Pre Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods
Following a redundancy, Lawrence the founder of Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods was keen to get back into the workplace. However after weeks of unsuccessful applications, he started to suffer with acute depression and low self-confidence. Sleepless nights left Lawrence exhausted. Demotivated by his situation, Lawrence stayed indoors and gained weight over the months ahead because of poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Some terrific local N.H.S. intervention helped him, but he felt he needed to do more to get back into life.
A breakthrough came through when he enrolled on the Islington borough Exercise on Referral Scheme.
He was able to recover as he managed to develop a routine for himself. Lawrence was energised and motivated by the exercise, so he pushed himself to get outdoors more. By doing so, he realised that this intervention could help people before they reached heavy stress levels or high anxiety and depression. In other words, providing preventive help, and not corrective, especially for those unemployed..
So, Lawrence decided to look around for relevant programmes and asked for help regarding staying energised and job ready, but he found there were no companies or programmes that were aiming to prevent mental health issues at that time. All intervention was aimed at people who were already suffering from mental health issues.
After carrying out extensive research, he discovered startling facts linking unemployment with increases in smoking, alcohol consumption, and substance abuse, in addition to poor nutrition and higher reports of crime. Lawrence realised that he could help people who were in a similar situation as him. He came up with an initial idea around a special course, focusing on positive thinking. When he approached agencies, including the Job Centre, who clearly work with the unemployed, as well as companies working with people recovering from mental health issues, and/or substance issues, all unanimously agreed that something needed to be done. This is because problems surrounding unemployment with both physical and mental health issues were abundant.
Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods is Found
Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods was originally created in 2009 to help individuals back into employment quicker, healthier, and happier. The concept developed to finally work with users in 2017.
The company originally aimed to help people who were freshly unemployed, as Lawrence himself found that the window between being eager to get back to work and feeling tired, demotivated and stressed, is relatively short. The aim was to prevent mental health issues from developing as these go hand in hand with long-term unemployment problems. He researched the benefits of exercise against unemployment, substance abuse, smoking, alcohol, mental and physical health, volunteering, and produced a booklet which described the clear benefits that Health Minds, Healthy Bods project would be able to provide. He was told that it was a great idea but he would never receive funding for preventive intervention.
Things all changed for the better in 2014 when Single Homeless Project was helping Lawrence overcome a depression and recommended a “Ready For Work” programme managed by “Business In The Community”. The course gave each participant a guaranteed two-week work placement, (Lawrence ended up working for four weeks at prestigious London Solicitors, which boosted his confidence).
The programme also gave him access to a Business Mentor, who was there to guide the user for the next six months as they headed back to employment. This is where he met Scott from KPMG, who has continued to work with him up to the present day.
After working on his own through all this, Lawrence knew he needed others around to get Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods up and running, in order that the company can bring a recognised unique service to the market. Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods would be an umbrella company that would run various projects. Lawrence wanted to provide a course around Mind-set, Health and Fitness. He also wanted to launch a “health walk” in his local borough, as well as provide boot-camp type sessions for people to get fitter.
Now, present day, with the assistance of our business mentor, Scott, Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods has made huge progress.
It has a Board of members to oversee our mission, policies and framework.
Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods has designed and developed a programme. called Ajani, promoting a pro-active healthier lifestyle, focusing on mind-set, health and fitness. We have successfully ran this programme with organisations, receiving terrific feedback from both users and companies.
Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods has successfully applied for various small amounts of funding to expand our work, but is now seeking seed funding to progress.
We are building partnerships in the local community. One of these has produced a weekly health walk that has been running since November 2016. We now intend to launch further walks in the borough, and beyond.
Following the success of the AJANI pilots, we are intending to expand into other boroughs, with various organisations, including corporate clients.. .