I’m delighted to share this video interview with Angelita Woosnam as part of the #HaltonHour Features video series of interviews with organisations in Runcorn and Widnes (Halton) Cheshire. Angelita is perhaps better known as The WellBeing Lady who organised the fabulous WellBeing Days in Warrington and Widnes when going out and having face-to-face therapies was acceptable…
In this video, Angelita talks about supporting Halton residents through the current difficult times as part of her Community Interest Company, Recharge and Restore. You can get involved in #HaltonHour too, find out how on our Get Involved page
#HaltonHour Interview with Angelita Woosnam
In this video interview with Angelita Woosnam, you’ll learn about:
* the 12 week Moving Forward Programme for Halton residents,
* where Angelita got support and help with funding for community projects
* what’s in the WellBeing box?!
Connect with Angelita Woosnam
Recharge and Restore CIC
All right, here we go. Number two, it’s going to get easier for me. Right. So first of all, thank you for taking part. And for your time to do this. Because Yeah, I really, really do appreciate it. I know it’s likely to be a bit rough around the edges because it’s my first time with doing anything like this, second time for doing anything like this.
We’re going to go with it and learn as we go along. And hopefully the the second of many more to come because you’re not allowed just one. You can have a more than one. So thank you very much. So first of all, if you would like to introduce yourself? We know you as Angelita the WellBeing Lady. So I’ll let you take it from there.
So Introduce yourself. So Angelita Woosnam, the WellBeing Lady. I think took that name, that name sort of developed out of events that I was running for 10 years, which sounds a very, very long time up to just about this time last year. And I quite like the sound of it. I thought, yes. So yeah, so I’m the WellBeing Lady. I am. I’ve been a therapist for probably the best part of 20 years. I started off with physical therapies. So massage, reflexology, hands on touchy feely stuff. And then I say progressed because it feels like a progression to me into energy work energy therapies.
So Reiki I started with, and then some other energy things. And then I trained in EFT, which is Emotional Freedom Technique, and something called matrix reimprinting, which is a development of EFT. And then I’ve gone on to learn other energy techniques, from other places with other groups.
Anything that catches my eye or catches, catches my what’s the word? Yeah, attention. That’s the word. Not that I’ve got any this morning, catches my attention. I think all that looks interesting. I was excited. I’ll go and do that. And so I work as a therapist with my own practice this room that I’m sitting in at the moment. It was my therapy room and will be my therapy room again.
But I also work with the local community interest company CIC called Recharge and Restore. And we’ve been out this morning, delivering our Easter activity boxes, to two primary schools in Runcorn. And we’re looking forward to the feedback when they open their boxes and do their Easter egg hunt and all the other activities in there. So yeah.
You mentioned Recharge and Restore. And I know you’ve got a lot of stuff going on with your 12 week moving forward thing is that something you’d like to talk about?
Love to would love to because we actually have capacity and space. We want to run another group and it’s funding we received from, I just got this wrong, I thought it was European Social funding. I think it’s education skills and something else working with the WEA. So the Workers Education Association, and we received some funding to run two groups in Halton. For people who are unemployed, or economically inactive, and living in Halton, and you have to be over 18 or 19, I think it is.
And we’ve developed a 12 week programme. We call it a holistic programme, because myself and my colleague Eileen, we’re both holistic therapists, we can’t work any other way. We, you know, we couldn’t just deliver, just deliver stuff and go there, you go off, you trot. And so this 12 week programme is quite unique. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another one like it. And that’s not just blowing our own trumpet.
We’re take we’ve taken people, we’re halfway through the first first group. And it’s about improving self esteem, confidence. And the big thing that the people who are taking part in the first one have all commented on is motivation. They feel more motivated, they feel, they look forward to Tuesday mornings. Its a lovely, lovely group, they all get on very, very well. We’ve got quite a number of people who are carers, either caring for a husband or partner, or a couple of the mums are caring for autistic young people.
And so they’re out there are lots of similarities, and also lots of differences, which makes it a really, really nice and interesting group. Yeah, so we’ve done a number of things, we’ve got four or five more weeks to go. But as I say, we’ve got funding to enable us to do to run another group. So we’re looking for 15 or 20 people who fit those criteria. And to do another group.
We have to have it completed. I think by July, I think that’s the extension that we’ve got. And the extensions have come about because of the extenuating circumstances that we’re living under at the moment, because I think people are finding it difficult to be motivated to actually go Oh, that looks interesting. I’ll take part in that.
You know, so many people have said, it’s like, excuse me, Groundhog Day? What day is it? Where am I? Is it Tuesdays it’s Thursday do I put the bins out today, all of these things. And you know, I’m as I’ll say, guilty, I’m as affected as anybody else. You know, there are some days I think I’ve got any meetings today. Where’s my diary? What I’ve got to do, because it does feel very, very strange.
Because, you know, like a lot of people before this situation started last year, I was one of the busiest people I knew. And you know, I’ve known you for a long time. Yeah. You know, I’d be like, right, I’ve got a meeting here at 10 o’clock. And I’d go there, and I’d come back and have some clients here, then I go off and do something else.
And it was this constant, rushing around, which I’m not I don’t miss, so don’t miss them and rushing around. I must admit, I don’t think my car does either. But I do miss people. I missed the face to face one on one interaction with people. Yes, having a beautiful laptop, which also has been paid for with funding. Thank you very much. I’ve been able to hold zoom, you know, zoom groups, do workshops. I do meditations online, all kinds of things.
It’s been fab. But it doesn’t for me, it doesn’t replace people doesn’t replace being in a room with people. So Recharge and Restore. We’ve been in existence for four years this year. Yeah, June or July, I think we started. And to be absolutely honest, and very, very grateful. We’ve had more funding in the last 12 months than we’ve had in the entire time that we’ve been a CIC. And a lot of that has come about because of the emergency funding that was available last year.
And it’s made us think outside the box or even create a new box, a new box. And we’re doing things that we wouldn’t have done before, we just wouldn’t have thought about it. Because we’re too busy being therapists and delivering therapies and you know, working with people that way. So even the holiday activity fund, we wouldn’t have thought of doing that we wouldn’t have thought that that’s something that either we could do, or, you know, we could put what we do in that if that makes any sense.
And through the local VCA, the Voluntary Community Association, they’ve got a longer name that I always get confused. I’m not going to mess it up, who look after and help and support all the volunteering community associations and organisations in Halton. They’re absolutely fab. They’ve they run meetings. I think they’re every week at first, then they went to fortnightly and we’re just about to go back to monthly.
But there was a lot of support a lot of partnership working, which was really missing in Halton, which has been really, really good for all of us. And plus, we got to know about all the funding that was available. Yeah. You know, people got on net late last year, it was probably I’m trying to think of the sort of time timescale of it, it was probably end of June, July, I think, that somebody came on from Ed Central, which is a company that manages the funding for the holiday activity fund. And said, you know, we’re looking for some more people who want to do some work that de de de de de… and the closing dates next Tuesday.
But long story short, we applied, we don’t do food. Part of that remit is food, but what we don’t do food, you know, not we were not going to supply food, but we supplied wellbeing boxes wellbeing activities, which went down really, really well. So we’re doing that again. And the Moving Forward, so so we are quite busy, which is busy.
Going back to your wellbeing boxes I know you gifted me a wellbeing box, and it was absolutely amazing. It was it was fabulous. And I think what came from from that that box was it wasn’t just a key ring and yeah, twiddle toy. And then I’m not saying that to be, you know, sort of put down anybody else doing them. It was just it was so different. And it was so bloody useful. It was you I love your card as well with your reflexology, and you sent me a video as well. which reminds to go back and to do that. And it was like, wow, wow, it was it was it was really, really good.
Well as I say. Because we’re therapists and we’re used to working with you know, such a wide variety of individuals and known people it was for us. It was what can we put in that’s going to be useful for people. And right from the very first project that we did, which is probably now end of May, June last year. And the feedback we got from people when they even just open the envelopes and when it smells gorgeous, before they even knew what was in it. Because we we’ve created these lavender eye pillows I should have got so much to show and lavender pillows which smell gorgeous. Anyway. And then as you say the the relaxation technique when included, some mindful colouring, and then there are other bits and pieces in there as well. So it was a really, really good goodie bag. It was a really nice pack.
It was a very practical box.
Very practical, very practical. Plus at the time, you know, we were we’ve just started all the the lockdown all the restrictions, and people weren’t going out and doing different things. And it was just people said it was nice to get something in the post. Yeah, with their name on.
Yeah, it was fabulous. And it smells gorgeous. So, I mean, you’ve touched a little on the issues that we’ve had that everybody’s had over the last year. And one of the things that has come from the mess that we’ve that we’re still going through and coming out of is the need for small business owners to suddenly become unbelievably creative. I mean, you’ve like you just said, if you’ve made your own box, you weren’t even thinking outside of a box, you’ve made a totally different box. How? I mean, is that a skill and experience that you’re going to use going forward that you’re going to be more willing to try new things? Is it you know, is it something that is taken away, almost taken away a barrier of what should happen?
Absolutely, absolutely. And yeah, that’s a really good way of describing it. Because I think that happened again, going back to the VCA, who, you know, there our sort of support if you like, you know, going to the meetings and listen to other people also doing things that they they wouldn’t have considered before, you know, because we could have said our (unintelligible). I can still speak I don’t know if you can still hear me You probably can’t. I do speak with my hands. Apologies.
Yeah, people, you know, we could have said, Oh we’re just therapists and you know, we do therapies. I know we can’t do them now. So oh dear what we’re going to do and it was out of conversations with think it was actually Annie, Anne Marie Lawrence from the VCA.
Because we looked at the funding and thought, Well, how can we do this? What can we put in it? You know, because we can’t actually go and see people. And our initial idea, and I can’t even remember what it was now, because it’s obviously just gone. And she said all she said, as somebody who’s doing some wellbeing packs, she sort of seen somebody doing something. So why don’t you think about doing something like that? So we went, Oh, okay, we will. And then, of course, we went off and created what we what we delivered.
And it does, it has given us that… well we’ve done that now. You know, 18 months ago, we wouldn’t have considered that that was something that we could do. So we’ve done that, what else can we do? You know, we’ve done wellbeing packs for people at home, we’ve done wellbeing boxes for children.
And that was such a lovely activity last year, because Eileen, who I work with, she actually did most of the thinking about what to put in the boxes. And at the end of it, we both said, that’s really good, because, you know, we we reintroduce this for children who, you know, they might not have ever played hopscotch. And for somebody of a certain age, you know, hopscotch only needs a piece of chalk. And, you know, some paving slabs or a bit of concrete or whatever, you know, children today, possibly won’t have played that.
So we reintroduce some of the old games that are easy to do with no devices, no tablets, no Wi Fi needed, you know? And yeah, so we were skipping. we had hopscotch has a say, and one of the lovely things and this is very silly and very, very inner, childish. I don’t know what they’re called number puzzles. I think they call them but they’re like little tiny squares, the ones we got on had nine, was it nine, nine little slidy thing? Oh, yeah. Yeah, and you have to, and you have to get them in the right order. Hours, hours! just probably frustration too, but hours of just, you know, keeping them occupied and make it helping their brains to, to work in a different way.
So yeah, we really, really enjoyed that. We sent them outside, they went outside into nature and found bits to make a picture. So bits of stick and flowers and some of the pictures, we didn’t share them all, obviously, because of, you know, they contained images of children. But where we caught and some of the pictures that these children created with just their works of art, they really, really were. So in the boxes that have just gone out now, one of the activities is to create an Easter picture, again, with your family. So you know, finding bits of stick or whatever you’re going to use to make make your picture up. Anything. Well, we think, you know, this situation, as you said, has affected absolutely everybody. There’s nobody who can say, Oh, I’m not bothered, it doesn’t affect me, you know, I’m just living my life the way I was before. And it’s affected all of us whether we like it or not.
Yeah. And, you know, one of the things that we’re very aware of, and I’m certainly aware of is the mental health repercussions of all of this going forward. That’s massive. And I think it’s already massive, I think it’s already having an impact and effect on certainly on children and young people. And then, you know, rippling out to families to parents struggling to grandparents not been able to see children, you know, the big long, you could just write a big long list.
The knock on effect is it’s just been, it’s been horrific for many, many people. And this will take years and years and years to recover from that. And, you know, it’s it’s, it’s hard to even, you know, even going back to last year when it was all starting to kick off. You couldn’t have envisioned the impact?
No. So I’m lucky enough that my grandchildren, all but the littlest one, all lived locally, My littlest grandson at the time, was actually living here with me and his mum. And I’ve seen the effect that not been able to go to school has had, not being able to play football for my grandson, not able to see the friends. All of that has changed their behaviours and you know for for a time made them quite insular, made them quiet. You know, I don’t want to go out, not can’t go. I don’t want to go out now. And I do remember being in supermarket I think it was Aldi, not a big supermarket. And in front of me when when things did start to ease just before the summer last year, and there were these two lovely young girls in front of me, obviously with their mum or somebody, and in their shorts, because it’s quite a warm day. And I heard that the ladies behind me were talking about them and said, look at the state of them. She said, they haven’t been out for weeks and weeks and weeks, they’ve got legs, like milk bottles. But they hadn’t been out, spent all the time in their bedrooms, because, you know, on their phones or on, you know, xboxes or PlayStations, or whatever the device of choice is. And that’s their communication.
And, you know, we’re somebody who grew up, and and my children grew up playing outside. Yeah, you know, we still talk about it now, you know, summer holidays, they be gone, you know, breakfast. And then there was a whole little gang of them where we live, there was 10 of them all together. I had three, someone else had two, you know, and they all had to look after each other. And they’ve just go out. Yeah, from 10 o’clock, and they might come back for lunch if they were starving. But if they weren’t, they didn’t come back. Or if somebody fell out of a tree that they weren’t supposed to be in there, come back. But they’d be out all day playing, you know, getting dirty. Just doing whatever children did. You know, the complete flip to now, you know, they’re inside all the time.
And it’s Yeah, it’s hard. So now we’re coming out of the strict restrictions, rightly or wrongly? I know, I know, my personal feelings on it. Oh, it’s just somebody to know. But what’s next for you and for Recharge and Restore? What’s what’s your vision going forward? Because the likelihood that, yeah, we’ll get summer out of it and they’ll be looking at restricting again, come winter, because, you know, we’ll be all with some virus or another. So. Yeah. So I mean, if you thought that that far on? It’s going to be, it’s gonna be a tough one, isn’t it?
is, um, to be honest, I haven’t. We haven’t, you know, we’re sort of we’re working on one project at a time. Yeah. Because there’s anybody who relies on funding for, you know, a greater or lesser proportion of their income. We know how fickle it can be. And as I said, Before, we know we’re so grateful to have been to have been helped and supported in the funding bids that we’ve made. And the external funding team, one person in particular, at Halton Borough Council is amazing. If you are a volunteer organisation, if you’ve got funding bid, get in touch with them, they will make your your ideas come to life on paper. But yeah, so with their help, we’ve managed to secure a lot of the funding that we’ve had. I’ve just got notice, actually, that we’ve got some funding from Halton Borough Council that we’ve applied for in January, we thought we’ve been unsuccessful, but we’ve been successful. So we’re going to be done now. So we’re going to be doing another wellbeing pack project. And this time designed for refugees and asylum seekers,
I know, which is another another box to jump into. Because, you know, as we know, there are quite a sizable community in Halton. Sorry, I just got things popping up on the screen, a sizable community in Halton, who could do with some help and support. And so that’s one thing that we’re going to be working with, and we’re working with another charity who are going to help us with some translation. For people for obviously, for whom English isn’t their first language. But going forward, how long is a piece of string, how long is all this funding going to last? And we know that, you know, we can’t rely on that forever, it’s just not going to be there forever. And so we’ve created our wellbeing packs, which is a resource that we can offer and sell. Our eye pillows, our lap pads we created for the last year’s project for children. You can also scale. We can also scale them up for adults and dogs and
I got my daughter and her partner a lap pad from you for Christmas. I just got this picture back saying this. Daisy is a Jack Russell. Yeah. So yeah, there’s another box.
There’s another market. Plus our 12 week that we’re just over halfway through now I think we’ve done week seven, that also is something that we can package, maybe take out some of the some of the bits that we that wouldn’t be applicable for something that we’re going to sell. Yeah. And because it’s a funded project, we’ve got to, you know, get feedback and all kinds of other things for the funders for now. But if we were going to package that, and sell to organisations, we can do that. What else can we do, and hopefully, we are hoping that we can actually get back to offering face to face, face to face sessions and or treatments, therapies, you know, working with others, maybe bringing in some of the volunteers because we know so many fabulous therapists, you know, through our own work as individual therapists before and also with the well being days, we’ve got lots of people who I’m sure, you know, waiting in the wings would love to come and work with us.
That’s brilliant. Well, you know, what, Angelita? Once again, we’ve, we’ve hit half an hour. Oh, God, I don’t even know. And so, if we call it there, is there anything that you want to raise? Is there anything that you want to because it’s your business spotlight? So is there anything that you’ve not covered? That you want to cover?
Um, well just want to say, Recharge and Restore, we’ve got our Facebook page, we now have a beautiful website. So all our information is on there being updated. Yeah, please get in touch. If you’re interested in any of our programmes, or just wanted to know what we do. We’re very happy to work with other voluntary organisations and community organisations. Because we can all offer something together, there’s lots that we can offer.
And as me, the WellBeing Lady I do at the moment of Wednesday, wind down, which is a relaxation session. It’s not long, it’s about 30 minutes, 30, 40 minutes. It’s at eight o’clock on a Wednesday, again, you can find me on Facebook. I need to do some more twittering about it or tweeting about it. But I always forget, I need to sort that out. Yeah, and it’s just a nice way to I was gonna say, mark the middle of the week, but I don’t even know if that’s applicable anymore. Just to help you to get through your week. You know, the more that we can reset our nervous system, the more that we can allow ourselves just to switch off completely because we very rarely do that.
Fabulous session. I yeah, I really, really enjoy it and usually ended up nodding off.
People often, you know, I get messages because I’m so sorry, I fell asleep. It’s like that was the intention was for you to switch off stop thinking stop worrying. Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. And just if you need to sleep, sleep.
Well, I’ll put all of the contact information in the transcript notes as well so people can get in touch.
Thank you so much.
Yeah, I’m gonna have to go further out to do some video editing. So thank you very much, Angelita. Thank you, and thanks for your time.
Daisy Dog Modelling the Recharge and Restore Weighted Lap Pad
Connect with Angelita Woosnam
Recharge and Restore CIC
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