Archive for the 'Moulding Futures News' Category

Hip Ops & Hoodies Exhibition (ists)

We need your VOTE!

Our Giggle 4 Gold project has been shortlisted for the Heart of Essex Award run by the Essex Chronicle. I’m not sure how we vote yet but I’ll add another post when I do know as I’d really like to get everyone’s support. If we win the main prize we will be able to run a 12 week programme for people in a care home who are isolated and in need of some stimulation, espeically those with dementia. The programme is designed for this group in mind and will allow participants to be active, have fun, connect with others, gain confidence, self-esteem, learn new skills both creatively and socially and be heard though play and giggles. Over the 12 weeks we will also produce positive creative work which we plan to exhibit later in the year which will allow other members of the community the chance to walk in someone else’s shoes.

If we win the main prize we will run two 12 week programmes- Giggle 4 Gold and Giggle House which works with people who have experienced homelessness.

Both are such great projects that will be a whole lot of fun and will make a huge difference to the people we deliver it to.

The Giggle 4 Gold programme will be delivered in Brewster House in Heybridge, Maldon. If successful we aim to find further funding to enable us to repeat this programme in other care homes too.


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Giggle Together at Alec Hunter Humanities College!

Our Giggle Together workshop had a good trial run today as we took part in the Alec Hunter Humanities College Skills day. Year 8 students spent the morning attending workshops on all sorts of subjects to do with Possitive Emotional Health including EYPDAS for Drug and Alcohol Awareness, Smoking, confidence building, Yoga to name just a few. We provided the laughter.
We delivered 4, one hour sessions working with different form groups of the year. What was interesting to me was the difference in reactions to our workshop within this year group. They were all the same age group but I noticed each form reacting different. Of course when you are willing to stand in front of a group of 12-13 year olds and blow raspberries, you do expect some strange looks. I had thought this would be dependant on age.
Our “stiff upper lip” persona certainly starts in secondary education with our strict rules and no-nonsense education system. There is no room for play. It was surprising to see just how results driven our young people are – even when playing.
Our workshop is all about play, being silly but with boundaries. It is great as a stress reliever and can often bring a group together. There were some “too cool for school” characters of course. My teenager inside started to surface for a second to sap away any confidence I had but the big girl in me was quick to get back in the driver’s seat. Going back to school as an adult is just as scary as it was when you were 12-13 if you allow yourself to go shooting back in time.
Now that I’m a big girl I have much more confidence. I have more of a “bring it on” attitude which is why I will blow raspberries at a class of 25 year 8 students to get their attention. After years as a Youth Worker, and having been a teenager myself, your best defense to those who want to shock you is to out-shock them.
So while I was laughing, then coughing up because I had a chest infection, then laughing some more – the groups got carried away with me. All managed to get into it except the last. The Drama Teacher who was helping me out during the session was also the form tutor to the last group. They found the whole thing way off anything they had done before. The teacher told me that his form were the ones that other teachers loved to have. They were the smart kids. A room full of left brain dominated young people trying to take part in a very right brain dominated workshop.
They made comments like, “well that’s not what my laugh sounds like,” “but it’s just not funny” when doing the laughter exercises that concentrate on the process of laughter and what your body does with each laugh. It’s a way to allow yourself to generate laughter without the need for an outside source. They didn’t understand because they all thought more literally. They reminded me of Jamie – my Autistic son. In the end I had to show them. I took a deep breath and laughed my breath out until I had no more breath, then carried on taking short breaths to keep it going. After about a minute I stopped, took a deep breath, looked at the students all staring at me aghast and said, “do you get it now?”. Finally they found this funny and were able to laugh.
I explained to them why they found it so hard – especially as their form tutor was embarrassed and kept telling them to stop showing him up. What it did in fact was illustrate the point beautifully about the left and right side of the brain.
I loved the day – even though I was ill it was amazing! I felt a real Buzz when I left and realised just how good for me – and for everyone – this kind of activity is. We’ll do far more good developing our programmes than we could with any other project.
I also heard on the grapevine from an EYPDAS worker that the students had really loved it too!

Share a Smile Comedy Night!

