Emotional Wellbeing Trauma Training

Hammersmith & Fulham, the council instigated a Building Trust project with residents, community groups and NHS North-West London.

As part of the Building Trust Project Apricot Wellbeing CIC offered a Facilitation and Trauma Training. The training being given is a group coaching programme run over 12 weeks (at one day a week). Ended 1st March 2024.

  • This is a personal development training programme where we focus on emotional health and wellbeing, increasing participants understanding of trauma and it impact on their lives. We use our expertise to guide the community leaders into increasing their self-awareness, exploring identity, while setting and understanding boundaries. The aim is to equip them with tools and strategies to create a self-improvement plan which will enable them to grow and move forward.
  • Equipping the community leaders with a clear definition of trauma and the interlink between our brain, emotions, and behaviour. While, providing that safe and brave space, where all participants are engaged in self-exploration exercises, which enables them to better connect with their emotions.
  • This is about being relational, building and sustaining relationships and understanding the need for deep, meaningful human connections, while exploring its impact on our health and wellbeing. The quality of relationships matter. When they’re nurtured, valued, and prioritised, community leaders are happier and healthier, communities are stronger and more resilient, and businesses are more successful and efficient.

“Legacy thinking” can help our community leaders bridge the divide between their daily behaviours and their long-term impact on an organization and its people. This type of trauma focused training and thinking allows us to approach each action and decision with a new perspective. Providing our community leaders with tools that will help them check themselves on a regular basis to ensure that their personal priorities are aligned with the organization’s vision, and that those priorities are reflected in their actions.

Halfway through our training and as part of our evaluation, we have asked three essential questions to all the community leaders participating in our Emotional Wellbeing Trauma Training. These community leaders play an essential role in the development and delivery of the Building Trust Project for Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

This evaluation only provides an interim result, but the conclusion so far is that the training has allowed participants to recognise and appreciate their strengths and integrity, and with that a recognition of how their position in the community truly brings benefit to others. It has, with discussion, allowed the group to recognise that what they give brings real benefit within their communities.

The three questions are provided with each participant’s response. Please see their answers:

The Fist participants: IT

I am glad to be on this course as I am already feeling the tentative positive effects from practising some of the stuff we have been talking about.

