The Shine Project

Beautiful . Valuable . Loveable . Unique

Writing a gratitude list

Anne ClarksonComment
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Being thankful…

#loveshine

Mindfulness Challenge – post your own ‘gratitude list’, feel free to share this with friends.

Take some time today, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, to write a gratitude list.  It may sound odd, but putting pen to paper is more powerful than you think. 

Here are 10 reasons for Shine to give thanks today:

  1. We are thankful for our volunteers who give up their time to help at our events and on each of our 8-week Shine courses (we run several at once – so that’s a lot)

  2. We are thankful for our supporters.  We can’t run without donations – so it makes a HUGE difference.  For example, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to BHLIVE, Bournemouth University (BU), Arbonne and all the fabulous business that helped fund our recent wellbeing event (photos coming soon!).

  3. We are thankful for our trustees. Our team members each received a beautiful email / message after our recent Wellbeing event from each of the trustees, thanking us for specific things.  Being part of an organisation that truly recognises and values your efforts is so wonderful and makes us feel proud indeed.

  4. We are thankful for our professionals.  Shine courses include demonstrations in hair & skin care by professionals.  They do a wonderful job and deserve our thanks. The professional instruction on how to do your eyebrows is a particular success at the moment!

  5. We are thankful to our schools. So many schools across Dorset welcome Shine and are tell us they appreciate the difference we make to their girls.  We thank them in return for the warm welcome and working with us so positively in the support and safeguarding of these fantastic young people.  We hope to be able to work with more schools very soon.  Schools that attended our recent wellbeing event included: St Peters, BSG, St Aldhelms, TBOWA, Avonbourne, Ferndown Upper, Twynham, The Grange, Ringwood, Poole High, St Edwards, Parkfield, Glenmoor, Linwood, Highcliffe and Cranbourne!

  6. We are thankful to our fundraisers.  We now have a new fundraising and supporters group and with their help, hope to expand what Shine is able to do.  Every post share, donation of time, idea, and things like baking cakes for our events matters.  We even have volunteers who make hundreds of bracelets, bookmarks, and key rings FREE for us, to be given to our girls as an empowering reminder that they are beautiful, loveable, valuable and unique.

  7. We are thankful to our partner organisations.  On the 11th Feb our Wellbeing Event included stands from over 20 organisations, all with amazing interactive activities for the girls.  Thank you to: Pavilion Dance, YMCA, BH Live, Fire Services, Bournemouth University, CVS, Dorset Mind, Girl Guides, Lansdowne Church, Pavilion Youth Theatre, Relate, Poole Youth, Samaritans, Dorset Rape Crisis, Ocean Red, Women’s Resource Centre, Arbonne, Bournemouth Bridal Hair and Makeup, Jericho Youth Project, and Lush.

  8. We are thankful for our community.  We are so lucky that the Dorset community is so strong.  Awareness of Shine is growing and community involvement is key to what we do.  Investing in our young community members sends a powerful message that we all matter.

  9. We are thankful for each other.  Our team all have unique skills and all work harmoniously towards our vision http://shineproject.org.uk/mission-statement-and-vision.  Project Co-ordinators, Anne and Liz are friendly, amazing, super-organised and focused on reaching and supporting teen girls in the best way possible. 

  10. We are thankful for our girls.  Last on our list, but in no way least, are our girls.  Every one is different, every one with their own perspective, and personal journey.  You inspire us with your enthusiasm and love for what we do.  We work hard for you, to support you and help you flourish. Thank you for your openness, your eagerness to participate and for taking the time to invest in yourselves, to learn, to grow and to be a stronger, more confident version of yourselves. You matter.  Thank you.

Hayley Barnard is confirmed as the guest speaker for the Shine Health and Wellbeing event 2019!

Anne ClarksonComment

Hayley Barnard (Managing Director of MIX Diversity Developers and Adventurer), is an entrepreneur who runs two successful businesses, as well as a marathon swimmer who has not only swum the English Channel but has also swum around Manhattan Island, New York – without a wetsuit!

She’s even co-led an all-female team on an expedition in the Arctic Circle.

Hayley will be talking about how we can tame the little voice in our head that whispers ‘You can’t do this’ or ‘You’re not good enough’ and instead have the confidence to go for it!


