Monday, 31 July 2017

More Funding Success!

Organisation name: Back To Books 
Project title: With My Best Foot Forward

This project is a progression of our work with disadvantaged groups / community members who are hard to reach and whose needs are often overlooked. It also follows on from our most recent project "Celebrating Our Senses - Mindfulness, Walking, Wellbeing". 


"We are pleased to let you know that following the Tesco Bags of Help vote in your local Tesco stores, your project came second and has been chosen by Tesco Customers to receive an award of £2,000.00.


Voting was held at Tesco stores between Monday 1st May to Friday 30th June and proved to be very successful with millions of votes being cast by Tesco Customers across England, Scotland and Wales."

As we didn't receive the full amount originally applied for we will use the funds to support walks, events and activities during two new projects "Branching Out - Parks and Gardens - Mindfulness, Walking, Wellbeing Project" and "Parks and Gardens, Woods and Water, Crafts and Industry"

Thank you to everyone who voted for us!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

More Good News!




We are delighted to announce that we are able to continue our work with a small group young of people who have experienced mental distress and who will be supported by NStep. The proposed project is for a series for 6 wellbeing walks through a park, garden, growing space, heritage site or an area of a history rooted in a particular industry or craft. Each will be planned by the Project Coordinator and will incorporate a creative activity connecting walkers with the history/ landscape of the site. The project is called Branching Out - Exploring Parks and Gardens - Mindfulness, Walking, Wellbeing Project and has been funded by Northamptonshire Community Foundation from the Margaret Giffen Community Fund.



Monday, 1 May 2017

Our Exciting New Project Has been Funded by Awards For All!


Parks and Gardens, Woods and Water, Crafts and Industry - A Series of Creative Wellbeing Walks


This project is series of wellbeing walks through a park, garden, growing space, heritage site or an area of a history rooted in a particular industry or craft in the middle section of the country. Each will be planned by the Project Coordinator Carole Miles and will be led by a Specialist Facilitator connecting walkers with the history/ landscape of the site. The Specialist Facilitator will incorporate a creative activity during the walk to help the participants to connect with the history, landscape or location in a unique, creative way. 


The project has been made possible by funding from Awards For All and will take place between May 20217 and May 2018.



Monday, 27 March 2017

Celebrating Our Senses - Celebration

This was our final walk and celebration of the project featuring Mindfulness and Wellbeing Walks. Grant Awarded from Margaret Giffen Community Fund and Northamptonshire Community Foundation.


We went for a three mile walk from The Green Patch along the Ise on both sides of the river. It was a very, very wet day but we were joined again by Storyteller Allan Davies who managed to keep our spirits high in spite of the rain.


We were joined by friends and supporters of Back To Books for a lovely lunch in the Green Patch Cabin.


Everyone had their walk journals stamped for a final time and were able to take them away, full of memories and photos from the walks.


This has been a wonderful project and all who participated enjoyed it immensely. It is always sad to come to an end but we have hopes that there will be more walks in the future!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Celebrating Our Senses - Walk 7 - Direction


Our Mindfulness meditation - Direction - was lead by Carolyn Bantin Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation. It was a dreary day, we were coming to the end of the project, we decided to take things slow.


We retraced part of a walk made with Miles and Dacombe during Light Walks For Dark Days using a Fortune Teller to guide our steps. 


We collected a series of images of interesting doors


We visited Dulleys Museum,  played the penny arcade machines.
looked at the old school books, remembered favourite toys.


We made plans for the end of project celebration in March 



and made button tree keyrings.


and were able to have our picnic in the Museum.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Celebrating Our Senses - Walk 6 - Location

The sixth in a series of Mindfulness and Wellbeing walks.


Our Mindfulness meditation - Location - was lead by Carolyn Bantin. Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation.


We have found that to start 
each walk with a meditation 
helps to create a calming, 
warming, gentle frame of mind.


It is an excellent aid for 
slowing thoughts down, 
helping us relax into the walk 
and our surroundings.


