Sue Tideswell | Director & Teacher
I have been both director and yoga teacher with Softly Softly Yoga CIC. I trained at the Yoga Tree 2015 - 2016 under the watchful eye of Atma Gyanam Saraswati (RYT 200 hrs Accredited by Yoga Alliance UK).
I have experience in advice, welfare, social care, counselling and publicity. Yoga has helped me personally through difficult periods of my life. Working with vulnerable people through Softly Softly Yoga CIC has been a wonderful opportunity to put my love of yoga and my belief in it’s potential to transform into practise in the local community.
Steve Wiseman | Director
It’s not easy for small social enterprises and charities to survive and thrive in the current economic climate. I do the best I can to support them through mentoring, business planning, project development and fundraising, also working to set up new community groups where there’s a need.
My experience is rooted in 8 years via my company Wiseman & Associates and my previous career as CEO of Norwich & West Norfolk Citizens Advice Bureau. I’m proud to have nurtured Softly Softly Yoga since its inception, it certainly accords with my values in enabling disadvantaged communities to take up opportunities that normally they wouldn’t be able to afford.
James O’Donoghue | Director
I have been glad to oversee both The Breathe Easy Project and The Grace Under Pressure Project as a Director of Softly Softly Yoga CIC.
I am well versed in a wide range of media skills having worked in both press and publicity roles for the Government and as Head of Information for the Serious Fraud Office. This has provided me with the marketing and design expertise needed in creating a buzz about this terrific project run for the benefit of the people of Norwich.
Jan McLachlan | Director
I have a background in the Arts and worked for many years as a librarian and union rep at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA). I am a passionate supporter of community led action with a strong belief in the benefits of grass roots organisations like Softly Softly Yoga CIC.
As a director and keen yogini, I have been happy to contribute my time and energy both practically and creatively, developing and contributing to the ethos of the organisation, promoting the classes and networking to encourage take up.
Yoga is an ancient practise which has stood the test of time, and the postures (asana) and meditation methods like Yoga Nidra are great ways of dealing with common physical ailments like arthritis, back injuries, chronic conditions, and mental health issues. We offer modifications and use of props during classes to adapt the yoga to your own body and capabilities. Softly Softly Yoga classes are always inclusive and welcoming.
We were awarded funding by the AWA National Lottery Scheme in 2016 and 2018 and have successfully run two projects.
Over the last three years, we have built up a following for our classes and worked with other not-for-profit organisations to meet the growing need for inclusive services to help alleviate social isolation, loneliness and both physical and mental health issues. Below is a list of classes that we as a collective have run and worked on as part of the two projects to achieve this vision.
Project 1 | Breathe Easy | 2016 - 2018
(Funded by The National Lottery Awards for All Scheme)
We ran a weekly yoga class with Hinde House, a local hostel in the Norwich area for homeless women awaiting permanent housing in 2016 and 2018.
Under One Roof
This Norwich organisation is a valuable resource for homeless, those at risk of homelessness, and other various vulnerable groups. We introduced a successful weekly yoga class as an addition to the services they currently provide.
We ran a weekly Friday drop-in yoga class at Silver Road Community Centre in Norwich. Some of the people using the centre are on low income, unemployed, have physical or mental disabilities and are socially disadvantaged.
We ran a small weekly carers only yoga class, initially enabled by Louise Goold and The Carers Forum. The attendees met weekly at The Carers Forum. Free yoga classes gave them the opportunity for respite and, if only for an hour or so, to let off steam, physically and mentally.
We were happy to join forces with 4women at this wonderful Norwich community resource organisation and run a weekly yoga class. The class allowed women who may have suffered trauma such as domestic violence, or with on-going health issues to get together.
Project 2 | Grace Under Pressure | 2018 - 2019
(Funded by The National Lottery Awards for All Scheme)
Cloth of Kindness
The Cloth of Kindness is a community-based textile arts project. They work with groups getting together to sew and chat. The aim is to reduce social isolation and promote well-being giving people a voice in a very personal way. We ran a one-off special yoga class, and plan to do more with them in the future.
Silver Road Continued
In this project we built on the success of the previous year. Many of the attendees happily returned to the classes, which grew as people spread the word about the free yoga class at the Silver Road Community Centre in Norwich.
We worked with the People from Abroad Team, and ran multiple yoga classes in collaboration with this prize-winning social work team from Norfolk County Council. Their focus is to help the Syrian refugees who have settled in the county. The women needed female only classes where they could meet with each other for fun and fitness.
Leeway Safe House
We worked with women taking refuge from violent partners at one of the Leeway safe houses in Norwich by providing therapeutic yoga classes.