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Time to organise & declutter

Anne ClarksonComment

There is an old saying “clear desk, clear mind”.  Whether it’s work, our home or our bedroom, our environment can have a huge impact on our wellbeing. Cutting down the number of ‘things’ in your life, means you become less distracted by thoughts such as “I should find a home for that, this needs to be fixed, I don’t really like that, but it was a gift” etc.  These are just extra thoughts about ‘things’, which you don’t need mentally or physically.

When you have fewer things, but things you love, tidily displayed, it is easier to enjoy your surroundings and relax!  Who doesn’t feel happier in a fresh, clean and light space?

The BEST thing about it is saving time searching for lost things and tidying. Searching for things and trying to clean a cluttered room / home / office is time consuming and actually quite draining! Yes, cleaning can in itself be a mindful activity, but not when it is a never-ending, unbeatable battle against the clutter!

Many people keep things as memories or for sentimental reasons and that’s OK, but consider which items really add VALUE to your life. Marie Kondo, the tidying guru, recommends you hold each item and keep it only if it ‘sparks joy’.

Freeing yourself from existing clutter, means time and freedom are regained, time which could be spent making memories with friends, going somewhere new or doing some exercise or a hobby.

Not BUYING clutter, reducing the amount of ‘stuff’ coming into your home, therefore frees up your time and funds to DO and experience new things that make you far richer. 

So HOW do you do it?  Here are our top tips:

1) Set yourself a treat. 

At the end of this I will have a cup of tea, head out to the cinema or perhaps buy a beautiful, fresh bunch of flowers or plant to finish off the new space. 

2) Get Some Music on!

Find some tunes to make you feel upbeat and motivated.  Time will whizz past as you work away while singing or even dancing along.

3) Look Around You

Before you start, stand in the doorway or corner of the room and take a good look around.  Think about what your friends/parents see when they stand in the same place, looking into your room! What is the first thing you notice?

4) Declutter time

To start you’ll need 4 large boxes or bags. These are for:

·       Recycling – paper, plastics etc. in here!

·       Rubbish  - things broken beyond repair, food waste etc.

·       Donation / sell / re-gift – things in good condition that someone else could use.  This includes new items you’ll never realistically wear / use!

·       Storage (this is for seasonal things that are taking up valuable space & can stored elsewhere)

Choose a place to begin.  Fold and put away items to keep. Work your way around the room folding / putting away items to keep and think:

·       Have I outgrown this?

·       Do I really need this item? Have I used it in the last 12 months?

·       Does it spark any joy for me?

·       Is this item just taking up space or do I (not will I) actually use it?

Really go for it! Be positive about each thing you free your space from.  You’ll have this done in no time.  Each item out is one step closer to a tidier, healthier space and mind!

When you’ve finished, give it a quick vacuum, dust and RELAX. 

Mindfulness and Reading

Anne ClarksonComment

These days, whether on a screen or on paper, we speed read and have learnt to quickly process more information than ever before, like a race to finish the text than a search for meaning.

Mindful reading is radically different. It slows the reader down and offers a have of quiet reflection that which helps us let go of distracting thoughts. This slower, mindful reading can create space in our minds for ideas, creative inspiration, happiness, relaxation and wisdom.

Get lost in the words in a book and lose track of our own daily worries. Thoughts, emotions and problems are forgotten, while we are transported into the world of our imagination. It detaches us from the emotions of our own past or worries about our future and empowers us by allowing ourselves time to just ‘be’. 

Reading books before bed (rather than screen time), can relax the mind and lead to more peaceful night’s rest.

Top tips for mindful reading:

Make some ‘me time’ for yourself to read a little each day.

Before starting, sit quietly for some minutes. Bring your attention to your breath, and let go of thoughts.  Repeat this at the end of your reading a take as few moments to consider what you’ve learned from the text/story.

When reading a short piece, maybe a page long. Does a phrase stands out to you? Repeat it to yourself, perhaps several times. Do any images or ideas or memories arise and what feelings are evoked. Do any particular words have special meaning and does this change the meaning of the piece when you re-read it?

Slow, mindful reading is a truly beneficial experience, radically different from racing to cram information in.

 

Shine achieve the Ambition Quality mark.

Anne ClarksonComment

Ambition is the quality mark for the youth sector and is the only standard on the market to provide supported achievement for youth provision of any size. This spans from a one night per week provision staffed by volunteers within a rented premises right up to a multimillion pound youth infrastructure body. Ambition Quality is an assurance scheme specifically designed for organisations working with young  people. This scheme enables youth organisations to demonstrate quality provision through a supported self-assessment process. These standards have been set in order to;

* Provide a clear structure to recognise and develop quality provision

* Achieve lasting improvements to practice and management

* Improve individual and organisational confidence in the delivery and management of young people’s services 

* Evidence the quality of services being delivered to young people Involve young people in the process of quality provision.

