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    The Tara Centre for Peace and Reconciliation is a not-for-profit social enterprise, founded by Dr Elham Kashefi and her partner Rev Jitei White

    After many years of networking, researching and offering ad hoc services elsewhere, we opened our doors in September 2016 as a small community wellbeing project with no funding, donors or income. Since then, we have raised enough for the rent, insurance and incidental costs through donations, room hire and course fees.

    We have recruited 30 volunteers to work on three separate community projects developed in response to cuts in health and social care, difficulties obtaining benefits, the rise of part-time and zero hours contracts, disappearance of many voluntary sector and community support organisations, and the arrival of asylum seekers and refugees in Lancaster. The majority of volunteers are professional therapists who are keen to offer support to those who would otherwise not be able to access their services.

    These projects are:

    1. Wellbeing Service for Asylum seekers, refugees and volunteer helpers – weekly therapies drop in started in March 2017, and wellbeing casework started in February 2018. Since September 2017, we have held 39 drop-ins and offered 195 individual treatment sessions.

    2. TLC low cost complementary therapies treatment clinic for people living on little or no income - launched in January 2018. To date, we have held 11 treatment clinics offering 108 treatments. Approximately two-thirds of people visiting the clinic request help with pain. About a third come for relaxation and stress relief.

    3. Space in The City open access weekly drop in and Community Connection Hub offering an informal space for needs assessment, referral into our own projects and services as well as signposting to other services – launched in January 2018, we have had 42 people visit the drop in for advice and referral.

    4. Tara Peace Foundation

    We also have two other projects in development: - A Timebank where people can exchange services with time credits rather than money and can earn credits to donate to community projects or people in need - A monthly Walk and Talk men’s group facilitated by skilled mentors

  • WWW.TARACENTRELANCASTER.ORG.UK

    The aim of all that we do is, in essence, to bring you to a place of true self-acceptance, self-forgiveness and self-compassion, whatever past experiences you may have had. This is probably the hardest challenge for all of us but it is possible and it doesn’t have to take a lifetime. It is from this place of inner peace and compassion that you can begin to let go of the past and feel in control of your life again.

    We believe that we need to go further than the pursuit of individual happiness, and that promoting kindness and taking positive social action are essential to human health and well being. All our work is informed by the practice of ‘kindfulness’, which brings together mindfulness and loving kindness.

    The Tara Centre is a not-for-profit healing sanctuary in the heart of Lancaster. We run regular sessions, short courses, workshops and retreats that promote physical, emotional and spiritual health. All of our work is underpinned by the values of friendship, community and kindness.

    Our Mission. Our mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of people facing disadvantage in our community. Our values Social Justice and health equality Love and Compassion Creativity and Innovation Friendship, Community and Kindness Cooperation and Collaboration Mindful Practice and Action

    What we believe. We believe in the healing power of love, kindness and community. We believe that we are relational beings who need each other to survive and thrive. We believe that true healing can only happen when we feel witnessed, heard and held in a safe space. We believe that we need to go further than the pursuit of individual happiness, and that promoting kindness and taking positive social action are essential to human health and well being. All our work is informed by the practice of ‘kindfulness’, which brings together mindfulness and loving kindness.

    Our Aims 1. Promote social justice and remain committed to addressing health inequalities as a matter of priority. 2. Centre stage love, compassion and friendship as healing modalities in themselves. 3. Create services that take a whole-person approach underpinned by the deep connection between physical health, emotional health, spiritual health and mental health. 4. Promote a model of health and wellbeing that values and builds on the resources, gifts and skills already existing within individuals and communities in order to address need. 5. Promote the importance of personal responsibility, self-care and self-help. 6. Promote opportunities for building individual and community resilience.

    Our Core Objectives 1. Offer courses and workshops that promote self-love, kindness and compassion. 2. Develop community health and wellbeing projects in response to local need as identified through collaboration with other organisations and people who attend the Centre. 3. Develop a natural health hub and trusted referral point for accessing classes, courses, workshops, projects and opportunities to improve health and wellbeing. 4. Develop community projects that address social isolation and loneliness. 5. Create an environment that enables trauma-informed practice, and offer opportunities for trauma recovery as a core part of all our work.