Global Sharing Feedback

In celebration of Global Sharing Week last month, I designed a series of events and workshops to bring local freelancers, entrepreneurs and business people together. 

It was a huge success! Around 45 people came together over the course of the week to share experiences, skills, knowledge and resources….all with great generosity, kindness, support and humour! 

FEEDBACK

I am keen to build on the success of Global Sharing week & create more opportunities for people to come together. We’re so lucky to have so many inspiring, supportive, creative women in our business/friendship groups. An evaluation form was submitted & below is some of the feedback as well as a look ahead at what next….

 

Meet the Social Media Expert Workshop 

“Really well organised with lots of interesting people and a chance to network and discuss the common issues of lone working.” 

“A very positive & useful session for those who are stuck regarding social media with advise on how to advertise and promote their business.”

Sharing Circle for Creative Solutions Workshop

A friendly, yet focused & supportive session which provided an opportunity to really reflect on your own business. An opportunity to work with others, get great feedback from a range of perspectives & be guided through this process by a skilled & knowledgeable facilitator.

“Brilliant, useful and enjoyable.”

 

Based on the feedback and the workshops participants would most like to see being organised in the future, I will look to organise future events from September when Jane’s Placer e-opens after the summer. Exciting times ahead!  

Leaving but not letting go: Jane’s Story

The brilliant charity I worked for, Music as Therapy International, wanted to capture my 17 years of working with them. Here’s the interview!  

Taking a look at Jane Robbie’s 17 years working for Music as Therapy International – the experiences, the changes – and what the future has to bring for her and the charity (with special thanks to our Ambassador, Kate Robinson for capturing this story)

Jane has worked for Music as Therapy for seventeen years.  She started off as a part time administrator, working with Alexia Quin in her parents’ house in Stockwell, home to the charity before it moved to its current offices.  Her role developed into Project Co-ordinator and subsequently Project Manager. Latterly it was focused on how to build support for the Local Partners so she became Support & Development Manager. She was given a great deal of freedom and autonomy in her role.  “What I loved about Music as Therapy is that Alexia really gave you the scope to be able to look at what you enjoy doing, what you were good at and then helped you to develop as the charity developed,” she says.

The charity has changed hugely over the time Jane has been involved. When she first started in 2000 all the projects were focused in Romania and they were delivering one or two six-week skill sharing projects a year in different care settings. By the time she left, the charity was working in an array of different countries such as India, Georgia, Rwanda and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as well as working towards an equal split between international and UK work. Jane comments on the success the charity has had internationally and how it is making inroads now back in the UK. “We have all learned such a lot from our approach overseas,” she says. “And in looking at what can be transferrable to the UK, we can see that the model works here, too.”

“Working with Music as Therapy has given me a real sense of what you can do when you have a very strong leader with a clear vision.”

Music as Therapy, with Alexia Quin leading the team, has had a large impact on Jane’s life. “Working with Music as Therapy has given me a real sense of what you can do when you have a very strong leader with a clear vision. Alexia invites the team to collaborate and listens to our ideas, so it has given me a strong sense of self-esteem and made me feel a lot more empowered than I’ve felt in any other job.” 

To her this is very similar to how a music therapist works with a child – observing, listening, using the music to form communication – to empower that child.  She believes this is what gives the charity integrity – listening to what people need and responding accordingly. “It is about being able to develop people’s capacity, listening to them and responding appropriately and then learning how to sustain that,” she says. 

She adds that following projects up is where the charity really succeeds. “You are delivering a project and then you are continually supporting those people. It is not about what we can do now, but about what our Local Partners can do in the long-term. They take ownership, so our direct involvement decreases as their independence grows.”  

This is not without its difficulties in third world countries that may not have the resources to sustain programmes. In Romania there were a lot of changes when it was accepted into the EU, including many institution closures. However, it was clear to the charity’s Local Partners that Music as Therapy International was a constant support throughout all of those changes. “That support is so important in a country that is still in flux,” she says.

