AGNI’s impact on mental health and wellbeing 2019 – 2020

AGNI is a project that I developed alongside my full time job, starting in 2019, with the aim and purpose of improving mental health and wellbeing.

My team is made up of me, my husband ceramicist Matt Cronshaw and 4 volunteers. My good friends Danielle West, Helen Brentnal and my parents Trevor and Alison Maloney!

I am proud of what we have achieved together over the last year and would like to share our impact with you.

25 pay-what-you-choose yoga classes raised £600 to support our community projects

I believe that yoga should be accessible to all. That is why AGNI’s ‘hidden yoga’ classes are pay what you choose. All profits from our classes go towards running projects to benefit the wellbeing of the community.

We ran 25 pay what you choose yoga classes in 2019-2020, reaching 172 students, who collectively raised £737. I worked to find spaces for the classes across Manchester that were good value and many venues kindly donated space including Erst and The Whisky Jar. In total we spent £143 on room hire.

I volunteered my time to teach the classes, so in total we raised £594 profit from the classes. We will use the profits to run free candle making workshops and training for people experiencing mental health issues this year.

Agni hidden yoga at space at the mill
Hidden yoga at Space at the mill, Manchester

2 fundraising yoga classes raised £230 for charity

We ran 2 charity yoga classes for causes that were nominated by our yoga students, with all proceeds donated to the charity of their choice. We raised £105 for Thomas Paling for The Circulation Foundation and £125 for Shonagh D’Sylva fundraising for the NSW Rural Fire Service supporting the response to the Australian bush fires.

Agni yoga fundraising for Australia
Yoga for Australia

5 yoga for stress and candle-making workshops reaching 45 people

We ran 5 yoga workshops reaching 45 students at The Elephant Rooms, a not for profit social enterprise specialising in the provision of a safe, tranquil environment for the promotion of community health and wellbeing. Including yoga for stress and candle making workshops.

Candle making & yoga workshop at The Elephant Rooms

AGNI classes and workshops help people to feel relaxed

Feedback on our Facebook page from our students shows that our workshops and classes make them feel at ease, calm and relaxed.

“Felt completely relaxed for the rest of the day”

“A lovely warm and welcoming atmosphere, I left feeling revived and relaxed and like a different person”

“Thoroughly enjoyed the yoga retreat with Jess. Her soothing voice and patience paired with her knowledge of different techniques and the effects they have, was enough to put me at ease and feel fully relaxed.”

“Jess was a very patient yoga instructor, who went through every move with us, her voice is mesmerising, and we were completely relaxed by the end!”

“Your attention to detail in making the day so relaxing, making everybody welcome and your excellent communication through out the classes made it a very professional, fun day which left me rebalanced and relaxed.”

“Fantastic and patient with lots to teach”

Our plan for 2020 – 2021

Kickstarter campaign

We are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to provide free mindful candle-making workshops to people experiencing mental health issues and a paid candle-making traineeship.

So far 44 people have backed the project pledging £1,549 as a collective, with just 2 days left to back the project! Our campaign finishes on Friday 10 July at 9am.

Free candle making & yoga workshops for people experiencing mental health issues

With the profits raised last year and funds from our latest Kickstarter campaign we will run free candle making workshops for people experiencing mental health issues. A mindful candle-making workshop learning how to make AGNI meditation candles and a chance to relax, unwind and take away tips for incorporating mindfulness into daily life.

Participants are invited to take part in a mindful movement and meditation class while the candles are setting to relax and unwind. They will also gain access to materials to guide them through the basics of setting up their own candle making business.

Paid candle making traineeships

We will provide short term paid candle making traineeships for people experiencing mental health issues, starting with one paid traineeship making the candles sold through our Kickstarter campaign.

Soy wax meditation candle in glass jar

Impact 2020 – 2021

We will continue our pay-what-you-choose yoga classes and the majority of our profits from candle and ceramics sales will contribute to running of our community projects.

AGNI exists to bridge the gap between mental illness and unemployment. Our long term aim is to provide workshops, training, work placements and employment in mindful craft for people experiencing mental health issues.

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