6 ways to wellbeing workshops and dance performance – all part of Christmas in Dover 2014

Six ways to well being

Our 6 Ways 2 Wellbeing programme for November 22nd was hosted together with Sarah Bottle, the KCC coast libraian  in the Dover Discovery Centre. We were also in Dover’s Market Square, our programme being part of Dover Town Council’s Christmas in Dover 2014 programme, finishing with the Christmas lights switch on. In the morning a poetry workshop was led by Leah Thorn & a sound workshop by Richard Bundy  after which the Performing Arts students at East Kent College, introduced by Clare Smith, performed a 6 ways 2 wellbeing DAD4DADs dance in the Market Square. They explored, the theme of connecting in particular and used the form of the 6 ways wheel. Clare Smith and a couple of the students were interviewed by Marc Carey for Dover Community Radio – a great way of getting the 6 Ways to Wellbeing message out to a large audience.

Before the main afternoon programme the Wellbeing champions and ambassadors took part in a workshop with all the project practitioners – teaching them experientially about the 6 Ways 2 Wellbeing.  Having had a taste of what the participants in the afternoon workshops could expect, the champions recruited young people who had come for the Christmas in Dover event.

The afternoon sessions consisted of half-hour open workshops : 2.15 – 2.45: movement with Luke Burrough, exploring the impact of emotion on movement – how a movement becomes meaningful through movement – and in particular thinking about participants’ relationship with their significant male figure. 3.00 – 3.30: drawing with Greg Stobbs, exploring collaborative drawings and how the narrative changes with the introduction of a “dad” figure and the addition of typical “dad” sayings or ‘wise words’ 3.45 – 4.15 poetry with Leah Thorn, exploring feelings about a significant male figure through words.

There were some fabulous results – some new moves created, thought provoking collaborative drawings and very moving poetry. “As always, poetry enabled the brilliant young people I worked with to put profound thoughts and feelings into few words. Workshop participants excelled in trying something new, taking risks and producing some fantastic lines for the group poem about fathers  –

He is my friend, brother, lover

My one star. Two stars. Three stars

A hug of b o u n d l e s s n e s s. ” (spoken word poet, Leah Thorn)

At 4.30 East Kent College were out again with their wellbeing dancers before the Christmas lights switch on at 5.30. Richard Bundy led a closing session for the DAD4DADs 6 Ways 2 wellbeing team and commented: It was a full conclusion to an extraordinary project and wonderful that, in the process, the practitioners also benefited as the workshops unfolded. 

We’ve had some lovely feedback on the overall impact of the project:

The DAD4Dads project has been such a powerful experience for the young people but also the practitioners involved.  Connecting everyone together through the arts and by exploring family systemics and relationships, the six ways to wellbeing has brought about a consciousness and awareness to ourselves and also to others in a way im not sure any of us could have predicted (Lauren Baldock, Jasmin Vardimon Company)

Thank you too Joanna and Clare and also to all you amazing practitioners and champions for making this such a great project to be involved in. What’s next ? (Petra Matthews Crow  Astor College)

It really has been great to work with you all and fantastic that the project was so successful. Thank you to everyone who had a part in the project. Looking forward to the next one! Take care and keep in touch. (Olivia & Anita East Kent College)

Dear Clare, Dear Joanna I just wanted to express my thanks for the wonderful finale event on 22nd November for the Six Ways to Wellbeing Dad4Dads project. It was very humbling to witness such a wonderful group of creative people enthuse the young people that you worked with – they were clearly, all of them, having a ball on the 22nd. I was, as you know, a little unconvinced in the beginning as to how it all might fit together with the six ways, however, watching how everyone interacted during the day, and how the Dover Discovery Centre came alive for the day was a great testament to this project. I will try to time any events we hold in future with any happenings in the Market Square as I think that contributed to the footfall too. I know the project was a difficult journey for some, yet I really feel it achieved something for the YP and we’ve built some great foundations to work upon with for the future. (Sarah Bottle, KCC Community Development Librarian Coast)

I agree, it was wonderful and great to see them in action last Saturday. It is also good to see the wellbeing zone developing in the Dover library.  (Ivan Rudd, KCC Public Health)