The world is changing. And Thrive is changing with it.
We’ve learnt a lot over the past couple of years since the first seeds of the project back in 2014, and it’s all led to this.
Led by a circle of wonderful and talented people, we already offer a beautiful, loving and transformative space We’re never afraid to try new things and we listen to our hearts without a question. And we’re having a massive impact already.
These past few months, working with a circle of volunteers, the organisation has grown new wings and new roots - and we’re eager to show you what has been happening. We’re coming out of the closet (again), bringing new light and love to the organisation - and are finding its heart. I wanted to share this work with you: so - here we go.
A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF HIV – A NEW APPROACH
My own journey with HIV, and the work I’ve been doing for the past couple of years with Thrive all point to one thing: that HIV is more than what it appears to be on the surface: it can be an ‘awakener’ - i.e. a catalyst for change and growth - when people are given the time, space, knowledge and tools to do so.
HIV - like many diseases and traumatic experiences - is a call to align with our heart and our wider essence. A call to evolve. A call to remember our place within the world, our symbiotic connection with the earth and the universe. It triggers all of our traumas and wounds and our night terrors - an invitation, challenging at times, for those parts of ourselves to be seen.
So that we can grow. So that we can transform. So that we can evolve.
HIV is now a treatable and manageable chronic illness with a normal life expectancy for those diagnosed. It is is no longer an illness with a certain outcome of an AIDS diagnosis. It is a powerful messenger and awakener for healing and integration - an invitation for us to deal with the trauma and underlying issues that arise.
This understanding has been on the back of my mind since I started the project in 2014 - and after a few years of service, work and study, it is my absolute truth.
Now it’s time to bring this message to the world, through Thrive.
With this in mind, our Thrive journey has become a path of awakening: We’re here to give people living with HIV the space and support to use their diagnosis as a catalyst for massive personal change and transformation.
- By awakening to their true nature and spirit
- By transforming their beliefs and emotions
- By creating a truly authentic and thriving life
- By seeing their value and role in their community and planet
A NEW UNDERLYING STRUCTURE
Based on our new understanding and approach, Thrive is shapeshifting into a social enterprise. This doesn't change much of our structure, but it enables us to generate funding from a lot more sources, including a possible revenue-generating arm. It also enables us to fully involve more and more people - and to truly grow. It is a more sovereign and aligned underlying structure, one that brings with it a lot of fresh and abundant energy - and feels fully in the flow. Above all, it’s the obvious next step.
Part of this shift is our desire to operate partly as a mini-start-up, working to expand our reach through technology, an online platform and partnerships with local organisations around the globe. We want to get our message out and serve and learn from more communities, in the UK, Europe, Africa and beyond.
As part of this, we are now focusing on developing three main areas:
- InReach: offering some of the most innovative alternative therapies and personal development tools, including drama therapy through drag, contact improvisation, creative mentoring, physical expression, alignment work and shamanic studies - alongside our existing services and Thrive programme.
- OutReach: through a vibrant and loving community - both offline and online. With awesome content and online gatherings, classes and programs - featuring our in-house practitioners and more. With grounded, down-to-earth, approachable and friendly advice and support. With meetups, coffee mornings and trips based around culture, nature, community and outdoors.
- Partnerships & Learning: we want to bridge the gaps that exist, bringing people together in a new way. Gaps between Western medicine and alternative approaches, within countries, between hemispheres, between age groups, sexualities, genders, race. We already have ties with a few European and African charities which we are in the process of exploring.
Our current programme of activities has been developed to provide support at each step of the way. The best way we can describe it is the ‘gym for the soul’. We combine movement, bodywork and dancing with ritual, meditation, shamanism, sound, intuitive mentoring, ceremony and circle work. We come together as groups and circles to move through emotions and old programming that arises - and truly transform as a result.
As people awaken, we provide a space to understand, drop in, practice and integrate the new way of living and being that this provides.