Carole had swapped a felted landscape vessel for some ceramic pebbles by artist Lincoln Kirby Bell who has been creating pebbles and leaving them in hidden locations all over the world


"its just been a means of creating a curiosity for the finder, having a bit of fun,mischief and giving the finder cause to contemplate its significance, how it got there, who left it and why. I have dropped pieces deep in the worlds oceans, in rivers and lakes, buried them in the rain forest of central America, left them in the Australian desert, in the Himalayan mountains, on the busy streets of New Delhi, London and Marrakesh just to name a few of the places they have been deposited in the more than 40 countries of the world I have lived, worked and travelled in during the last 25 years." Lincoln Kirby Bell


We  walked into the clearing, chose our pebble, making sure to enjoy it's qualities before we each found a place to hide it. 


We found pieces of salt glaze stoneware edging, bricks trapped in earth, stones and trees covered in moss.


Eye eye


Peeping out


Stone circle


If you found one of our hidden pebbles 


we would love to know!


It must have been very cold overnight as we found some large lumps of ice which became a mini installation with sea glass and shell from Carolyn's pocket.


Walking along the path it was kind of grey


walking back we had mist through trees 
and sparking patches of sunlight


Our picnic was punctuated by music played by Gavin, who hoped to bring one of his many guitars but the unpredictable weather made him worried it might rain. Instead we were treated to a fabulous mini concert via is laptop!


A penny for your thoughts or rather a tin of treasures 
containing Carolyn's Pecan Flapjacks


We loved the beautiful light on the misty field 
opposite and had wanted a group shot in front 
of it - however with the light in the wrong 
place everyone's faces were in shadow


 so we stood in front of the wrought iron gates instead!


Feeling fully fortified we decided we would 
walk the other half of the Pocket Park Trail,
taking time to revisit the mysterious tower 
attached to one of the houses.


The light was changing once again


We found a fantastic den


that Pete just had to try out


and a rope swing.


This was a beautiful walk.
Thank you to everyone that helped make it so special!


Walk distance  4 miles.



The Celebrating Our SensesMindfulness and Wellbeing walks made possible with a Grant awarded from Margaret Giffen Community Fund and Northamptonshire Community Foundation and with support from NStep.


Monday, 5 December 2016

Celebrating Our Senses - Walk 5 - Touch



The fifth in a series of Mindfulness and 
Wellbeing walks to celebrate our senses. 
We walked from the Green Patch 
along the river path to Warkton.


Inspired by the exquisitely carved feathers 
of the angel which is part of one the 
St Edmunds Church, Warkton


artist Carole Miles decided to create a 
temporary installation of printed feathers 
suspended within a copper framework.


A feather seemed a good motif for Touch - 
which could be feather light yet very powerful.


We followed a trail of feathers


and sat inside or


 stood around the outside.during 
our Mindfulness meditation - Touch - 
was written and lead by Carolyn Bantin 


We felt very tranquil as we closed our eyes
and allowed our minds to hold and enjoy
the words, breathing fully and deeply.
feeling relaxed and in touch with ourselves.


We had our lunch in the meeting room 
whilst the installation was dismantled. 



We folded origami fir trees and 
wrote some thoughts about the day. 


We stopped to play Pooh Sticks on the bridge.


We walked back to our start point with 
quicker steps and lighter hearts. 


One walker said to Carole 
"You make the best walks EVER!"

Many thanks to Anne-Marie Sandos who worked on the Montague Monuments Project and is now working in education and outreach for Boughton House for making it possible for us to visit, create, meditate and have our lunch within this peaceful place. Many thanks also to Michael Miles AKA Copper Man for helping with the installation.


Walk distance  3 miles.

The series of Mindfulness and Wellbeing "Celebrating Our Senses" walks have been made possible with a Grant awarded from Margaret Giffen Community Fund and Northamptonshire Community Foundation and with support from NStep.

PS - you may catch a glimpse of a familiar red head singing her heart out with the Deep Roots Tall Trees Choir  during Remembrance and Rebirth – Songs for the Montagu Monuments in May 2016 :-)