Jane remembers the point at which she properly understood the purpose of the charity and the results of its work. When she first started, there was a project in Techirghiol, Romania in a large psychiatric institution for adults, with a mix of differing issues from alcohol problems to acute psychiatric needs. On the fifth floor there were people with such acute needs they were never allowed off that floor. The music therapists were told they could not go up there but they knew the fifth floor had the greatest need for help. Jane returned on a follow-up visit six months later and the whole culture of the place had changed.  “The residents they were working with in the communal area were carrying instruments up to the fifth floor patients on this rickety staircase – like a fire escape on the outside – so the people who were bedridden were able to take part in the music sessions. And some of those people who they thought were beyond integration were joining in the communal open groups,” she says. “That is when I realised Music as Therapy had created this bridge between the ‘hidden’ fifth-floor patients and the rest.”

“People who work at Music as Therapy become very invested in it because their opinions are valued.”

Jane was fortunate during her time at Music as Therapy International to see projects from the starting point of identifying need to the point of completion.  This was followed by continual liaison with the Local Partners, some of whom they have been in touch with for the last 17 years. According to her, there are many factors that set Music as Therapy International apart from other charities, such as this strong track record of being able to sustain and support Local Partners and empower them, resulting in strong loyalty.  

In addition to Local Partners there are steering groups – those in each country who advise what is needed next – and the Advisory Panel of music therapists who help inform about the bigger picture. “I think the charity is brilliant at communication. It is a very people-centred organisation. People who work at Music as Therapy become very invested in it because their opinions are valued,” she says. 

The charity’s open source policy provides a platform to discuss different ideas, and there is a real longevity, which sets them apart.  All of this is done without any fanfare. As Jane says, “There is not much ego with Alexia.  Everyone just wants to work collaboratively towards a shared vision. A lot of thought goes in to the recruitment process to make sure the right person comes on board.” The trust placed in Jane and the autonomy to be her own boss have been simple but effective tools at keeping her loyal to the charity for so long.

“I can imagine being connected as long as I live!”

Jane is staying on as a Trustee to Music as Therapy International, but simultaneously moving into other ventures. She has started running a small lifestyle business called Jane’s Place, renting out a room in her home for different events workshops, supper clubs and yoga classes; an alternative AirBnB. “It was such a hard decision to leave my role at Music as Therapy,” she admits. “I want to run my own business but I am still passionate about it and cannot let go completely, so I became a Trustee.  I can imagine being connected as long as I live!”  Some of what Jane has seen over the years has been very difficult to process, but she feels fortunate to have had those experiences and she remains fiercely loyal to the charity. “Music as Therapy is Alexia’s baby but I consider it my niece!  Even if the charity grows and develops – as we respond to the need that is out there – I have no doubts we will be able to maintain our ethos. We have done it so well for so many years; it won’t be diluted.” 

Mum’s in Business interview: Jane’s Place

I was interviewed by Worthing Mum’s to find out more about what motivates me and why I decided to set up Jane’s Place. To read the full interview and be inspired by other local Mums in business, please click here

Tell us about you and your family

I’m Mum to my lively (!) fun 9 year old son Kye. I have 2 brilliant brothers who also live in England. My Dad lives in the Highlands. I lost my lovely Mum 6 months ago. She was diagnosed with a brain tumour and died 3 1/2 weeks later. It was such a shock. We were very close and I miss her desperately. It makes you really appreciate life and the amazing friends and family who rally around at times like this. I feel incredibly lucky to have such supportive people in my life.

Are you originally from Hove?

I’m originally from Scotland, although we moved to Manchester when I was 5 year old so I lost my accent pretty early on. As a family we then moved to Staffordshire and since then, I’ve continued to make my way South after spending 18 years in London and now Hove where I’ve been 10 years.

What’s your favourite thing about living on the South Coast?