Our current offering includes Open Day afternoons, Thrive evenings, Creative Exploration sessions, Social events as well as Open Mic & Stage nights (the first of which is on the 22nd of June and you are heartily invited!).
So far, we have two main facilitators:
- myself Edward Pike: I run the Thrive Programme, the Open Day Afternoons and some of the Thrive Evenings. I’m an intuitive mentor and healer - and I help people align with their heart and true self.
- Venus Jones: dancer and artist and wonderfully creative, runs the Creative Exploration sessions and mentors Thrivers on projects and performances
We also have two dedicated and motivated volunteers:
- Robert Dean: our community champion, runs the social events and coffee mornings
- Ricky Freeman: the voice of Thrive, runs the online community and our social media
We also have plans for many more activities and programmes - as soon as funding and delivery allows. I am in touch with many beautiful and talented practitioners, who all offer alternative and innovative approaches:
- Dramatherapy using drag with drama therapist Ryan Valadas
- Contact Impro with performer Stuart Walters
- Shamanic Studies with healer Anthea Durand
- Creative Expression with dancer and artist Venus Jones
We aim to offer these programmes in-house, but also collaborate with other UK-wide organisations to deliver them in other locations.
WHERE YOU COME IN
Now we are reaching out to you: we are looking for people who feel a call from within to stand beside us. To bring their light, their love, their voice. In whatever way, shape or form that takes.
· We’re looking for graphic designers, tech experts, app builders, video-makers.
· We’re looking for ambassadors, spokespeople, fans and change-makers.
· We’re looking for people who will share this message - with your family, friends, colleagues and beyond.
· We’re looking for people with networks and contacts with HIV organisations around the world.
And - crucially - we’re looking for funding.
OUR ROADMAP - WHERE WILL YOUR MONEY GO?
Of course, we don’t expect you to give blindly to us. Below is a mini-roadmap of our current expansion strategy. We would be more than happy to talk to you about this in person if you like - please drop us an email to email@example.com.
Our next step is threefold:
- Deepen our service of the London HIV community. This is where the majority of funding raised will go, and includes completing the 3rd Thrive Programme and running all our services for the last half of the year and into 2018.
- Develop our online offering. This will include:
- A programme for newly-diagnosed individuals
- Online events and courses
- A section for health practitioners
- Connect with other like-minded UK and international organisations. We already have ties to organisations in France, Cyprus, Sweden and Rwanda - and over the next few months we’ll be having conversations with other health practitioners, communities and organisations. We’ll listen, speak our truth and explore how we can best support and learn from our colleagues.
So, if you feel inspired and something within you feels the call to assist us, there are 3 main ways you can help:
1. LEND YOUR TIME / SKILL / TALENT: design a newsletter, help with the website, put a video together, etc.
2. RAISE AWARENESS: share with your network, reach out on social media, become an ambassador, put us in touch with other HIV organisations, arrange an interview, etc.
3. GIVE MONEY: visit thrivefoundation.org.uk and click on the big ‘GIVE’ button!
COME AND MEET US!
But…above anything else, we would LOVE to connect with you!
If you’re living with HIV, you can attend our Thrive Evening on the 15th of June or the next Open Day afternoon on the 17th of June. And make sure to sign up below, then click the GET STARTED page for your first step on your journey with us - and check out our meditations, links and resources.
If you’re in London, come and meet us at our next event: the very first Thrive Open Mic & Stage Night on the 22nd of June.
And finally, sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of this page, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org and find us on facebook.com/thethrivefoundation or twitter.com/thrivefdn. Start a conversation, and let us know that you’re listening!
All of the above would not be possible without ALL the support we have received from our friends, families and communities since the beginning of the project.
So, from the bottom of my heart - and the hearts of all our users and our team, I want to thank you. For coming together, for believing, for sharing and for giving. I am constantly moved and inspired by what we can achieve when we put our head and our hearts to something bigger than ourselves.
With all my love and appreciation,
Edward Pike, Founder