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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Louise Alle

Community Bridges X Ldn Dares TAKEOVER

Often our inhibitions hold us back – sometimes to the point in which we are prevented from going about our everyday life or achieving our goals. Well, we are believers in ‘practice what you preach’ and so we jumped (albeit slightly nervously) at the chance to speak with Community Bridges on their weekly podcast. Community Bridges are a non-profit organisation whose aim is to reduce loneliness and improve health by helping people get active, get creative, and connect with their local South London community.

CEO Ursula Joy and former Darer (participant) and now Facilitator Michelle Snow joined the Community Bridges team to discuss the story of Ldn Dares, what we do and some of the exciting project we have in the pipeline for the coming months. Michelle also shares her personal experience on how attending the Ldn Dares curated LGBT+ Dare Sessions Workshop helped her on her journey to recovery.

Want to hear the full story? Listen to the podcast here.

Seven years of supporting the community

The story of Ldn Dares hasn’t been smooth, we’ve encountered some hiccups across the way, and expect there to be many more as we grow. The impacts of austerity and an increase in the number of organisations applying for grants, combined with the difficulty in finding suitable spaces for running our workshops have been challenges from the get-go, however as with many organisations, 2020 has put a huge strain on us. When COVID-19 hit and lockdown began we witnessed the loss of some key funding, which as a result, left the future Ldn Dares very much hanging in the balance.

However, with the determination of CEO Ursula, our enterprise is back on track and we feel that our services have possibly never been so important. COVID-19 has really emphasised the need for services such as ours. Whether it’s going to the gym, connecting with others or going out in their community – there is an absence of valuable outlets for people’s emotions which can be detrimental to mental health. Not only that but the continued growth of fame media and the pushing of the ‘ideal’ body image are a real threat to individual’s self-worth as people live in a world of comparisons whether it be their body or lifestyle.

Dare yourself confident

Overcoming inhibition is an idea which has been a central focus in the growth of Ldn Dares. Why should our confidence and self-esteem (or lack of it) hold us back in life? No matter how much we want something, what is it that stops us from reaching for it? We don’t necessarily have all the answers, but what we can do is to help with how to overcome these obstacles and provide you with the tools to grow your self-compassion and confidence.

Our workshops take the skills actors might use for building their confidence on stage and package them into a tool that our Darers can use to break down the barriers and inhibitions they have and can be applied into day to day life. Our exercises are designed to show Darers how they are more in control of their confidence than they think. How do we do that? Our sessions use Dares which are designed to challenge individual’s to work outside of their comfort zone, but in a supportive environment. Our aim of inspiring confidence and nurturing a positive body image for our Darers leads to our wider purpose of empowering people to make the life changes they want too individually, and within their communities.

Looking to the future

We cannot wait to meet you all. We are super eager to get back to hosting our face-to-face workshops (the Dare Sessions) – we can’t promise when this will be but we promise you’ll be the first to know. But in the meantime we’ve got some exciting projects underway – here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect to see across our social channels:

  1. Every Wednesday we’ll be releasing a new instalment of our Body Image Hot Topic videos where our experts will be answering questions that have been put to us by the public. We are also currently creating a an exclusive series focussing on the LGBT+ community;

  2. In the New Year we’ll be releasing our first ever e-learning course – this consists of four modules which will help you nurture a positive body image and grow your confidence. Keep an eye on our website and social channels for exciting updates on this;

  3. Our body confidence webinar which we’ll be running on both January 28th and February 6th.

You can be the first to know about our exciting new projects by signing up to our mailing list. Make sure you listen to the full podcast with Community Bridges here.



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