I love the fact that you can get to the Downs and sea within 10 minutes. We’re so lucky to have both on our doorstep. I’m probably more of a country girl at heart so enjoy heading out and cycling in the Downs. I remember when I first thought about moving to the South Coast and everyone I spoke to gave glowing reports. Now I know why! I love it too. People’s outlook, the alternative activities and events you can easily become involved in. There’s a real sense of community where I live – a sense of belonging. I’d like to think that Jane’s Place helps add to that feeling too.

Hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?

I enjoy browsing around markets, car boots, vintage fairs & charity shops. Basically I love other people’s junk! Objects, clothes, furniture with a history – I’ve found some real gems. I also enjoy baking and expanding my repertoire of healthy sweet treats, as well as creating my own skin care creams, serums and natural bath products using essential oils. I love cycling and do so most days.

Tell us about your business, why you started and what drives you on?

Jane’s Place is a creative well-being event space based at my home in West Hove. It’s a room with many uses! It’s a flexible space, seating up to 14 & is perfect for coworking, meetings, workshops, company away days, supper clubs & fitness classes. It’s a growing community and attracts clients from local businesses, the health & well-being sector, creative’s and hospitality. People say it is an inspiring space which helps nurture creative thought. I also offer tasty, wholesome refreshments (my homemade raw chocolates are becoming increasingly popular!).

It all started quite organically. The room was used as a bedroom for language students but after I’d decided to have a couple of months off and redecorate, one of my neighbours, a yoga teacher asked to run some classes here. A mindfulness teacher who’d heard about the yoga then asked if she could run a course here and things started from there. The room is now booked most days or evenings.

I love all the people I get to meet through running Jane’s Place! It really is a growing community and I’m lucky enough to attend a large variety of inspiring workshops and events here. I support people the best I can to develop their own business by linking them up with others, promoting their events and being a sound board for ideas whilst in the planning stages.
I was the Support and Development Manager for an international development charity, Music as Therapy International until I left last month after 17 years! It is a brilliant charity (I’m now a Trustee) but I found my passions were increasingly drawn to developing Jane’s Place. I’m now looking to facilitate some workshops here myself drawing on my experience of managing projects, strategic planning, skill-sharing, supporting teams and developing communities.

Jane's Place

 

Jane’s Place is a creative, well-being event space based at my home in West Hove.

Connecting people, growing communities and enjoying life…

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janesplacehove/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janesplacehove/

 

 

Global Sharing Week 5-11th June

Jane’s Place is hosting several free events to celebrate Global Sharing Week in June.  

In celebration of Global Sharing Week, in June, I have designed a series of events and workshops, bringing local freelancers, entrepreneurs and business people together; to share their skills, knowledge and experiences in a relaxed and informal space.

Events at a Glance 

Monday June 5th: Meet the Expert 9.30am-3pm 

Wednesday June 7th: Coworking 9.30am-3pm

Thursday June 8th: Sharing Circle for Creative Solutions 9.30am-3pm

Friday June 9th: Clothes Swap with Image Consultant Jo Bunner 7.30pm-10.30pm

The Venue 

Jane’s Place is a bright, airy, creative and supportive space.  The Global Sharing Week events have been carefully designed to give all of us opportunities to move our business and personal goals forward in an environment of friendship and support.

And because I know how important it is to look after the whole self, and keep collective energy high, I will be sharing a Jane’s Place lunch with you all.

A simple, tasty, healthy homemade lunch of either either soup or salad, depending on the weather. I will also provide snacks of crackers, tea, cake, raw chocs, fruit and/or nuts. 

All Jane’s Place events for Global Sharing Week are FREE to attend, however booking is essential. Please book by clicking on the booking system after each event description. Once booked, you will receive a confirmation email with some further details to help you prepare and gain maximum benefits. 

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June 5th: ‘Meet the Expert’ 9.30-3pm FREE EVENT (lunch included) SOLD OUT

On Monday 5 June (the first day back after half term), I am inviting a maximum of 7 local entrepreneurs, freelancers or small business owners to a free, full-day workshop with a local social media and digital communications specialist.