  • What are the main things that you have learned about yourself in our training?
    I had been neglecting myself care and not taking time to reflect and appreciate/celebrate my achievements. I had been stuck and could not reframe my limiting beliefs and this course is helping me navigate this.
  • What has been the most challenging aspect of this training for you individually?
    Reconciling work commitments to the training programme has been tricky at times, it’s taken a while to be open and vulnerable as this does not come naturally to me. Pivoting to reframe limiting beliefs.
  • Have you seen any changes as result of doing our training?
    I am scheduling time for self-care and consolidated myself reflection, taking time to appreciate the journey travelled. My perspective of the world is broader, and I am approaching issues with more confidence and having fellowship with my cohort has helped immensely. I am deliberately avoiding echo chambers in order to diversify my perspective of the world.
The second participants: PB
  • What are the main things that you have learned about yourself in our training?
    This training has come on the back of a combination of self-discovery and dealing with my past. I have had therapy (couples mainly) and my partner, and I are quite naturally reflective due to both our professional careers and natural curiosities as people. This is meant the training has enhanced my continuation of the above (self-discovery and dealing with my past) More insight into how I am viewed by those around me. Increased awareness of my triggers and boundaries (including lack of). I appear to be quite consistent in my outward presentation.
  • What has been the most challenging aspect of this training for you individually?
    The whole training so far has been challenging in that it requires one to embrace getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. We have developed an authentic space that has enabled us ALL to lay bare our thoughts and feelings. Nawal’s transparency and willingness. To allow us to communicate without judgement, has helped us create this brilliant space. This in itself is challenging, as even when I may not feel like sharing or disclosing aspects of my life (and past). I feel compelled to do so:
    • Sharing aspects of my life that I very rarely share outside my close circles.
    • Dealing with the emotionally charged discussions in the remainder of my Friday afternoon.
    • Difference of opinions, values and beliefs and not acting on the urge to challenge the speaker.
  • Have you seen any changes as result of doing our training?
    The training has given me a renewed drive for self-betterment, it has given me a more intentional approach to my life, career and self-care.
    • Looking at the shadow side of myself
    • Being more intentional in my reflections and sharing with others mainly my partner
    • Sharing my thoughts and feelings
    • Self-care…maintaining a self-care regime.
The third participant: HT
  • What are the main things that you have learned about yourself in our training?
    So far this has been an amazing journey and I’m thoroughly enjoying the experience. Before I started the training, I made a promise to myself that I was going to 100 percent commit emotionally with a determination to understand and overcome my trauma, which I know I have left unpacked and undealt with for too long. With the training I’m learning ways to safely address issues from my past, and practical techniques to create my brighter future. I’ve always considered myself to be a positive person, who wants to contribute well, and see the world in good place. Even though I within myself know this is true, it was still nice to see these same values aligned in the personality test we took. Over the course of the weeks, I’ve been able to specifically identify my value system and what I truly hold dear through some of the exercises and tasks we have done. They say knowledge is power, and knowing the self allows one to move with more purposeful direction and gusto in life. This subconsciously has added an underlining confidence to my decision making.
    • What has been the most challenging aspect of this training for you individually?
      As I mentioned, this has been journey, and a journey also has twists and turns. Some weeks have been more difficult than others where we have had to unpack feelings that previously I’ve never felt comfortable discussing. This has been difficult, however, through the safe space that has been provided and the incredible working group – people I have come to truly respect, cherish and love – it’s been a workable progress and I’ve allowed myself to open up and address some of these vulnerabilities. The highlight on this was at last week training, when we had to talk about our limiting beliefs with another participant. This exercise meant that we had to look deeper into what our limiting beliefs truly mean, and to explore where do they come from. This was an exercise I really wasn’t looking forward to, as I would be put into a position I wasn’t used to, lacked control in, and just felt too open. Even writing this now and processing how I felt in the moment allow me to think back to things that have happened in my past that have contributed to these internal uncomfortable feelings e.g. domestic separations, and personal failed relationships…For me this has been one of the most difficult aspects of this training, but equally the most rewarding. Learnt so much about myself in that exercise .
    • Have you seen any changes as result of doing our training?
      I feel myself getting more connected to my feelings which is allowing me to enjoy aspects of my life even more. The things that I am learning, I am incorporating into my everyday life and seeing the benefits in how I now deal with and internalise situations as well as my own personal relationships. Nawal has been a fantastic facilitator who has set the tone for what I can only say is a life changing programme and experience. God bless her. I have felt looked after, safe with Nawal and the group, and look forward every week to the great energy and incredible learning that is given to us. I’m looking forward to continuing in the coming weeks and seeing further positive transformations to myself and the group.
    The fourth participant: GD
    • What are the main things that you have learned about yourself in our training?
      So much more than I have learned on any other training or activity I have ever done, including years of talking therapies! One of the main things is a laser-like focus on what is important to me: spending time with my family and friends. Reflection plays a more prominent and critical part in my life, including walking in the park, appreciating nature, and listening to audiobooks. I can get lazy, though, and need to keep working on the ‘MOT Muscle’ to ensure I take the time to be me, focus on me, and stay focused on what is and not what might be.
    • What has been the most challenging aspect of this training for you individually?
      I have not been disciplined in my adopted practices since we began the course. Some things I have done have been very beneficial, but they still need to become habits! Meditation. I have done this through guided meditations on walks and at home, but even when I am not doing it, I also concisely tell myself to slow my breathing and take in oxygen. I feel like I have always had breathing issues; I feel like half the time, I am holding my breath, that I can’t breathe, that I am waiting for my fight, freeze, or flight response to kick in. Now, if I have something concerning me, e.g. a conversation, a task, paying a bill, getting on a plane, etc., I will say to myself breathhhhhhhheeeeeeeeee
    • Have you seen any changes as result of doing our training?
