School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: December Newsletter
Movement Medicine Sponsorship Fund Annual Report

By Margaret Davies
This is an except from the Sponsorship Fund Annual Report. It provides an overview of how the Sponsorship Fund has impacted lives and communities, how it has been supporting growth and healing, and nurtured diversity. The report is generously laced with quotes from students and teachers that received funding. It shows all the grants given and the income that was received, and outlines future commitments.

Motho ke Motho ka Batho’ - A human being is a human being because of other human beings.

The MM Sponsorship fund is indeed #LoveinAction. It is like the infinity loop: giving and receiving, to support the dance of life. Silvana

To everyone who has donated to the MMSF:
You are helping to make dreams come true. Thank you for being Earth Angels.
By investing in people’s futures, you are giving them hope and the opportunity to fulfill their passions, callings and life’s purpose… allowing them to shine their lights. Words cannot describe the joy of being on the receiving end.

Anja, South Africa


It has been another busy and successful year for the MMSF. Funds have continued to roll in and we have had four meetings to process applications and decide upon grants. In between those meetings, urgent requests have come in and we have also dealt with them.

For the first time we took the plunge and invested in branded merchandise for fundraising. After a lot of hard work, Gift Aid finally came through and made a significant contribution to our income. Roland Wilkinson ran a half marathon (13 miles) in the Summer and raised £2000, which the School of Movement Medicine matched. Well done Roland! We received a large donation of £13,000 from the JMG Foundation, specifically to support Rachel Morris’s work in prisons and with ex-offenders in the community.

We have supported dancers in poverty from South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Netherlands, and the UK. We have supported teachers to work with ex-offenders in the UK, with disadvantaged people in India and south Africa and with blind and partially sighted people in Croatia.

Through the feedback we have received we have seen how the money used has impacted on dancers’ wider communities, working outwards towards all our relations.

The total amount of money raised in this period was £34,203. The total amount given in grants was £28,674. The balance left in the bank once all the grants have been paid out is £14,792


1) Dissolving financial Barriers to Dance

The fund exists to dissolve some of the financial barriers to participating in Movement Medicine. As one dancer who received support put it:

Money shouldn't be what stops people from being able to receive medicine that they so desperately need. Anon

To be successful, applicants have to prove that they meet the fund’s criteria of being economically excluded, living in poverty or in conflict zones.
This year the individuals who have met the fund’s criteria and have been given support, have been:

  • Ex-offenders and recovering addicts. I acquired sponsorship for the Initiation event. As I was new in recovery from addiction, I greatly benefited from discovering the world of Movement Medicine. – Christian, UK
  • From developing countries. I am part of the lower working class of young South Africa. I basically live hand to mouth with the salary I am earning. I could never afford such a journey from my own pocket. – Lemo, SA
  • Unable to work fully due to trauma histories or chronic health conditions. Financially I’ve been struggling for the past few years, I have no money as I’ve been signed off by Universal Credit with Limited Capability for Work to help me deal with my mental health, and not working for months on end. – David, UK 

Teachers have been funded to reach out and work with those who could not afford to dance:
Many people in South Africa, especially those from disadvantaged and excluded populations, cannot afford the cost of a workshop, let alone an ongoing group where upfront expenses are higher. Petra
I work directly with inmates in jail, homeless people suffering from addiction and ex-offenders suffering from addiction. I also work with addicted people in a community crisis centre in Tottenham. I volunteer my services to these groups as there is no available extra money in their budget. Rachel
I need financial help because the Association (of the Blind and visually Impaired) was and still is not able to pay for the class and their members are people who are mostly without jobs and live off state support. Tamara
The girls of Navgurukul come from underprivileged backgrounds (poor families who could not afford to educate them). Silvana

2) Supporting growth and healing
Successful applicants have expressed an informed and urgent desire to attend Movement Medicine workshops. Their feedback after the event has shown us how deeply they have benefited from being able to attend the workshops they applied for.
When we started the journey, we had to introduce ourselves to the group with a few words and the message that came out from me was that my ancestors were glad to be here and have this time with me to dance and communicate. Dudu, SA descent
You are changing a person’s life by supporting MMSF. David, UK
Now I feel quite connected with a forward directed energy. My body feels quite awake through the dance practice and sharper and more alive with the energetic quality of a warrior. Dudu, SA
Before Movement Medicine I was so timid and not able to be in my warrior spirit and now I am able to set boundaries and step into my power. Anon
The girls at Navgurukul have been empowered to reconnect to the wisdom of their bodies. The results were immediate and tangible: in the final circle that we held together the narrative around their bodies had changed dramatically. – Silvana
My foundation feels solid and I have learnt so many tools to help support every day in my daily life. – David, UK
Please realise that every contribution made for someone to participate in MM is medicine for past, present and future generations in their lineage. Lemo, SA