It’s a huge subject, and is constantly changing; and we want you to get your queries tackled, so I will ask for your specific questions in advance. This is a fully accessible and inclusive session so whether you’re just getting started, consider yourself to be a pro or have been sitting on the sidelines — our specialists will be able to help. You will leave the day having not only learnt how to address your specific social media question, but have the opportunity to apply that new found knowledge in practice with the support of a specialist. 

Schedule

The morning will offer an opportunity to present questions and discuss challenges in a group session.  

In the afternoon, we will take action on our challenges collectively, with the support of the group and our expert.

  • Welcome coffee and tea and 9 am with a prompt start at 9.30 am
  • A simple vegetarian lunch of soup or salad will be provided (weather dependant) and a sweet treat too
  • Finish at 2.30, with time for a chat and informal networking before a 3pm finish

Thank you, we look forward to seeing you! 

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June 7th: Jane’s Place Coworking 9am-3pm FREE EVENT

I launched my Monday and Wednesday coworking days last month, and would love to welcome more of you through the door.  So in the spirit of Global Sharing Week, I am inviting people to come along and have a free day. The idea is simple, we work better collectively than we do alone. 

Jane’s Place coworking is a quiet, bright, calm space, with superfast broadband, excellent free teas and coffee and a team of happy, friendly workmates around the watercooler.

Coworking runs from 9am to 3pm, and our June 7 session is absolutely FREE.

 

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June 8th: Sharing Circle for Creative Solutions – 9.30 to 3pm, FREE EVENT (Lunch included)

What makes you happy & what do you wish you could do more of? What are your blocks?  

The Sharing Circle for Creative Solutions is an opportunity to sit around the table with 7 other local entrepreneurs, freelancers or small business owners to openly share an area where you’re feeling stuck or challenged.  In a gently guided workshop, we will be looking for insight, wisdom and support from the group.

Although your challenge will be personal to you, as small business owners, it is more than likely that others will have faced the same or similar.

You will be sent a short questionnaire in advance to help you to focus and articulate what your blocks are; how you would like your your business to develop and your goals and ideas.

Participants will collectively draw upon their own experiences & knowledge to share fresh ideas to help you focus creatively on your personal challenge.

You will leave with 2 clear solutions to explore and action.

This will be a guided day with some structure, to ensure we have equal voices and input.

Schedule

Arrive from 9 am for a prompt 9.30 start

Starting with a series of fun interactive activities to warm up, promote listening skills and bring our focus towards support, ideas and creativity 

10.30: Sharing circle begins 

Lunch

2.30: Sharing circle closes; drinks in friendship and informal networking

3.00: Close

I hope to follow up the Sharing Circle with some accountability work, which you will be invited to join.

 

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June 9 – Clothes Swap with Image Consultant Jo Bunner from The Good Clothes Philosophy. 7.30pm – 10.30 FREE EVENT

I love clothes swaps! I’ve been running and attending regular swaps for years and thought it would be rather wonderful to host one at Jane’s Place as part of Global Sharing Week.

I’ve invited image consultant, Jo Bunner from The Good Clothes Philosophy, not only to provide valuable styling tips; but more importantly, to share her ethos of how to shop in a sustainable and ethical way. Jo stopped buying ‘new clothes’ 5 years ago and relies on charity shops, clothes swaps, vintage fairs and car boot sales for her wardrobe.  A truly inspiring approach.  

You can read more about Jo’s ‘eco fabulous’ approach in the blog she wrote for us.

To book, please complete the form below. Any questions, please contact jane@janesplace.org.uk. 

 

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Guest Blog: Jo Bunner from The Good Clothes Philosophy

I’ve decided to host a clothes swap! I’ve been running and attending regular swaps for years and thought it would be rather wonderful to host one at Jane’s Place as part of Global Sharing Week.