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Our Comedy Showcase Comedy night at the Civic Theatre – featuring Gordon Southern, Hal Cruttendon, Terry Alderton and Carl Donnelly!
Fantastic evening had by all – such a shame we didn’t get a chance to sell more tickets the right side of Christmas and tap into all those people wondering around with money to waste on people they would rather not buy a present for. This would’ve been an ideal present!
NEXT time I think we’ll do the whole thing ourselves and see how that works.

Cork Madness!

Moulding Futures has been helping out The Shiny Shed with the Chelmsford Art Trail this year. As an artist it was great to get involved and they wanted me to come up with something that Children could get involved in. This was perfect to continue the Share A Smile theme so I’ve been busy working on small cork scenes. It’s certainly made me smile. The Tiny Trail has been created and will be on display during the Chelmsford Art Trail in september.

NeuroTalk 2011 Event

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NeuroTalk 2011 brought together organisations who work with or support people with Neurological Disorders. The event was held at Alec Hunter Humanities College in May for an evening of speakers, food and information sharing. Joining us for the event were Dyslexia Rooms, Epilepsy Action, Action for Family Carers, Braintree Rethink, SCANS, SMP Consultancy and Rubicon Training Practices.

The speakers:

Charms – is a registered charity dedicated to help and support people in Essex and surrounding counties who suffer from MS (Multiple Sclerosis), ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), CP (Cerebral Palsy) strokes or other neurological disorders. There is no known cure for most of these illnesses, so working in conjunction with their medical specialists and with their GP’s consent, it is our aim to provide sufferers with relief from their symptoms and to give what assistance we can to make their lives more bearable. To achieve this aim the centre offers a variety of therapies, but the main treatment available at the centre is Hyperbaric Oxygenation Therapy (HBOT).

Fit 4 Reading – Sue Cook.

Why I learnt neuro developmental therapies

My son who had a mysterious collection of symptoms, was the inspiration for me to learn this system. These exercises alleviated his struggle and I can now completely understand the nature of his behaviour. He was an unhappy child who was clearly intelligent but could not function at all at school, his teachers and I knew there was something wrong.
I researched until I found answers. The assessment enabled me to understand him, and the movements created the right brain circuitry. He is very grateful to me for learning how to correct his problems. It has changed his life and saved him from serial underachievement when his IQ tells us he is well above average.
Before the movements, He was a distressed child who could not fit in to typical environments, like a child’s party, without becoming severely anxious. It has been wonderful to have the opportunity to help him get rid of a problem that hindered him and kept him from living life to the fullest.

Dr Ben Wright – a Neurological Psychologist

The evening went really well with lots of contacts being made and interesting debate.

Our Support Hero was also announced more of that to come…

NeuroTalk 2011 and The Support Hero Award

Local campaigning and awareness organisation Moulding Futures is searching for a local SUPPORT HERO organisation as part of their NeuroTalk event being held on May 23rd at 5.30pm in Braintree. The event celebrates those who live with Neurological Disorders and includes speakers, talks, stalls from organisations, and the opportunity for people to share support and advice. Parents, carers, and adults with neurological disorders are welcome to come along. If parents wish to come and are unable to get childcare we are looking into a crèche for a portion of the evening.
We would like to award an organisation SUPPORT HERO 2011 and nominations close on the 1st May – voting Closes on the 8th of May. The organisation must support those with neurological disorders (or their family/carers) with their mental health and support services. The winner will receive a trophy, be featured in the support guide given out to all those attending the evening, the website and will also win a prize worth £200!
Voters must have used the service and explain why they are their support hero at Tickets for the event are also available at
“One organisation saved my life at the lowest point in the fight to get my son the he needed – I want to say thank you but also want to give other people the chance to vote for their support heroes too,” says organiser Tracy Shave, founder of Moulding Futures.
We are covering subjects that will be useful for those who in particular have Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, ADHD, ASD, Autism, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, to name a few. There is also holistic treatments and support for carers.
For more information on Moulding Futures and their projects for disadvantaged people please go to or call 01245 399541.

Magazine Launch and Awards!

