Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Cork Madness for Springfield Primary School Class JM.

Vote for your winning scene by clicking on the images then emailing with the title CORK VOTE and the group scene you are voting for in the body of the email.

I’ve recently been back to my old school,
And d’you know what? It really was cool.
It was mostly the same but weird for sure,
As I stood in the class that now has a door.
No doors on rooms when I came here,
Which made it hard – too much noise to hear.

This time round is much more fun,
And in the class there sits my son.
I’m standing proud, I’m playing teacher,
Showing off to the class I’m a creative creature.
I loved every minute; top marks I do rate,
And I wanted say – “class JM you’ve been GREAT!”

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Working with EYPDAS

We have developed a programme in partnership with EYPDAS (Essex Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Service) working with a group of young people affected by substance misuse and those who are at risk of doing so. During the course young people will be encouraged to take part in activities and exercises that aim to:
• Increase self-esteem and confidence,
• Develop social skills and connect with each other,
• Learn coping strategies to improve well-being
• And take a break to have some fun.
This is a 6 week programme and includes a drug and alcohol session.

This group has been identified by the staff of the Learning Support Unit at the secondary school who are working closely with us to ensure these young people gain the most out of this experience.

It is run after school once a week and includes a McDonald’s dinner – on the pre-evaluation one of the girls from the group wrote, in answer to “what do you think you will gain most from this group” – McDonald’s.

I’ll add more about this group at the end of the course with a summary of how it went. We have two more sessions to go and they have said they are really enjoying it.

If you know of a Secondary School who would benefit from a programme like this or something similar please let me know or go to – this particular programme is not featured yet but after this one has finished it will be added as a course.

Inspiration for Springfield Primary School

When my son had to explain who his inspirational person was earlier this year it was extremely overwhelming to find that he had chosen me to talk about. He explained that “She is the famous best artist in the world and she makes me want to do art too” – Okay so he may well have me way above my station but that’s where I am supposed to be. I’m his Mum. I offered to go into his class and bring in some of my artwork so that his peers could see what he was talking about – or at least see that I can draw. They told him I wasn’t famous because I wasn’t on the TV but I went in hoping not to disappoint after such an amazing introduction. As they were talking about their inspirational people I decided to take in lots of different work – sculpture, poetry, illustrations, abstract paintings, my cork people from the tiny trail, Smile N Smooch characters, mini easel art, etc. A huge variety of different mediums and I based my talk around my inspirational person. My Grandad.

The class were all really great and very impressed by my artwork and my story. Jamie loved having his Mum in his class and was “helping” by holding up pieces of art. He stood by me with a huge grin the whole time and I felt quite honoured. I read some of my Silly Rhymes aloud to the class – the first time they have had a larger audience of me reading them. I really loved it! Teachers came in to look and his class teacher then made me do the whole thing again… and again… not just the poem (although I did read that several times – Smelly feet was a favourite) but the whole talk…

They loved the cork people and I agreed to go back in and run some sessions to show them how to make their own. Can’t wait!

Course Licence

I have been busy on a PTTLS course – (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) which will give us a licence to teach Government funded courses and our own. I passed and so will be busy developing courses which we’ll be offering next year as part of the Giggle Together project.

Support Hero 2011

This years winner of our Support Hero Award went to Trina Wittaker. She was described by voters to be “A warm hearted, selfless woman” among other great things. I’d already had the pleasure of meeting Trina and knew they were right! She was one of the speakers at our Magazine Awards night so I was really pleased when she won. There were many other great organisations on the nominations list – all containing individuals who put their all into what they do. Trina cried when we announced the winner and this became the highlight of my night. (I do like to make people cry!).

Sharing Smile in Chelmsford!

This year, for World Mental Health day, we were in High Chelmer Shopping centre as part of our Share a Smile campaign.
Oh yes – we want you to smile at us and we are willing to stand in a busy shopping centre smiling at people to do it. The whole campaign is to raise awareness of why smiling is so vital – even if you do feel like you will never smile again. Smiling at eachother is also vital in connecting people with their environment and unfortuately this isn’t something that busy Cities do well. During this week we had Giant Canvas’s on display for people to express “What Makes them Smile” – we also launched the ongoing Poetry Competition – send in your poems with the theme of “What Makes You Smile” to
We also had people sign up to our Badge pledge – make a pledge to wear our badge for a length of time you specify.. and we were out collecting smiles!

You can find out more about this campaign at

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Fit 4 Reading…

Wow – it’s been a while since I wrote a blog, doesn’t time fly! I do find I’m like this with my journal too – write in it every day for a while then the next entry has an opening line of…”wow doesn’t time fly – I really must write more often”. Now why would blogging be any different?

I’ve been on another planet for a bit, then mega busy but felt I should update on what events have happened and also need to talk about a great one coming up!