      I am unsure if I have ever felt this accepting of myself or my reality. I am truly overwhelmed by the love, kindness, and support, which you and the group have shown me. I feel immense gratitude and humility, to receive such warmth. It is so special what we have created, and I am blessed to be a part of what we are doing. My life has been an interesting journey and I feel like I am only really starting to make the most of it. I have faced a lot of my darkness in the last twelve months and am starting to experience the light. It has been a very long time since I have genuinely and sustainably had the positive emotions and feelings, and I want them to be around more often.
    The fifth participant: SJ
    • What are the main things that you have learned about yourself in our training?
      I have been able to identify certain limiting beliefs I was holding. I have also learned about my core values, and really found exploring my personality type insightful. I have also become more aware of my emotions, and the place that they are coming from. I have been thinking more before reacting.
    • What has been the most challenging aspect of this training for you individually?
      The most challenging aspect for me have been week 2 and 3 and 4. particularly about understanding boundaries and what is my purpose. I never really gave this any thought before and have enjoyed unravelling this part of me.
    • Have you seen any changes as result of doing our training? 
      Yes. I have a more heightened awareness when reacting to something. I have more understanding of my values and limiting belief system. I have also enjoyed all of the TED talks that we have been watching.
    The sixth participant: FD
    • What are the main things that you have learned about yourself in our training?
      Since I started this course, I have found out that I have a few things that triggers my reaction and irks me. That, as open as I think I am I don’t allow people into my close surroundings easily. I can acknowledge my fears and deal with them to overcome. Whatever thoughts I have is not who I am, and I am able to write down my vision in my head for a happy and healthy future. What my personality type is though I agree in part and disagree in another. The difference in my limiting vs unlimiting believe and how they affect my life.
    • What has been the most challenging aspect of this training for you individually?
      Listening to others trauma and not know how to help. Figuring out what my triggers were. How my body process emotions. And my limiting belief which was the challenges of my faith.
    • Have you seen any changes as result of doing our training?
      Definitely. I no longer feel like I must do everything alone. I am working on the triggers I didn’t knew existed but has raised its heads recently. By addressing these areas and am on a journey of great self-discovery, preparing and making plans (written) are coming along better well.
    The seventh participant: NW
    • What are the main things that you have learned about yourself in our training?
      I found it useful to explore values and personalities which I found has reminded me of the changes I have made to have more people in my life with shared values, but also that there are several things that I need to work on. Especially when it comes to doing things for people and not letting my own needs be forgotten. I realised how much I am triggered by certain behaviours and emotions like angry aggression and the impact it has on me. I learnt how much I do value consistency and familiarity and how uncomfortable I am when put on the spot with a change in that familiarity. I learnt I have gotten a lot better at asking when unsure which something is I had to work on a lot but was unsure in a new group if I would be confident enough.
    • What has been the most challenging aspect of this training for you individually?
      It was actually where we had to draw. I know it’s a massive weakness for me so really put me out of my comfort zone.
    • Have you seen any changes as result of doing our training?
      Yes, I have been able to start to implement some changes now. I have been thinking more about what a future could look like and putting things in place to be able to get to that point…even if it will take a while.  I am more aware of my traits and how these fits in with work and relationships. It has helped me be more aware when I have too high expectations for myself and be able to be more comfortable with my work and the end results, instead of thinking what else I can do better ( challenging my self-doubt ). I also am starting to accept compliments without feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed to be receiving them. Still a while to go but a start at least. The MOT has meant I am a lot more aware how I am which has helped when doing an assessment recently for therapy.  Thanks so much. This course so far has been of great values.
    The eighth participants: DB
    • What are the main things that you have learned about yourself in our training?
      The main things I’ve learnt about myself during our training are:
      • The benefits of doing an MOT
      • That I haven’t been rooted in reality due to living in constant crisis/survival mode
      • That I need to do work around my inner child abandonment issues
      • That I am learning to be more compassionate towards myself
      • I don’t take enough timeout to be still in order to ground myself.
    • What has been the most challenging aspect of this training for you individually?
      • None of the training has been challenging.
      • Being triggered by another participant challenged me for the first couple of weeks. I am no longer triggered by this person anymore, because on reflection I realised that it was my stuff and nothing to do with the person at all [Need some exploration! Still trying to work out what that stuff is or connected to.
    • Have you seen any changes as result of doing our training? 
      • Yes
      • Practicing more self-care
      • Able to recognise more easily/quickly on reflection when I am being triggered from my inner child.
    The Ninth participants: MF
    • What are the main things that you have learned about yourself in our training?
      That I enjoy attention and I must be more intentional about promoting and involving people around me
      Personality type: Advocate (INFJ-A)
      Traits: Introverted – 55%, Intuitive – 84%, Feeling – 54%, Judging – 57%, Assertive – 74%
      Role: Diplomat
      Strategy: Confident Individualism
    • What has been the most challenging aspect of this training for you individually?
      To be genuinely open to learn and move past what I think I know, but more importantly, to walk alongside others in a way that reflects they see a disposition to learning in me, and lastly that this disposition is an expression of who I truly am and not something I am working to do.
    • Have you seen any changes as result of doing our training?
      Happy place.
    The tenth Participants: ST
    • What are the main things that you have learned about yourself in our training? 
      What I have learnt about myself: That I need to say No more often to things that I will not have the capacity to do. I have also learnt that limiting belief thoughts have been a great occupier of my mind and that I need to address this.
    • What has been the most challenging aspect of this training for you individually?
      To face the behaviours that I have always felt has self-limited my abilities to fully participate in activities The sixth participant: ST that I ought to naturally at times – especially those with huge opportunities attached to them.
    • Have you seen any changes as result of doing our training:
      Yes, I am deliberately taking more time out each day to self-reflect honestly, confront my fears and other negative emotions that have stemmed from negative self-limiting thoughts. The experience has been cathartic.

