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February 07, 2019
Words by Jenny Patton.
We’re an eco friendly, green thinking bunch here at the Vineyard and with yet another annual celebration – this time Valentines Day - on the horizon, we’ve been thinking about ways to celebrate all types of love this month.
Like any commercialised occasion, Valentines Day can exaggerate feelings of loneliness in those who perhaps don’t feel the type of love Valentines Day celebrates.
Our Eco-therapists, who work to improve the mental health of local Londoners at Social Enterprise Vineyard, feel strongly that self love is by far the most important practice and should be celebrated daily. So if you are out of practice at self-love then we encourage you to use February as the month to begin!
You might start by following Katherine Baldwin @From40WithLove
On her blog ‘From Forty With Love,’ Katherine inspires others by sharing how she worked to overcome her struggles with compulsive overeating, undereating, bingeing and starving from an early age, negative body image, an excessive drive and a thirst for achievement that led to burnout, grief and depression.
She began her blog at 40 went she began to discover the true meaning and value of freedom. She talks about following her heart, trusting her instinct and accepting herself, one day at a time.
Katherine provides tips, encouragement and links to her guided meditations; she also holds events and workshops.
We also loved reading about what @SoHappyInTown had to say on the self love topic, this city based Mum writes a very honest blog about life and family in the city, celebrating the good with the bad. In her post she notes that ‘being kind to yourself is one of the best things you can do for your health. So, let’s spread a little kindness, first to ourselves and automatically it’ll spread to others.’
Find out more about the Ecotherapy we offer to our volunteers here as well as our wellbeing outreach work through our Flourish project that begins this year.
How often do we hear that it is time not money that genuinely makes the difference to people? And we know from our team of vineyard volunteers that donating your time and energy to improving something or someone is incredibly rewarding.
There are plenty of ways to give your time love and energy, have a look locally to see where you can make a difference:
The Felix project collects good quality food from suppliers then deliver it to charities so they can give vulnerable people a healthy meal or snack. They are looking for volunteers for collecting and delivering food and have a depot near to the Vineyard in Enfield.
If you are based in London sign up with The Mayor of London for all the best volunteering opportunities across London, as well as information about Team London. @LDN_gov
If you are interested in art or history you could apply to local galleries or places of interest. Places like Somerset House in London @SomersetHouse
Register your interest with environmental organisations: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/jobs/volunteering-friends-earth @friends_earth
Or consider helping the homeless: http://www.streetsoflondon.org.uk/volunteer
Whether you engage in Valentines Day or not, we encourage you to familiarise yourselves with a couple of our favourite ethical and sustainably minded gift brands:
Petalon, is a sustainably minded flower delivery service who are passionate abut supporting bees. They have a weekly choice of two bouquets that go up on the website every Sunday morning. They deliver by bicycle to central London and by post to mainland UK 7 days a week. All their packaging is either biodegradable or recyclable and they make donations to bee and tree charities with every purchase. @petalon_flowers https://www.petalon.co.uk
For Chocolates, look no further than our fellow Social Enterprisers Divine Chocolate. @divinechocolate
Divine Chocolate is delicious, and is the only chocolate company in the world that is 100% Fairtrade and co-owned by cocoa farmers. They are also a B Certified Corporation, which means they meet the highest standards of social and environmental impact. So when you buy Divine Chocolate for someone special in your life, you know that you're also sharing the love with the farmers that grow the cocoa beans and the land they carefully grow them on.
Last, but not least, we recommend our very own London Brut sparkling wine! Produced in the traditional champagne method from grapes tended with love and care by our vounteers. Buy yours here.
We wish you lots of love however you choose to celebrate it this month!
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