshops were very much a way of taking care of myself and I loved them.

Of course people take part in arts and crafts for very different reasons, a circle of people or working alone, it’s a personal choice.

It seemed natural to me to move from my wellbeing evenings to a craft evening, and it’s lovely that some of the people/businesses that I went along to their workshops or who made things for me and my children are joining us at the event.

They are lovely, relaxing evenings, you feel like you are getting away from it all for a couple of hours, meeting friendly, helpful people and it’s not just about looking at products and finding out more about the maker and how items are made, you can also have a go at making and creating.

So far we have the following:

Stands
Glass crafts with Naomi Whitaker, Naomi’s Glass
Soy Wax Candles & Melts with Wendy at PQ Soy Wax Candles
Crochet crafting and soft furnishings with Nicola – Three Bears Crafts
Soft furnishings with Eleanor at Elly Jules
Jewellery with Helen at Silver & Stone

Workshops
Create bead and silver jewellery with Helen, Silver & Stone
Create Bath Bombs and DIY beauty products with Juliet, Choice Oils
Writing for Fun with Claire Davies, Greedy Wordsmith

We have a couple more to add, I’m just waiting for confirmation, so it’s coming along nicely.

Tickets are £15 and include a hot drink and biscuits or you can upgrade to a £25 ticket and have Prosecco and canapes.

We would love to welcome you to this event.

Bye for now
Juliet

Get Tickets Here: http://choicetherapyyork.com/product/choice-artisan-craft-evening/

“Don’t Big Up Your Part!”

What one thing would you NOT say to a parent of a child with additional needs or adopted child?

When discussing my contribution to my children’s education that very phrase was uttered by a member of school staff.

To a parent who has tirelessly advocated and campaigned for their child, the endless meetings in school and at the council offices, the parent in the playground (the one you back off from) when the TA, teacher or headteacher approaches, “Can I have a word, Mrs Powell?”.

The parent who volunteered to go into school one afternoon a week to support their child in the face of nothing else available.

The parent who was telephoned that often the she developed a fairly debilitating phobia of the telephone.

The parent who had to read negative comments ad-infinitum in the school planner about behaviour from teachers who had little or no knowledge of attachment in the classroom and when I answered the comments was told to STOP (trying to silence me?!).

The parent who has faced discrimination and misunderstanding at every turn.

The parent who went part-time and then gave up work altogether to support her children.

The parent who re-trained as a counsellor so she could better understand her children and help them, who ran support groups for parents (and school always came up as an area of difficulty) who did workshops and worked one to one with parents and now runs health & wellbeing events, many of which are attended by parents.

The parent who keeps going when she feels like knocking her head against a brick wall with school.

The parent who is watching their child’s mental health deteriorate as a result of lack of understanding in school (and on suicide watch).

The parent who will never give up.

DON’T BIG UP MY PART!?

I should be shouting it from the rooftops – I should be in ‘The Press’ (I have about my parent support groups), I should be in the national press and magazines – (I was about school transition), I should be on the local radio (I have on many occasions about parent support groups and my wellness evenings), I should be on national radio (net yet), I should be on national TV (I was once invited).

I should be paid handsomely for advocacy, campaigning and negotiation skills (chance would be a fine thing).

DON’T BIG UP MY PART!?
I’m the reason my children get up for school every single day and do their best.

Here I am “bigging” up my part.
My tireless, relentless, tenacious part as a parent and advocate for my child in school.

I have a BIG part, a HUGE part to play as has every parent in how their children do in school.

Is that clear? (I am shouting now!)

Juliet

Are you a parent or foster carer of a child from care? I am running a self-care evening aimed at you and after this I think I need it too!

Buy Your Tickets Here
Find Out More

5 Useful Strategies when welcoming adopted children to your family

As I sit here in a 4th floor apartment looking out at the North Sea, it dawns on me the strategies and advice I found useful when settling my children into their new home with us.

We did receive lots of advice.

Much of the time we didn’t understand the significance of the advice – how it would be helpful and why. We blindly followed some of it and thought more carefully about others.

I think that much of the time when you meet new children you are about to adopt or look after in the longer term you are in turmoil, this huge occasion is happening to you, you are dealing with (in our case) two traumatised, nervous, anxious, excited little people. You are keen to ‘get it right’, want to make them feel ok, settled, at home and welcome. So taking in well meaning advice can be tricky.

I have tried to make this concise and easy to understand…

What we found useful?

Bed times – bed times are as much for the adults as the children, although bed times are tricky for children from a tricky background, consistently putting them to bed at a set time in a comforting, routine way is very helpful. You need a break, the child needs sleep. You may need to do it many, many times and be up and downstairs, but certainly for us it paid dividends eventually. Each time there is an incident, go upstairs calmly put them back to bed and return downstairs. Sometimes I needed to sit with them, sometimes sitting on the landing with my laptop but still routinely letting them know they were safe and that I wasn’t far away and just doggedly kept going with it. Eventually the message went in.

Playing Games – at times it was very hard to create a satisfactory relationship with my children, they were not born to me, they were not a blood relation and reaching a point where I thought we had a ‘bond’ and that we were a ‘proper’ family took years. One thing that really helped was doing Theraplay games, fair weather or foul, every evening pulling some games/activities from two books I have, was very helpful. I would go as far as saying those Theraplay games kept us together when it was very hard. (Theraplay – Helping Parents & Children build a better relationship – Jernberg & Booth, it is an expensive volume but £49 to save a family is cheap enough, and Self-esteem Games – Barbara Sher, we played tons of games from this book and I have many happy memories of these games, and hopefully the children do too.) It’s useful to have a couple of go-to books to grab.

Hand & Foot Massage – I didn’t know why we were told to do this, but I did it again, consistently, massage each others hands and feet with lovely cream (nice fruity Body Shop ones are good). It promotes physical closeness, it feels comforting, it smells lovely, got us sat together, making eye contact, giggling etc. Most importantly it promotes the production of oxytocin (produced when a baby is born, apparently, to help parent and child ‘bond’).

Nutrition – I’m afraid I don’t know too much about this, however, we were told, as the children were traumatised that their ‘gut flora’ would be unbalanced. I am starting to learn more about this but need to read more. So we gave them pro-biotics and pro-biotic drinks and I think it helped. There are lots of other reasons to give your child a nutritionally balanced diet to help their gut but you will have to read up more yourself!

Me-Time – I have consistently had full body massages and found them immensely comforting and useful, the power of touch and being ‘held’ is very valuable. Thanks to Joanne Bull, Chloe Hart and Catherine Hagan. I have also found other therapies very helpful, they got me away from the house for a break and gave that powerful one to one time to get a break and be myself.

I have plenty more ideas up my sleeve, however, this will do for now! The reason I do my Health & Wellness events and counselling is to offer this back to other people, create me-time and a break from life.

Best Wishes

Juliet xx

I am hosting a very special Self-Care Evening for Foster Carers and Adoptive Parents on 16 May 2018 near York.
Book here: Tickets and Information