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2022 Finalist: Take Back Your Life (TBYL) from the Globe Community Project

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2022 Finalists
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May 22, 2024

Take Back Your Life (TBYL) is a mindfulness-based innovation that aims to support people who experience chronic pain, illness, and inactivity and social isolation. Chronic pain and ill health can be debilitating, and research shows that mindfulness meditation can be as effective a treatment as pharmacological interventions as well as reduce anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other issues that often arise as a byproduct of chronic pain and illness.

TBYL works with one of the largest housing estates in Bethnal Green in Tower Hamlets, London's most deprived borough. It focuses on helping hard-to-reach groups, especially those for whom English isn't a first language, live more independent, healthy, and fulfilling lives. TBYL is adapted from the multi-award-winning Breathworks 'Mindfulness for Health' eight-week course and uses teaching techniques more appropriate for English learners, such as images and visual aids, interactive exercises, role-playing, information eliciting, puppets, and simplified English. The course is also offered free of charge, and its approach seeks to reduce barriers to engagement by introducing mindfulness in community settings where participants feel comfortable and safe. It encourages graduates of the programme to share what they've learned with friends, family, and their communities. TBYL received funding from Tower Hamlets council after several successful pilots in 2019, and the project is now looking to expand beyond London.

The judges noted the determination, passion, and creativity of TBYL, and they recognised that the programme is serving a significant need in overcoming the language and cultural barriers that can prevent people from accessing mindfulness and enjoying its benefits. They were also impressed by the years of rigorous testing and research that have gone into developing the innovation and hope that these learnings can ultimately be shared more widely with others in the field. The judges felt that the project is now in a strong position for the strategic growth of its brand, team, and services.

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