Big Up Your CHESS - Project Details
A Free Scholarship programme for young black, African, Caribbean, and Asian people of colour aged between 18 and 24.
Big Up Your CHESS is a Free programme for young people of colour living in Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets. The programme is fully funded by East London NHS Foundation Trust and designed and delivered by the Urban Mindfulness Foundation. The programme consists of an 8-week mindfulness-based educational journey that we take and create together to deepen our social, cultural, emotional, cognitive and critical thinking skills required to connect and flourish with purposeful potential and compassionate action in broader society
Some of what we will cover?
- What is mindfulness, and why should UK marginalised people practice it?
- Mindfulness tools for navigating stress, anxiety, and difficult emotions people face due to marginalisation
- Mindfulness tools for developing self-awareness, worth, resilience, compassion, gratitude, determination and agency.
- Mindfulness tools to aid the critical thinking required to address internalised oppression
- Dialogue practices to help participants articulate racial complexities and build solidarity in the community
- Mindful exercises to help build awareness of mindful leadership and connection
- Opportunities to use what we learn to develop mindful practices, artistic expressions and innovations to share with others.
What will be the highlights:
- Free £100 Westfield gift voucher for those who complete the course
- Free group activities/ trips in Westfield, e.g Cinema, bowling or Olympic park Orbit slide
- Free food will be available for participants to take home every week
- We will have guest speakers, including local organisations who support young people with opportunities
- We will have African Story Tellers, a resident Singer and vocal sound meditation practitioners and healer
- We will have a resident Poet/ spoken word artist
- We will have a resident Grime Beats music director and producer to support participants’ artistic innovations.
- We will start co-creating a mobile app that includes artistic expressions, innovations and or formal mindfulness practices as created and guided by participants from the BAPOC community.
All courses start on the 13th of January 2024
Why this Project?
The complex combination of racism and classism has resulted in embedded social constructs that divide communities, societies and nations into racial and social hierarchical power structures that still cause significant harm today.
This project therefore aims to support individuals who are at the highest risk of experiencing the structural harms that lead to hospitalisation and poor mental health and wellbeing. Specifically, this includes individuals aged between 18-24 from the black, African, Caribbean, Asian, people of colour communities. The primary objective of the project is to equip these young people with the necessary knowledge, skills, and emotional resilience to address instances of racism and classism in compassionately active ways.
Participants will also be encouraged to explore the importance of cross-cultural collaboration, which is essential if we are to address the issues of racism and inequality collectively.
Who is the programme for?
- Young people aged 18 to 24 from the Black African, Caribbean and Asian People of Colour communities (BAPOC) who live in Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney.
- Those from the above communities who are interested in mindful leadership and community development.
- Those with previous mindfulness experience who would like to experience a culturally relevant version of mindfulness
- Those who would like to create a mindful artistic expression of their own
- Those who would like to make new friends around a really healthy new habit and community of practice
Don’t be put off by the CHESS acronym Family!
This is not a chess club! and no knowledge or interest in CHESS is necessary. We acknowledge and use game of CHESS as a metaphor for life and its twists and turns. How we choose to play the game of life is important and this programme offers the opportunity for – Choosing community collaboration, Health, Education and Strategic Solidarity or (CHESS).
How will the project meet its intentions?
- It will provide a small group of at least 40 young people from BAPOC communities across each of the boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney with key mindfulness skills and the inspiration to share those skills with others for the health and well-being within BAPOC communities and wider society.
- The project will provide a space of psychological safety where young people can attend regular drop-in classes and meditation sessions, talks, events and activities that are culturally relevant and designed to promote healing through healthy social connection.
- The project will also help develop bridges between grassroots communities, statutory health care and community support services through collaborative initiatives and guest speakers and presentations that inspire young people.
- Build young people’s soft skills to support participants seeking employment and opportunities in mindfulness
- Participants will feel that mindfulness practice is helping them to flourish in everyday home life
- Graduates of the course will know how to lead basic mindfulness practice in a culturally relevant and community-focused way