I’ve invited image consultant, Jo Bunner from The Good Clothes Philosophy, not only to provide valuable styling tips; but more importantly, to share her ethos of how to shop in a sustainable and ethical way. Jo stopped buying ‘new clothes’ 5 years ago and relies on charity shops, clothes swaps, vintage fairs and car boot sales for her wardrobe.  A truly inspiring approach.

To find out more, I asked Jo…. 

Just what is EcoFabulous?

For me it is a belief that caring about the environment and loving clothes don’t have to be mutually exclusive terms.

Clothes have always been an important part of my life; I spent my childhood doll years creating outfits for them, moving on to making my own clothes, then formally training to become a Fashion Designer/Pattern cutter. By the time I left the fashion industry in 1995, it had become cheaper to buy an articulated lorry and employ a full time driver to make regular runs to Romania to get our garments produced rather than use local manufacturers; a situation necessitated by the pressures of lower and lower prices demanded by the retailers in this relatively new phenomenon called the Fast Fashion Industry.

The textile and fashion industry has always had a detrimental impact on the environment and its people: in our industrial revolution the cotton mills saw phenomenal growth, utilising the new technology of weaving and dyeing to keep up with demand.  The result? Chemical laden water sources and a working population (mainly women and children incidentally) who developed various respiratory diseases, including brown lung disease or byssinosis.

Happily, this is now a thing of the past. Or is it?  A couple of hundred years later it feels like we’ve just moved the problem out of sight; in much the same way as we’ve pushed our clothing manufacturing offshore, we’ve also pushed its inherent health and safety problems overseas as well.  You only have to read around a bit to see that this industry is still hugely damaging (see below for a few suggested links:

Fashion Revolution: http://fashionrevolution.org/about/why-do-we-need-a-fashion-revolution/

To Die For, Lucy Siegle: https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780007264094/to-die-for 

Love Fashion, Hate Sweatshops: http://www.waronwant.org/fashion-victims-facts

The True Cost movie: https://truecostmovie.com/

Wrap: http://www.wrap.org.uk/sustainable-textiles/valuing-our-clothes%20 )

And the more you read and learn the worse it becomes – a guilt trip in every pair of jeans you buy! But it does act to remind us of the fact that those piles of clothes we see in the High Street stores and online aren’t magically delivered there by clothes fairies, or by a Fashion Santa whose team of fashion elves work tirelessly, endlessly behind the scenes.

Nowadays fashion is produced as trends, rolling blocks of time lasting around 21 days in which to design, pattern cut, source fabric and trims, manufacture and deliver the finished garment to store. The result (a highly edited list):

  • An industry that is second only to the oil industry in pollution terms
  • A labour force – 70% of which are women aged 17-25 incidentally – paid well below poverty level with no H&S or Trade Unions to protect them
  • Cheaper and poorer quality clothes; after all what’d be the point of making something to last when it’ll be passe in a couple of weeks?
  • Clothing mountains of unimaginable size and scale: 350,000 tonnes and £100 million in the UK alone is dumped to our waste sites
  • Ever changing fashions and trends you’d do well to keep up with, financially and physically
  • Lack of appreciation and care for what we put closest to ourselves every day.

Complex, deep and wide ranging, the issues are huge and like many things in our world can feel overwhelming – where to start, what can one person do? I don’t have all the answers, but I do believe there are ways where, in finding our own ethical compass, we can make small steps towards slowing down the fashion train.

So here are just a few suggestions to start you down the road to EcoFabulous!

