In Spring 2023 we have completed seven courses with various users.
Here is the comment from the Disability Employment Officer at Finsbury Park Job Centre.
"I believe that the Healthy Minds Health Bodies programme fills a gap in the current services
available for unemployed people with mental health issues in Islington not currently under the NHS.
Research on how exercise positively affects our mental wellbeing is abundant,
however there seems to be no provision that specifically targets this area for those on UC.
Although GP’s can refer people to the local gym, many people with undiagnosed mental health issues
may find walking into a gym intimidating and unsafe.
The fact that Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies meet unemployed people beforehand
and create a supportive and nurturing atmosphere removes this barrier
so that people feel safe and included.
The service that HMHB offered is unique and I fully believe
it is beneficial for individuals and the local community, especially those signing on."
What is AJANI?
The word 'Ajani' is of African origin, and it roughly translates as, 'He who overcomes the struggle'.
The programme can run between four and seven sessions, dependent on the needs outcomes of the organisation for whom we are working.
We have also created a one-day event for Corporate clients.
It is about proactively and interactively promoting better lifestyle choices, to help individuals improve their fitness, health, nutrition and routine; all of these involving a growth mind-set mentality.
This is not easy when someone is unemployed, and/or struggling with addictions (such as substance or alcohol abuse), dealing with homelessness, diagnosed with eating disorders, or general mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. By using the Ajani programme, Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods is empowering and installing the will and self-belief in individuals to make better choices that will be beneficial for each individual, short term and long term.
The programme aims to show individuals that improved choices can make significant changes in their livelihoods, including their prospects of finding employment and long time happiness. It's okay to fail. It's okay to have bad experiences; that is inevitable. It is how we react to those situations that define us.
The AJANI concept was originally designed to enhance current intervention methods, as Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods founder was unable to find the assistance he required when he suffered some mental health problems a few years ago.
AJANI has been created to build a better awareness of health and fitness, as well as proactively providing opportunities to take part in activities, build energy levels and increase social inclusion. It is fun and interactive, bringing people together, promoting the benefits of a growth mindset, and instilling a greater self confidence for its service users. You have one body, one life, and one opportunity to do the best you can.
Ajani does not lecture individuals. There are many fantastic websites and mobile apps around health and fitness. There are a multitude of videos on YouTube. There are a great number of agencies where you can get counselling and courses.
However, Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods is unique and different in many ways. Our service user group is encouraged to become more socially active. Our programme can consist of a various number of sessions over several weeks. However, during that period we can provide many extra activities - including gym sessions, group trips, personal training sessions, other courses, visits by health professionals, all of which contribute to a unique overall package.
Feedback has shown people are more energised, are happier and more confident, and have a "can do" attitude after our programme.
Who is AJANI for?
Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods has deliberately designed the AJANI programme so it is available to all adults.
Working with people who are unemployed, or receiving social benefits, and using early intervention in promoting the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, the Ajani programme can significantly reduce the percentage of people reaching long-term unemployment, or help those who are long-term unemployed back to work quicker.
Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods would also like to focus on clients who have mental or physical health issues, people on probation. We aim to inspire these Clients to empower themselves to improve their daily physical activity and daily routines, raising their energy levels and lifting self-confidence so they climb out of the welfare system and back to work quicker, happier, fitter, stronger, and healthier. This will remove many of the barriers the unemployed face as they head back into work.
Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods also recognises the stress and anxiety suffered by many Graduates and Apprentices working within large corporate organisations, and we believe our Ajani programme can help people remain confident and focused within the corporate working environment.
By proactively promoting better health and fitness, and providing opportunities to be more active, creating awareness of why individuals need better nutrition, and installing in people responsibility, as well as the need to take action and to think about the choices they make, Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods hopes to achieve these aims.
Build Confidence and Self-Esteem
Re-Energise individuals through fitness advice and classes
Improve mental health, pre-empting issues, and helping people control and overcome depressions, stress and anxiety
Assist individuals to become "job ready" and "life ready" quicker, stronger and happier
Provide ongoing classes and events, especially around fitness and social inclusion
Promote a growth mind-set mentality - increased confidence, esteem and self-belief
Create strong connections and links with our service users, and build trust
Increase awareness of the importance of choice and responsibility, being pro-active, persevering, listening and understanding targets
Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods deliberately developed the AJANI programme to be fluid, and therefore can adapt it to suit the needs and outcomes of any organisation.
Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods understands that various factors can influence the Ajani programme; for example the type of individuals, and requirements of the organisation, and therefore we are flexible. Adaptations are, but are not limited to, changing the length of the course, the original Ajani course is 5 weeks. Our extra activities (added value) outside the Ajani sessions will vary depending on the agreements with individual organisations we work with.
These activities, can include fitness sessions, walks, social events or outings to local venues.