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Updated: Jul 19, 2021

Loving The Skin I'm In

A space for women of African Caribbean Heritage to explore Self-Love, Self-Care and Body Image

Saturday the 7th December 2019

From 2.p.m till 4.p.m

Venue: IDF 6 Palm street,

Palm street business centre,

Basford Nottingham


Balm Women presented a series of workshops during 2019, which focused on self care, self love, and body image.

Within our sessions we explore topics which impact on the mental health and wellbeing of Black women. We adopt an holistic approach which enables us to use a range of approaches in relation to self care. According to the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity survey of 2014 , 29.3%of black women experienced a common mental health disorder this may include, anxiety, depression, panic, and obsessive compulsive disorders. This is at a higher rate than for White British woman, or other White women. We consider strategies for combatting the damaging impacts of some of our experiences and in doing so create the foundations for self-care.

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Updated: Jul 3, 2021

Following the Sunday Session series Balm Therapies CIC hosted our first Wellbeing Festival .

We hoped that this event would take place in person, but as this was not possible, we used an online platform to deliver workshops.

We explored topics such as African perspectives on mental health and wellbeing, Radical self-care,

Natural Hair Care, and Traditional head wraps.

The festival was conducted over a five-hour period and all attendees remained for the full duration of the event, although we did encourage attendance of workshops which individuals had greater focus and more interest.

We planned to include some traditional dance, but time did not allow for this. We were encouraged by the response, and the active participation .

Looking ahead to the future, as we negotiate what will be seen as the 'new' normal , and what this may look like, post pandemic.

We will continue to identify strategies for managing mental health and wellbeing.

Learning and training is an important aspect of this process.

Updated: Jul 4, 2021

The first of the Sunday session took place on the 20th of December 2020.

The purpose of the Sunday Sessions was to create a safe space in which we could explore mental health and wellbeing, with each session focusing on different methods of caring for oneself.

The first session focused on radical self-care and was entitled Radical Self Love.

Firstly, we explored the impact of the lockdown, and the events which have taken place which may have created or increased anxiety and stress. Some of these events have been of significant national and global impact, including the Windrush Scandal, the death of George Floyd, and the accompanying protests.

We considered the impact of Covid-19 and the continuing disproportionate impact on black and ethnic minority communities.

As a result of the lockdown, it was not possible to meet in a physical space and as is the case with many organisations we considered ways in which we might continue to offer a service without the benefit of meeting in person.

The session sought to not only speak about self-care during challenging times, but also the importance of reflecting on the need to maintain balance, reflecting on how this can be accomplished.

One significant point which was made was the value of reducing exposure to traumatic social media footage, and limiting time spent interacting with material which may feel emotionally overwhelming.

We discussed the possibilities of engaging in more positive and uplifting activities and what this might look like.

During this first webinar we explored notions of self-love and the ways in which we can incorporate holistic tools into our lives to create mental health and wellbeing.

We looked at the use of essential oils, Aromatherapy Meditation, EFT Emotional Freedom Technique, to name just a few. The session was via Zoom, and there was much to explore and much to talk about.

It seemed in many ways that we had only scratched the surface.

We were also Zoom bombed(I did not know this was a thing) and there was a point at which we had to stop admitting attendees, as we were warned that it was possible for the posting of, racist and other offensive material to take place during the webinar. A bit of a dramatic start, to the first webinar but illustrated the importance of self-care even in more challenging situations.

I was appreciative of the presence of my co-host, Tomar Beh, of Mprez Enterprises, and of the positive energy that was created within the space, one in which self-care was demonstrated.

We were advised that we could take several courses of action one of them being to end the workshop or to close to ensure there were no further disruption.

This was disappointing as it would have been great to have admitted more participants, however the potential to be exposed to the type of material which was mentioned would have turned a positive safe space into, an abusive one.

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