£100k appeal to create health, healing and wellbeing 'community'
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
A DALE couple have started a crowdfunding drive to start a “conscious community” centre focussed on health, healing and wellbeing.
Aaron Parker and Mary Brooks aim to raise £100,000 for the scheme, which would help buy land to start building. Mr Parker is currently a Thai kick-boxing instructor while Ms Brooks is a support and well-being coach. The couple live at Mickleton.
Mr Parker said: “We consider healing, health and well-being to be a holistic process and want to help people connect and meet like-minded people in a loving, caring and beautiful environment.
“We want to grow organic foods here, have healing events, host classes, bring communities together and bring people closer to nature. We want the centre to be organic, bio-dynamic and self-sustaining.”
Mr Parker added that the centre would help people to become conscious of their mental and physical health and would offer a space for people to escape from stress.
He said: “Just to come for an hour to relax is important because work life is stressful and family life is stressful. Taking that time to relax can do so much for your mental health.”
Ms Brooks added that such a venue is even more important as people recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
She said: “There has been a lot of isolation and fear of going out. That is big for our mental wellbeing – we need to be connected.”
Having lost her father to suicide, Ms Brooks is particularly concerned about men’s mental health because she said they find it more difficult to talk about their problems.
Mr Park, who has transformed his “hiking helps” sessions in nature therapy, said being out in the countryside is a great way to get people to talk outside of their comfort zone.
One of the ways he does this is through cold water swimming.
Of the fundraising drive, Mr Parker said: “We set a £100,000 target because land and property is so expensive, but it is not so much about hitting the target but finding the space.
“Even if someone wanted to rent us some space that would be great.”
People can contribute to the cause by visiting gofundme.com/f/help-aaron-and-mary-build-a-centred-community.