    10th August 2023.

    Testimony From Gareth Dixon the Chief Executive Officer.

    www.yhff.org.uk @youngH_F Opportunities for Young People

    I am thrilled to share my experience with Apricot Wellbeing’s trauma and emotional well-being training as a part of the Building Trust project. Nawals’ dedication and expertise have left an indelible mark on me and, I believe, the project’s overall success.

    From the beginning, it was evident that Apricot Wellbeing was committed to delivering the highest quality training. Nawal exuded a profound understanding of trauma and emotional well-being, coupled with an exceptional ability to convey complex concepts that are engaging and relatable. This approach ensured that every person in attendance, regardless of background or prior knowledge, could grasp and internalize the information presented.

    What truly sets Apricot Wellbeing apart is its personalized and empathetic approach. Nawal exhibited a deep sense of compassion and respect for each participant’s unique experiences and challenges. This created a brave, safe, and nurturing environment where participants felt encouraged to share their thoughts and emotions, fostering a sense of unity and trust among the group.

    The training materials provided by Apricot Wellbeing were nothing short of exceptional. The resources were comprehensive, well-organized, and supported by the latest trauma and emotional well-being research. The practical exercises and interactive sessions were thoughtfully designed to encourage active participation and facilitate meaningful discussions. Nawal skilfully guided us through exercises that allowed us to apply the concepts we learned, empowering us to make fundamental, positive changes in our lives and within the Building Trust project.

    The insights gained have improved our understanding of trauma-informed practices and significantly enhanced how we interact with our beneficiaries and stakeholders. The ripple effect of this training is already being felt in the positive outcomes we are witnessing within our project’s scope.

    In conclusion, Apricot Wellbeing’s trauma and emotional well-being training under the Building Trust project deserve the highest praise. Their dedication to fostering a culture of well-being, empathy, and trust is unparalleled. I wholeheartedly recommend Apricot Wellbeing to any organisation or project seeking to make a profound impact through trauma-informed practices and emotional well-being training. This experience has been inspiring, and we are immensely grateful for the opportunity to work in partnership with Apricot Wellbeing.

    Slide 1
    Mellezia | Director of Rena Initiative

    Apricot wellbeing programme has enabled me to create two hours weekly for self -care where I reflect on my own health and wellbeing in a supportive and empowering environment...

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    Zoltan Harshegyi | Founder ECHO Friends – “Spread the World”

    I always thought of myself as a confident person, who could deal with his issues that holds him back alone, or sometimes with a chat with a friend. But during the last year, I had to realise that I certainly have some serious underlying issues that affect my wellbeing and happiness. It was hard to admit it to myself, but at the same time I did it, I got an email from Nawal introducing this programme...

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    Elaine Robison | Community leader in Hammersmith and Fulham

    The Apricot programme has definitely enabled me to positively reflect on my own wellbeing and has raised my awareness of accepting who I really am as well as improved my relationship with myself...

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    Cinzia D’Ambrosi | Photojournalist

    The Apricot wellbeing programme has enabled me to reflect on my own health and wellbeing. The programme has allowed me to look back at the causes of particular emotional and behavioural blocks that stand on the way to health and wellbeing...

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    Anthony Fleetwood's review on 14 Aug 2020

    Nawal makes you feel very relaxed and at ease. She creates a safe and nurturing environment - you feel listened to, she hears you and allows you space to talk or not! ....

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    Sharon Tomlin's review on 13 Aug 2020

    Nawal is a phenomenal practitioner who through her compassionate and emotionally intelligent approach enabled a long-lasting positive impact on how I see life. The techniques, guidance and advice given enabled me to have a better understanding on how to nurture, place and protect myself. Thank you Nawal!

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    Debbie Kilby's review on 29th July 2020

    Nawal listened without criticism or opinion - she helped me question myself and find the right answers for me! 6 months on from several meetings with her I am in a much better place both in my home life and career. She is truly inspirational and cannot recommend her enough ....

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    Miramistic way review on 11 Sep 2020

    It was an amazing experience to be heard properly. Nawal's communication approach has made me see another perspective of my life, many other opportunities were on my way, which I was unaware of....

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