Free Relaxation Classes for Carers

"Great compassion penetrates into the marrow of the bone." -- Nagarjuna

Are you a carer in the community of a child or young adult and feel overburdened and overwhelmed?

Two charities, in association with Fusion, are offering three free relaxation classes for carers of children and young adults. These will happen at Brockwell Lido on Monday May 9th, Monday May 23rd, and Monday June 6th. Every class is on from 11am - 12:30pm. The sessions are designed as respite for people who care for children or young adults who are frail or ill, or have a physical, mental health or learning disability, and do so without receiving financial compensation. The sessions will be about helping people learn some wonderful survival skills.

Local charities Contact a Family (CAF) and Repaying the Kindness (RTK), approached Lido manager Craig Hawtin about starting the classes and Fusion donated studio time to make them possible. CAF represents and supports families with disabled children, which is why the Lido sessions are tailored to carers of children and young adults. RTK developed from a desire to repay the kindness of those who care for a sick or disabled family member, or partner. RTK has experience running respite sessions at Jamyang Buddhist Centre in Kennington for all non-renumerated carers in the community as a way to nurture and support them. They aspire to offer carers respite and life-enhancing experiences which include seasonal outings to places of beauty and interest in the locality, delicious and healthy vegetarian food, stress reduction techniques, mutual support and other fun and inspiring activities. A large aspect of their mission is to provide respite "in a day".

What with new benefit and support cutbacks daily, more and more of care responsibility is falling to individuals and what they can muster. This in turn is emotionally, physically and financially draining, resulting in anxiety and depression. CAF and RTK recognize the crucial value of people who give in this way and will try to give back at the Lido sessions by teaching relaxation techniques, advising on health matters like diet, and by suggesting other self-help and social activities.

The May 9th class will feature an introduction about what Repaying the Kindness (RTK) is about, with a Buddhist meditation focussing on compassion and loving-kindness to follow. The session will be led by Anna Colao, who helps run RTK out of the Jamyang Buddhist Centre in Kennington (the Old Courthouse on Renfrew Road).

The second class on May 23rd will feature 'Introduction to Yoga' and will be led by another teacher based at Jamyang. It will focus on Hatha Yoga.

The third class on June 6th will feature a talk and discussion about 'Living Well and Positive Thinking'. It will focus on many of the lifestyle issues which RTK try to cover at Jamyang.

If you're interested in any or all three of these trial sessions, you can ring Contact A Family Lambeth on 020 7326 5270 to hold a place, or you can do so by speaking to Lido staff. Alternatively you can contact CAF Lido project leader Kate Burman by email:

Remember, you don't have to just wear it ... you can share it!

Audioclip of extracted Rene Fuesi (embedded in player below) on Love & Kindness and Bodhicitta is from his Tse Chen Ling Marin series and is in the public domain. You can hear the entirety of this talk at: