Every three months, John Lewis selects three community groups and gives them £3000 of funding. How much each group gets depends on John Lewis’ customers, who vote with plastic tokens in boxes for the group they’d like to support. The £3000 is then split proportionally between the groups.
By placing a token in one of our Community Matters boxes, you’ll be directly helping survivors of violence and oppression, including torture and trafficking, find the strength and practical know-how to move on with their lives.
The main group we work with are refugee and asylum-seeking women, registered with the UK Home Office. They come from all over the world and are in this country because their human rights have been abused and it is no longer safe to live in their countries of origin – usually due to war and oppressive political regimes. They say our yoga classes, English lessons and practical support really help.
“Practicing Yoga helps me,” says F., one of our service users. “Sometimes, when I have bad feelings about the past I forget the bad things and I’m feeling relaxed and I change the memory,”
“Yoga heals me,” says another service user, J. “It makes everything better. I always feel better after yoga. We need to tell more people so they can try.”
Huge thanks to the partners at John Lewis who nominated Hackney Yoga Project as a beneficiary.
To find out more about what we do, check out this taster of Hackney Yoga Project, featuring two of our refugee and asylum-seeking yoga students.
Photograph: Our volunteer co-ordinator Dan by the Hackney Yoga Project box in John Lewis at Westfield (Stratford City branch)