3) Strengthening Community
A significant benefit for people who receive funding from MMSF, is that they feel supported on their journey, by unknown donors, volunteers who administer the fund and by supporters at the workshops. They receive a big energetic YES. Once at the workshops, the support and connection felt with other dancers is also hugely beneficial, and although we don’t have the feedback to prove it, I’m sure the exchange is both ways and enriching for all. In this way the reach of the funding is much bigger than only to the individuals who apply.
At the time I was struggling a lot with depression and anxiety and difficult family situation and just feeling really alone so having a dance community where I felt accepted and connected meant the world to me. – Anon
That I was supported by unknown, that people have given the money to support us unconditionally, gave me a sense of Trust and Support from other Teachers and Dancers of Movement Medicine community. This gave me a lot of strength to continue doing my work as a student of the School of MM. Veronica
As a young black woman from a "democratic" country that has not healed from it's past (discriminatory) wounds I found myself experiencing a genuine connection with other Beings. – Lemo, SA
As one of the aims of the ongoing group is to resource people both with the practice and with community, it feels important to create the possibility of reaching those who do not normally make it onto the dance floor. Petra

4) Nurturing Diversity
By dissolving some of the financial barriers to accessing the dance, we nurture diversity - on the dance floor, in the Movement Medicine community and in life lived off the dance floor.
I got sponsorship for monthly Movement Medicine class in the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Zagreb, Croatia. The dancers had the chance to enjoy an activity which is so natural and beautiful but usually cannot participate in due to their disabilities - they are extremely sensitive to sound and there is not much offer of dance space for blind and visually impaired people here in Zagreb. They had the chance to connect with themselves, with their bodies, explore further the spatial awareness they already have and connect to the joy of dance. – Tamara (teacher)

5) Creating Ripples
Many of the people who have been sponsored to dance and learn through MM workshops are having a positive impact in the communities they connect with.
I now work with children as a Kindergarten teacher and I am able to realise the need for expression through movement and dance. I every so often put soothing music on for them and encourage them to move in whichever way they feel called. – Anon
Everything I have learnt I am bringing into my daily life, including a new men’s support group I am setting up in London with friends. David, UK
I really had to challenge myself to concentrate and dance for that amount of time. This has given me the springboard to complete 3 months of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), to start an level English Course and to become a Peer Support Worker (volunteer) for the Harbour in Brixton, London. – Christian, UK

Income Received

In this year we raised a total of £34,203. The income came from seven streams:

  • Faculty Teachers £541: all faculty teachers are required to give a small percentage of their profits from any School of Movement Medicine workshops
  • Gift Aid £1851: this is money given by the UK government against donations made by UK tax-payers. This sum includes backdated claims from the last 5 years.
  • Individual donations, including buying branded merchandise £1866.
  • Roland’s half marathon £4,000: Roland raised £2000 which was matched by the founders who also gave £2000.
  • Workshop and LD donations £4912: Regular bowls at weekend workshops and intensives provide a good amount of income
  • Founders £5033: the SoMM Founders continue to give generous support to the fund. In addition they do not charge tuition fees for dancers supported by the fund.
  • JMG Foundation £16,000: This consists of 2 donations made specifically to fund Rachel Morris’s work in prisons and with ex-offenders and recovering addicts.

I would like to stress the fact that this sponsorship fund and financial resource can be life changing for someone who feels called to the MM path or is needing to release trauma, but does not have the financial means to do so by themselves.- Dudu, SA

Grants given

This year the fund’s resources supported:

  • 4 people to do the Apprenticeship Programme. Total £8,000
  • 6 other people to attend weekend or intensive workshops. Total £5,366
  • 4 teachers to run workshops: with blind people in Croatia, with people in poverty in India, In the UK with people in prisons, ex-offenders and recovering addicts, and to offer free places to dancers in poverty in South Africa. Total £15,307

Future Commitments

In the next year we expect to support 1 person from the UK to go through the PT, and to continue to support 2 people from South Africa on AP7. We would like to support MM in Zimbabwe and the Kafunda Village, as well as supporting dancers from there to come to workshops outside their country. Approx. commitment £10,000.

Margaret Davies

Chair of Trustees of the Movement Medicine Sponsorship Fund.


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.