  1. Clothes Swaps. Get some friends together over a glass or two of wine or have a look on the Global Sharing Week website for others near you http://www.globalsharingweek.org/janerobbie/jane_s_place_clothes_swap . Anything left over can then be taken to your chosen charity shop.
  2. Charity donations. Anything in any condition can be utilised by charity shops to raise revenue for the organisation and benefit the wider – even global – community, it may not go into the shop for sale, but it could enter a whole new arena of sharing economy like Oxfam’s Frip Ethique http://www.oxfam.org.uk/donate/donate-goods/what-happens-to-your-donation/inside-frip-ethique
  3. Second hand outlets like Ebay, dress agencies, Etsy etc. Buying from these outlets keeps the pieces circulating within the world and can benefit individuals as well as whole communities
  4. Do. And Mend. Try your hand at sewing, either making from scratch or simply altering or mending something to bring it back into your wardrobe. I teach at a couple of sewing schools and the demand for sewing lessons is constant and growing; it has not only the benefit of adding a unique item into your wardrobe, but you also derive huge satisfaction from creating something yourself.
  5. Get your colours done. This way your wardrobe becomes more streamlined, co-ordinated and can help to curb those impulse buys; you know the ones – they are hanging in your wardrobe now, unworn, possibly even still have the tags on because they just don’t go with anything else.
  6. Organise your wardrobe. I always suggest by colour (yes mix your tops with your skirts, with your jackets, trousers…) this way you’ll start to see how things can be coordinated to make the most of what you already have, the pieces you just don’t wear (donate, sell, swap), duplicated items – come on, how many black cardigans do you really need?! – and you’ll also see those ‘gaps’ which could pull a whole suite of outfits together. These can then go on your shopping list…
  7. Go shopping with your list – and stick to it! Create your list from need rather than want: are you replacing a worn out item, or if you say more than 3 times ‘I really could do with x to go with y, z, a, b…..’ then on the list it goes. But if you do see something not on your list, think – what will this item go with? If you can come up with more than 3 pieces/outfits then it may have a place in your wardrobe.
  8. Quality over quantity. And I’m not just talking purchase price here as it doesn’t necessarily follow that the more expensive the item the better quality it is – nor does it mean that the brand is any more ethical. Quality for me is more about the value of the garment to you: Do you love it? Do you feel great when you wear it? Will you wear it lots? Can you see it being one of your favourite go-to items? Then it’s a keeper.
  9. Look for ethical brands like People Tree http://www.peopletree.co.uk/ , Fat Face http://www.fatface.com/ , Monsoon http://uk.monsoon.co.uk/ and SeaSalt https://www.seasaltcornwall.co.uk/ who consciously and transparently put people and planet on a level with profit.
  10. Care for your clothes. Wash them carefully (and when they are actually dirty), lower the washing temperature, avoid using dryers – mmm, the smell of air-dried washing! – avoid harsh detergents and not only will your clothes last longer but you’ll also consume less energy (saving money and resources) and reduce the quantity of pollutants entering our water system.

Finally, there’s one big thing everybody can do: share the EcoFabulous philosophy! 

Please visit Jo’s website The Good Clothes Philosophy for more information and services.

Room Hire

Jane’s Place is an ideal space for meetings or workshops and can seat up to 14 comfortably in a circle or 12 around a table. The room is light and airy and guests describe it as an inspiring place to meet outside of the work place. Jane’s Place is conveniently located and is  7 min walk from Portslade train station with regular trains running to Brighton and London. Most importantly, there are no parking restrictions on the Street!

Jane’s Place has a flip chart, projector and screen which you are able to hire at a small charge. For more information on this and for the full hire agreement, please click here

A range of tasty, wholesome refreshments can be provided from mid morning coffee through to lunch and afternoon tea. Click here to find out more about our refreshment packages.

If you are interested to come and see the space and discuss arrangements, you’d be more than welcome. Please make an appointment here.

Prices

£80 half day charge (4 hours)

£150 full day charge (8 hours)

The hire includes an additional complimentary 15 minute set up &  15 minute clear down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting Space

Jane’s Place is an ideal space for meetings or workshops and can seat up to 14 comfortably in a circle or 12 around a table.

The room is light and airy and guests describe it as an inspiring place to meet outside of the work place. Jane’s Place is conveniently located and is  7 min walk from Portslade train station with regular trains running to Brighton and London. Most importantly, there are no parking restrictions on the Street. Continue reading