An interview with Soul Stretch Events co-founder Joshua Clement

 

Soul Stretch Events is a small, passionate and ambitious company that believes wellbeing is everyone’s business.

We love to create immersive wellbeing experiences for diverse audiences, helping people connect deeply to themselves, thrive in their relationships and excel in their work. We also develop bespoke wellbeing programmes for businesses of all sizes, and design wellbeing spaces for UK festivals including Green Man, Mind Body Spirit and FloVibe.

We’re also deeply committed to the wellbeing of future generations. This led to us setting the organisation up as a Community Interest Company (CIC), to ensure that a proportion of all our profits is channelled into projects fostering the health, wellbeing and resilience of young people. We’ve provided pro bono and low cost yoga, meditation classes, dance workshops, healthy eating classes and outdoor learning experiences for a range of children’s projects, including at Islington Council, The Garden Classroom charity and for the Raised Voices girls’ leadership programme. Our project evaluations show that the young people involved have learnt new tools to support psychological, emotional and physical wellbeing, and they’ve reported greater self-reliance, self-awareness and confidence.

We’re particularly passionate about supporting young people in care, who are four times more likely to have a mental health problem than other children. Right now, there are around 89,000 children in care in the UK. It’s incredibly important that these vulnerable young people have access to opportunities that can help them to overcome early life trauma, become more resilient and able to fulfil their potential. There really is no better feeling than seeing young people recognising their worth, developing new skills and talents and believing they can create a bright future.

My co-founder, Ria Butler, and I bring a rich mix of skills and experience to this work, including delivering management training programmes and facilitation work within large companies, running health centres and massage schools, producing large-scale wellbeing events and being experienced practitioners in a range of modalities including yoga, thai massage, deep tissue massage and Shiatsu. We also have expertise in creative disciplines including acting and big budget film production.

We see our work as part of a growing movement that is prioritising wellbeing alongside financial success and productivity. Economists, governments and many in the business world are recognising that the traditional focus on economic growth alone fails to take account of what the social and psychological evidence tells us - that our wellbeing depends on how we care for ourselves, on the quality of our closest relationships, strong communities and satisfaction at work.

Changes to how societies approach wellbeing need to happen from the top down as well as the bottom up through the actions of small, medium and larger organisations. Regardless of available budgets, organisations of all sizes can take clear steps towards placing wellbeing and human potential at the centre of their work. That’s where we can come in - offering advice on approaches that are easy and cost-effective to implement, as well as developing extensive wellbeing programmes that are aligned with organisational strategies and outcomes.

We also thrive on working in different and unusual contexts, and love to collaborate and innovate in order to bring wellbeing into the conversation. This means our day-to-day work is diverse; whether partnering with artists to bring immersive installations to life, helping charities to inspire and support their beneficiaries or supporting corporates to embed wellbeing into their culture in tangible, meaningful and sustainable ways.

In order to deliver a mixture of projects within companies, festivals, charities and communities, we rely on the support of talented professionals including yoga and meditation teachers, holistic massage therapists, nutritionists, outdoor learning experts, creatives and a committed admin team. If you’re interested in joining our team, please get in touch.