* Provide a nationally recognised award for those working with young people

The Shine Project passed and is now a quality assured charity.

Thank You AFC Bournemouth

sport, fundingAnne ClarksonComment

Shine would like to extend a huge thank you to AFC Bournemouth for their contribution to Shine. We work hard to get the girls involved in sports of all kinds. Many of our girls love football and it is a huge encouragement to both them and us to have the support of our local team.

Are You Listening?

Anne Clarkson1 Comment

I am going on holiday this half term with the extended family on my side. There will be 19 of us in total, staying in a beautiful manor house in the countryside. That statement may send shivers down your spine, you may feel happy for me, or a few twinges of envy, depending on your own family situation. For myself I flip flop from really looking forward to it (it has its own pool!) to being a little nervous.

It is not that I don’t love my family. I love them all deeply and enjoy spending time with each of them individually; the thing that concerns me is when we are all together. When we are gathered as a group there seems to be a natural reversion to our old family dynamics. I am one of four. Growing up, we were all close. There was my elder sister who was shy, probably the most nurturing of all of us with a wicked sense of humour. Then me- a subject matter I will get back too shortly. Thirdly, my brother, sporty, charismatic, and strong willed. Lastly my youngest brother, being a few years younger than the three of us he was always the baby, sweet, sensitive and obsessed with all things electrical!

We have all grown up and moved back to the local area. We all see each other regularly and all our children get on well together. So what is the problem? I hear you ask. The problem, in a word, is me.

I was the feisty one, the one that would challenge, ask questions, not back down. Words were my tool and I was just starting to master them. I can remember being told that I would argue black is white. I said things how I saw them and often not with tact. I was not afraid to confront or stand my ground depending on the situation.  If I saw a perceived injustice either to myself or others – I was all over it.

I know some of you reading this may well recognize this either in your younger selves or your daughters and I see many girls like this in Shine. We are not necessarily easy to parent or be a sibling of. We don’t conform, and our life’s blood is deep conversation, discussion and challenge. Like I said – not easy.

But we do not sit idly by, we cause change we create opportunity and we are passionate.

I have seen many passionate women out on the streets in the past weeks prepared to make a stand for what they believe in, no matter the inconvenience to themselves. I didn’t and that makes me nervous, when did I start to conform and why do I have a niggling sense that over the years I have lost my voice.

As with most cases it started with my family. I became a caricature for them, the argumentative one. As such my opinions were not heard and the more I shouted the more I unconsciously consolidated their opinion of me. In the 90’s I ventured into the workplace where strong, self-assured women were not necessarily welcomed with open arms. Time and again my thoughts, opinions and feelings were discounted and I was brushed off. I was either too strong or emotive or quite simply a women.

Sadly I gradually learned to not trust in my own discernment or myself. I lost the authority to say, “I feel”. I had to have copious amounts of evidence to back up why I felt the way I did and at least three people backing me up. Somewhere a long the line of not being heard I stopped listening to myself.

I know my story is not unique. There are many women out there who feel the same and can give instance after instance where they have been dismissed. A common occurrence for me now is in relation to my children’s schooling, I can speak to the school/teachers but I know in reality to get things really moving I need to get my husband involved.

We see repeated examples of this being carried out in politics, where groups of men make decisions regarding women’s lives. Are we not to be trusted to make the right decisions for ourselves?

One of the key aims for Shine is to see the girls we work with start to believe in themselves and their own decision making so that they can say “no, I don’t want to take drugs even though all my friends are.” Or “No, I don’t want to have sex even though my boyfriend wants me to.”

How are we supposed to do this if the whole of society is singing a different song? To be strong – is aggressive, to be powerful is controlling; to argue is to nag and to be a leader you are a witch.

I don’t want to see my beautiful, feisty, fierce Shine girls lose their brilliance, their passion and their self belief and so to do that I must try again to be heard and so must all of you. Do not let their light dim through sexist propaganda. Listen to your grandmother, mother, sister and daughter, hear and encourage them because as Maud in the movie suffragette says,

“What are you going to do? Lock us all up? We're in every home. We're half the human race. You can't stop us all.”