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Our project “Psst! Pass it on!” an Open Up Initiative has been completed!! Groups and individuals around the country were invited to apply for funding to run a project that would challenge stigma of Mental Health and it is part of the National Time to Change campaign. When the application form landed on my desk it was one of those “pin me down” moments. I was working on the first “Make it Mental!” event for Involving Essex, which was a very big job. I instantly had an idea for something to do for it and no one stopped me. Not even the inner voice that was screaming at me not to take on any more work but I have loads of practice at convincing an inner voice that something is justified – every time I go shopping I win the battle!
So I put together a team of people who said they would be “interested” in helping, filled out the form and sent it off. I think I may have recieved the application form a few days before it was due, as always, so there was no time to talk myself out of it – or discover the magnitude of what I was proposing.
You can read our project report here:
Project Report
The magazine will be going into schools all over Essex. If you would like a copy, or would like your school to do something similar then get in touch with us at or contact 01245 399541.
You can also go to the website

Tonight we had the Awards and official launch of the magazine “Oi! Listen!” – held at Bailey’s Bar in Braintree (sponsors for the event). All of the young people who took part at Alec Hunter Humanities College were invited along with those at Chelmer Valley High School, to pick up their certificates. We also gave out some special trophies to those pupils who we felt put in the most during the project.

Psst! Pass it on.. Creative Awards went to:
Harriette Knight
Shannon Roy
Joseph Moore

Psst! Pass it on Junior Reporter Award
Mia Hole

Psst! Pass it on.. Courage Award went to:
Molly Sherman

Well done to you and all of the young people who took part in this amazing project!

Speaker for the Business Woman’s Network

The Business Woman’s Network have such a fantastic speaker lined up for the launch of their Chelmsford group! She is such an amazing person – attractive, funny, bubbly and a real star! It is me of course! I spoke to Mandie Holgate who founded and runs the Network today who gave me a bit of  a pep talk. She is a fantastic life and business coach and can really help when you have no confidence. I’m absolutely fine talking in front of an audience – I love it. Meet me five minutes before it starts and I’m a nervous wreck!

Monday though I shall be talking about one of my passions – something I have been interested in since I was a teenager and that is PR (Public Relations). The title of my talk is Free Publicity – Thinking Outside the Box. For talks like this I don’t plan a big speach or a powerpoint presentation. I do. I love to talk and planning in that way for me makes me more nervous and creates a stilted, too formal atmosphere for me. I shall be going to staples once again tomorrow to get some things blown up to A3, then I’ll write a few notes on the points I want to cover – maybe thrown in something that is interactive to make it a bit more fun and I’ll be feeling as confident as ever. I do have a cold at the moment though so I just hope that it’s not the thing that hinders me on Monday at 10am at the Waterfront Place in Chelmsford. Pink Suit PR and Design is a project of Moulding Futures.

Money Money Money….

Business Womens Network 18 Nov2009

Getting a big cheque handed to you can be a bit of a weight to hold up but it’s certainly not a bad feeling to have. Here I am being presented with a cheque by Susan Pattrick of SMP CONSULTANCY who very generously donated £500 to us back in November to go towards our Make it Mental! campaign and any other projects. We spent the money on the event and the remaining amount was spent on some promotional material for Moulding Futures as an organisation.

SMP Consultancy are Equality and Diversity specialists. They make sure businesses are within the rules of the DDA – Disability Discrimation Act.
Susan has also become an advisor on our committee for Moulding Futures and we have already been able to do some design work for her as part of our Pink Suit Pr & Design project.
This cheque presentation was done at the Business Woman’s Network and it was wonderful to share the moment with other like-minded women. I hadn’t realised I’d be asked to get up and talk about Moulding Futures though. Anyone who knows me well will know that I could possibly compete professionally in any verbal olympics. Talking about Moulding Futures is never a problem for me (well not unless I’m having a less than confident day – and yes they do happen). I get quite nervous still. Even though I have spoken to audiences of hundreds – it’s easy to let those negative voices take over every once in a while but Susan Jeffers (Worldwide bestseller author of Feel the Fear and do it anyway) teaches us that we have to drown those out, tune into our higher being and that no matter what, we will be the best that we can be and that will be good enough.

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