Funding Success Stories (Hammersmith & Fulham): Yoga Sessions @ Hope Gardens


Innovation Fund Feedback from our friends at Hope Gardens

Hope Gardens (HG) was awarded the Innovation Fund to deliver a project to facilitate yoga sessions to residents at the hostel to yoga would improve their mental and physical health, and give an introduction to some key principles of mindfulness and relaxation which can be applied to recovery.

These sessions happened monthly, taking place on the last Friday of every month for a duration of an hour. The yoga sessions started last winter, around November 2019 and HG plan to continue the session indefinitely, or for as long as residents’ wish for them to take place remains.

HG said that due to a lot of the fund being spend on ‘one-off’ purchases, such as yoga mats, a wireless speaker for the sessions, and other equipment, the only additional money they are spending is on the yoga instructor’s tuition, which makes the project sustainable.

HG stated that when the activity started, the sessions were quiet and had a couple of attendees, however they have noticed that with increased word of mouth about how beneficial the yoga sessions have been for other residents, they have seen a noticeable increase in attendance.

HG said that having a  yoga instructor who has a very experienced knowledge base of their residents and strengths-based ways of working with them, can bring a tailored approach to the sessions, depending on who is attending and their wishes which is very popular.

HG felt that having a really flexible approach has made residents feel very comfortable in asking questions about the sessions and also voicing feedback about how the sessions have been going; what they would like to see more of and what they haven’t enjoyed as well.

HG stated that they have reached around 9 of the 27 residents at Hope Gardens with the Yoga Sessions, some attending multiple sessions, and some attending just one so far as around 95% of our residents are accessing Recovery Services.

HG felt the sessions have overall been a huge success and feedback has been extremely positive. One resident fed back “I really enjoyed the session and found the conversation about yoga and yoga philosophy very interesting”.

HG said that they continue to advertise and inform residents who could potentially benefit from the sessions. They used a combination of posters around the project, visits from the instructor to chat to residents in the communal area and also as a wellbeing topic in key work sessions.

HG fed back “Thus far the project has been going really well and we feel the yoga sessions have been of huge benefit to the residents of Hope Gardens. Residents have really high praise for Claire, our yoga instructor, and residents who have found attending external activities in the community quite challenging, have acknowledged how grateful they are, for having these accessible sessions within their own home”.

HG also said that “Residents have said that the sessions are very beneficial for their wellbeing, managing stress, self-reflection and overall self-awareness as well as improved sleep. As we support residents with such complex health support needs, any activity such as this which can address issues in a more holistic way is something we are hugely passionate about”.

HG said that going forwards, they have plans for monthly yoga sessions for the next 6 months to a year where we will then have a Review Meeting with the instructor, Staff Yoga Lead and a Resident Rep to look at how the yoga is going and analyse client feedback.




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