ADHD Awareness week – our talk in Chelmsford
An image showing a photo of the workshop

On the 14th of September we held a talk as part of our ADHD Awareness week events where we also had a stall for information in High Chelmer Shopping Centre. The talk was really well attended with over 20 parents/carers/professionals turning up to hear our speaker Sue Cook. She told her story about how she discovered a way to rewire childrens brains who suffer from Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, ADHD and Aspergers.
It was a fascinating talk and we had some great feedback. THE bar in Chelmsford allowed us to hold it there so we are really grateful to them for looking after us. (and will bring more cups for coffee next time).
We’ll be doing some more work with Sue in the future and have already designed her logo, and we produced some flyers which we shared cutting the costs and doubling their exposure.
Find out more about Sue and her programme at – I’ll add any further events about this to our website as well.

SHARE A SMILE CAMPAIGN… I think this deserves it’s own post so I’ll update that seperately.

VOTE FOR ME… please support me in keeping my top 5 positition in the Community Champion awards by voting for me…

Another update will be with you shortly, I think that’s enough for today.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week and the Local Press.

Ah… the press – don’t you just love them? We rely so much on the local press to increase the coverage of our messages. This week saw the result of our Eating Disorder Week display in High Chelmer Shopping Centre. Don’t I look lovely with my face painted.  It was a bit disappointing to see that the Essex Chronicle didn’t add in there that it was a Moulding Futures campaign to raise awareness of the eating disorders that are less “press friendly” because you can’t actually see a problem – like bulimia, as well as the others which are normally seen. We were fundraising for BEAT – the Eating Disorder Association with face painting, a raffle and also selling Nikki’s books – and Nikki was on hand to sign them and help out (she is a star! – and had a star facepaint but that was after the photograher left). The paper didn’t mention the face painting though so I just look like an idiot. Quite funny though I guess.  The whole piece is about the statistics but I’m sorry – these are so incorrect. We know it is a growing problem. We know the numbers are high. We also know that the numbers are a hell of a lot higher than those reported because many people don’t even realise they have an eating disorder when they do. THAT was supposed to be our message. Highlight the issue, make people more aware and provide them somewhere they can go to get help and advice. Unfortunately the profile of my story got cut so this information was totally missed.

So – when sending a story to the paper do remember that it won’t actually get printed the way you want it to – they generally do their own thing or get it wrong somehow. Very frustrating but there is nothing you can do about it.  If you would like to know more information about eating disorders go to BEAT at

Save the Children… EVERY ONE – (do we as Moulding Futures do enough saving?)

When I see charities like these and the work they are doing to save the lives of millions and thousands of children from dying under the age of five – I wonder what I am doing and that perhaps I should be doing more.  We don’t save lives, well not yet anyway. Mental Health conditions can also take lives and being part of Moulding Futures could be the turning point for some. The difference between a life with little opportunities purely because of lack of confidence, or that negative voice telling you that “no one will ever employ you… why would they?”

So while I may not be saving millions of childrens lives I am raising awaress of it and if I can change even one persons life, change a day from grey to pink and make someone feel that they DO have an important part to play on this planet and that their life really is worthwhile, that they can be creative and that they can also help others – then I shall be happy and we have already done this! If you know anyone who would benefit from feeling worthy, who wants to do something but thinks there is nothing out there because of their illness, circumstances or lack of exams etc, then tell them to get in touch with me because I believe taking part in something like Moulding Futures can save lives too. (or at least guide someone down a different path…).

Giving in to blogging…

Hello there – welcome to my blog all about Moulding Futures and my world within it. I belong to the Business Woman’s Network and last month we had a talk from Mockett Media about blogging. As a writer (or perhaps that should be wannabe), I’ve always liked the idea of sitting down and blogging but the only thing that put me off was that I love to journal. Hand written journaling, when you can really make a dent on the page, smell the paper and write as big or as small as you want depending on your mood. Of course I can type about 90% faster than I can write, and of course even though I love to write free hand; I very rarely remember or have the time to do it. Each page starting with “I can’t believe how much time has passed since my last entry…” and every new years eve promising to write more about me, my feelings and what I’ve been doing. Then it’s may.  Time ticks by so quickly and before you know it you’re writing your next disappointed and guilty entry on new years eve again.

So, here I am. Blogging. I may not be connected to the page as much but I’m here and its much faster. Plus it’s work related, and as a workaholic not in recovery I can’t think of a better way to get me to start!

I am hoping (let’s not be too optimistic) that I’ll write here regularly about our work at Moulding Futures and anything in the category of Tracy’s World will be news from the planet I like to call Traciness. It will all help people to make sense of what we are trying to achieve at Moulding Futures and you’ll go through the stress, the tears and also the good times with me as we move forward with our plans.

So – Welcome to the first post!

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