FRED BUTLER'S GRASSROOTS COLOUR SPECTRUM
Well known prop stylist, accessories designer, author and muse Fred Butler chose to respond to Good Life London's Window Box Gallery brief by creating a Grassroots Colour Spectrum. Working with the charities that Good Life London supports she has taken a personal story from each, creating a sculptural marker of the impact felt by the organisation's service users and beneficiaries.
Here are the stories behind the names...
Purple = Spirituality, magical & mystical
OURMALA: supporting refugees through yoga and practical help
"I was initially drawn to Ourmala because I truly believe in the power of yoga - the way it can bring together communities, break down walls, and provide a sense of joy to everyone that decides to step on the mat. I love that Ourmala focuses on teaching the Ashtanga method - it's incredible to witness how empowered our clients become, as they learn the sequence and as they learn how to move with their breath. I am forever grateful for the service that Ourmala provides to the refugee communities in London. For me as a volunteer teacher, I am thrilled that I get to contribute to Ourmala's story and impact".
Jullie Tran-Graham, Ourmala Yoga Teacher
Blue = Awareness, calm & peaceful
GODWIN LAWSON FOUNDATION: tackling knife, gun and gang crime
"The Godwin Lawson Foundation has definitely helped me, I think for me in terms of confidence, personal growth and independence through the events we help to run, including the independence gained from the residential we went away to."
Lauren, GLF beneficiary
Turquoise = Communication, clarifying, harmonious, faithful
THE REASONS WHY FOUNDATION: behavioural change support for ex-offenders
"I'm drawn to Dwayne's story for this, as he was the first in 5 years to self identify that he needed to change his lifestyle expectations for the first time since he was 11 (he was 28 when he told me this in our first group prison meeting). He struggled with the effects of institutionalisation following release from custody and at times he thought he would return to his old behaviours. However, he continued to work with us and he remains in the job that he secured prior to release as part of the programme we mentored him on."
Roger Blackman, RWF Founder.
Green = Healing, stabilizing, regenerating
RHYTHMS OF LIFE: feeding and supporting London’s rough sleepers
"After a troubled youth, Stuart found himself homeless and was a rough sleeper for 6 months. Whilst staying in a night shelter, he heard about volunteering being offered at Rhythms of Life. He now volunteers doing practical work and delivering food for us on an almost daily basis. Stuart says “Volunteering at Rhythms of life gives me something positive to do and keeps me busy. I get to meet interesting people, service users and volunteers. It also helps get me ready for work.”
Stuart has recently been given a Housing Association flat.
Yasue Fadhlaoui, RoL Volunteer Administrator
Yellow = Wisdom, power, energetic, optimistic
STOCKWELL GOOD NEIGHBOURS: companionship and help for the elderly
"Mr Levi Hamilton has been attending Stockwell Good Neighbours since it commenced 44 years ago. "The club has supported me through the death of my wife and my failing eyesight and prostate cancer, I love coming each Monday and seeing my friends and playing Dominoes." Stockwell Good Neighbours will be celebrating Mr Hamilton’s 100th birthday on the 2 October where there will be a special guest visit from the high commissioner of the Jamaican embassy."
Lesley Allen, SGN manager
Orange = Sexuality, creative, extroverted, cheerful
MOSAIC LBGTQ+ Youth Centre: supporting, educating and bringing together LGBTQ+ young people
"(Before…) I didn’t know anyone who was a part of my community. I was lucky to come across someone talking about an LGBT+ youth centre online and asked them about. This was when I discovered Mosaic. I began coming to Mosaic at the age of fourteen. I still remember my first day. Well, my second... as my first day I went round in circles, as I couldn’t find the centre. I tried again the following week, I found it and I loved it.
I was really shy but amazed at how many LGBT+ young people where there. It felt like I had just found my long lost family. I would strongly say that I was naive about LGBT+ people and the community before I began, but Mosaic and the workshops that they delivery were very good in educating all of us about things that schools choose to ignore.
Mosaic isn’t only a Youth centre, it’s a support network and safety net, where one day a week you can just be you and not give a single… and find peace of mind. You can just be you can actually be very difficult on a daily basis when everyone is telling you that being you is bad or wrong. Therefore, for this reason and this reason alone, I shall always be grateful. Now at the age of 18 going on 19, I’m now supporting the team to be that support network, where I can educate too, to be able to inspire new generations to come.”
Rafael, Events Co-ordinator, Mosaic
RED = Trust, passionate, enthusiastic
THE LOSS FOUNDATION: offering support and counselling to those who have lost loved ones to cancer
"Priya is a 25-year-old accountant who works in the city. Her mum, who she described as her best friend, had a 2-year battle with cancer and died when Priya was 24. The two years had been traumatic – Priya watched her mother slowly decline to look unrecognisable. Priya initially pushed emotions aside and fought hard through strained family dynamics to give her mum the most beautiful funeral possible.
A couple of weeks after the funeral everything went quiet. Family and friends stopped calling, often too worried to bring up her mother’s death in fear of upsetting her. Priya was expected to go back to work. Angry at the world for taking her mother away and desperate for help Priya came across The Loss Foundation one evening through a Google search for support. She decided to go along to one of their support groups. She turned up and was welcomed by friendly faces, offered homemade cake and a cup of tea. She sat in a group of 8 people, relieved to see people her own age. She sat next to a young guy who introduced himself, he too had lost his mum. Priya relaxed.
Then one of the other people started speaking about how hard he’s found it to adapt to life after his loved one passed away because nobody wants to talk about loss ‘out there’. Priya was shocked and relieved to hear that she wasn’t the only one to feel the way she did. She was not going crazy. She was grieving. Priya returned to the groups each month, she made friends. She was able to talk about loss, able to grieve without barriers or fear of being judged. As the months passed by she missed her mother no less but felt more equipped to deal with the day to day."
Erin Thompson, TLF Founder
Magenta = Love, kindness, emotional
CROSSROADS WOMEN’S CENTRE: bringing together women of all ages and communities to learn from and support each other.
"Alina came to the UK from Albania aged 14 after her family was threatened because of a “blood feud”. Her mother was wrongly advised not to claim asylum and ended up working illegally in order to support herself and her children. Alina and her brother then spent three and a half months in care when their mother was sent to prison. Once the family were reunited and received proper legal advice, in 2014 both Alina and her mum were referred to the All African Women’s Group of asylum seekers who meet regularly at Crossroads Women’s Centre. Gradually Alina’s confidence grew and she started helping out at the Centre, and in 2016 joined the daily rota, which takes care of the daily administrative tasks involved in keeping the Centre running smoothly. She is now confident in using the phone switchboard and in taking and referring on calls from the public and has become a valued member of the team! Her computer skills have developed hugely and she is able to assist with website and social media work, while helping train others to improve their skills in these areas. She and her family have benefitted greatly from being in such close contact with the Women’s Centre, including her young brother who attends the Crossroads Children’s Project which he loves, and they have received help with accessing housing, legal advice, health care and much more."
Anne Neale, Peer support and Volunteer Co-ordinator Crossroads