A Space For Peace – A Place to Be
One element of our work is to combine the development of physical spaces for peace with support to individuals and groups to explore and discover their own personal space for peace. Integral to this vision is the creation of Peace gardens in every community across the North East of England.
To create Peace Gardens within disadvantaged and deprived communities across North East England.
- Community cohesion.
- Effective, innovative use of unused space.
- Reduction in Anti-social behaviour.
- Improved health and well being.
- Creation of new public community space.
The unique and integral concept inherent in the project will be the introduction of mindfulness based meditation combined with the creation of a physical community space for reflection. Mindfulness is an approach to well being that combines meditation, breathing techniques and paying attention to the present moment which helps people change the way they think, feel and act. The health and well being benefits of mindfulness are well documented and mindfulness based cognitive therapy is now recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) as an alternative to medication in the treatment of anxiety and depression within the NHS.
Each Peace Garden, although based around an outline framework, would be designed and created by the community, for the community. Space for Peace would provide the outline framework and engage in community consultation with members of the local community, across all age groups.
This consultation would include raising awareness around issues of peace and an introduction to the use of mindfulness meditation to rediscover peace within themselves.
The purpose of each Peace Garden will be to both provide a physical space for peace for members of the local community to use to reflect on peace and a symbol of the community’s commitment to Peace.
Each Peace Garden will be circular in shape and include three separate sections. Each section will focus on a different question related to peace;
- What does peace mean to you and for you?
- Where is peace for you?
- How do you make peace?
Each section will also include a locking post box in which people can post peace pledges. These pledges would then be laminated for protection from the elements and hung on the tree in the centre of the garden. The act of writing down the pledge psychologically reinforces the personal commitment, this is further reinforced by sharing the pledge publicly by hanging it on the tree.
The creation of Peace Gardens will provide an opportunity to develop greater community cohesion, release the power of individuals to create the Space for Peace and revitalise unused space. Through embedding peace as a concept into the culture and beliefs of the people within these communities an impetus will be created for shifting cultural norms around anti-social behaviour, domestic Abuse and bullying. The use of mindfulness will develop greater self ownership and therefore less reliance and dependence on ‘services’ as communities will manage challenges within.