We are a CIC now!

We have some wonderful news for you: The National Centre for High Sensitivity (NCHS) has recently become a Community Interest Company (CIC!)  You may appreciate what this means for us HSPs in the UK, if we write here a bit about our humble origins, as an organisation that supports highly sensitive people.

The National Centre was founded by Barbara Allen- Williams, to provide accurate information about the trait of high sensitivity (sensory processing sensitivity – SPS), for HSPs themselves, professionals and those they come into contact with; and to provide HSPs opportunities to meet others like themselves in a suitable environment. Barbara started a Meetup in Winchester for highly sensitive people in 2009, and by 2010 had founded the beginnings of the NCHS. The growth of the National Centre has been slow and organic since then, which mainly has to do with the limited resources we had. With most of its funding coming from profits of Barbara’s private practice, Growing Unlimited Therapeutic Consultancy, the NCHS has been focusing on providing links, resources, connection and training about the highly sensitive trait. Becoming a CIC (Community Interest Company) means that we will be able to seek funding over the next 12 months from various sources to develop our services for HSPs throughout the UK.

I am only one, but I am one.With more funding, we want to continue to fill our website (www.hspsensitive.com) with relevant books, resources and links. Ideally in the next two to three years, we would like to establish at least one HSP Monthly Meetup in every county in the UK, with facilitators trained by the NCHS. We want a comprehensive and searchable directory of NCHS-trained counsellors and other professionals for both sensitive adults and children. This is in its infancy at present and you can see more about how you could join this in this newsletter.

We want to progress our educational and training arm, so that training is available to more professionals. Our training for introducing professionals to the highly sensitive trait is CPD, quality checked by the National Counselling Society. It is currently available either at our head office in Andover, Hampshire, or can be provided in-house for organisations on request. A charge is made currently for this, however, we are seeking funding to allow us to make a heavy subsidy for this training, particularly for charitable or other not-for-profit organisations. We also wish to extend our workshops, walks, retreats and events for HSPs, so that they can find support for their social and personal development and career ambitions. With the help of Dr Elaine Aron, we will also be seeking to collaborate on research projects related to high sensitivity and within three years hope to host a conference for both research summaries and for professionals seeking further understanding of this genetic trait. Probably one of the most important of our aims, is to continue to provide support and encouragement to parents of highly sensitive children around their normal home and school needs, as well. This is how we can support future generations of HSPs to be more at ease with who they are and be able to fulfil better their essential role in our society.

barbara_allen-wCurrently, the NCHS are just a handful of enthusiastic volunteers mostly, who are passionate about supporting highly sensitive people and raising awareness. With more funding coming in hopefully in 2018, we will be planning to expand our workforce, as well. This is a significant and necessary step, in order to be able to fulfil our ambitions to expand what we can do for HSPs all over the country, and maybe even further afield. 2018 is looking to be an exciting year for stepping forward and growing towards becoming the kind of organization that we have been wanting to be for many years 🙂

Article written by Barbara Allen-Williams (e-mail: accounts@hspsensitive.com)
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Thank You for getting us this far!

Any organisation that depends on donations and grants, knows that the dedication and support of volunteers or benefactors makes all the difference as to whether a project moves forward. I want to draw attention to the valuable assistance offered over the years by volunteers who have played a number of roles and also those who have given donations, both small and bigger. I know those who have given donations often feel shy, so I’m not going to name them here, but they know who they are and I hope they know their help has made a difference.

Volunteers of course, can’t hide! We see them or hear from them from time to time as they make their contribution. Here are just a few of the people, whose time has helped to give the National Centre for High Sensitivity and its members, the support and opportunities needed:

Gratitude is the heart's memory. Thank you very much.Ildiko – currently on sabbatical, but still editing our Newsletter and a constant support for me in the background, thank you!
Meetup faciitators – Tony in Brighton, Glenna last year in the Professionals group, Cindy in north Berkshire, Helen and Michelle in Glasgow (just started), Shyron and Helen in Exeter, Chris in Reading. Alan who has run yoga meetups for us and HSP games and offered HSP Walk and Talk sessions, Caroline who has organised our HSP Group Walks and is also one of our Walk and Talk volunteers, Christine who ran an HSP art workshop for us, Jordan who helped create our new NCHS website as well as funding some of it, and Rosie who offers help from time to time in terms of research. Lastly but not least, Suzie who has joined us recently as a volunteer to help with ideas to spread information to those who need it.
PLUS, all the HSPs who have given their time or favours in little ways that are often invisible, yet make a difference all the same.

There are a couple of people who are not HSPs, but who have been helpful to me and as a consequence, our NCHS. My husband who has helped with accounts and filling out complicated CIC forms, (and not least, has donated the money to pay the fee for the CIC to be registered and processed professionally!); my mother-in-law who has encouraged me to keep going and my life-long friends who console me when I think I can’t carry on and cheer me on when I am inspired to push forward another step with the vision of seeing a UK service in place.

barbara_allen-wThank you to all who have ever offered your encouragement and support. It really has made a difference both to myself and those who have benefited from the HSP services that have been offered so far.

Lets hope that funding organisations will feel the same positivity about this project and that we will see some financial support coming in during 2018 🙂

Article written by Barbara Allen-Williams (e-mail: accounts@hspsensitive.com)

Regular NCHS group walks for HSPs

Hello fellow HSPs 🙂

I am delighted to announce that the NCHS is now offering more regular group walks. HSP Caroline has done a sterling job facilitating these, so I have asked her to make it a regular monthly thing. The locations will vary and go further afield at times, but will still have that HSP-friendly energy that HSPs have loved. You will be able to see the walks on our Meetup calendar for events in Hampshire.

If anyone in other counties in the UK would like to run one of these for us, do contact me and I will see what we can do to support another regular walk opportunity.

barbara_allen-wPlease note that you will need to RSVP and pay in advance from now on our Meetup site (£3.50 currently). We have previously had a little difficulty collecting the small sum of cash on the day – some have forgotten to pay or come without cash on them. We really do depend on the contributions to help keep events running. If you cannot pay by PayPal, let me know and I will give you the online banking details. Alternatively, send a cheque and I will RSVP you from this end once a I receive it (payable to ‘Growing Unlimited’, Annadell House, Clatford Lodge, Andover, SP11 7DH).

Enjoy your walks, I hope to join you from time to time 🙂

Best wishes,

Barbara

Article written by Barbara Allen-Williams (e-mail: accounts@hspsensitive.com)

International HSP Gathering Retreat in the U.K in 2018

Hello All,

Just a heads up that there will be an International HSP Gathering Retreat in Gaunts House, Dorset, UK 14th-18th June in 2018. These gatherings were co-created by Jacquelyn Strickland (http://www.lifeworkshelp.com/hspgathering.htm­) and Dr Elaine Aron (http://www.hsperson.com) for the benefit of HSPs. I have co-hosted a number of them in USA and Europe. They are residential for four days, in a natural and beautiful setting, and each Gathering has a special theme. It is a chance to learn more about your trait, to find your growing edges and to commune with HSPs in a very rare, HSP-friendly setting. Dr Elaine Aron often attends on one of the days to give a talk and answer questions.

Gaunts-house-300x225One of the beautiful things that I like about these gatherings is the way you can do what you need. None of the things on offer (talks, group discussions, creative opportunities, guidance opportunities) at the Gathering is compulsory, you are encouraged to sleep or rest when you like, and healthy, nourishing meals are provided for you. There is no special requirement in terms of prior knowledge, just be in a good enough place to be a positive companion in the group, whether that is by participating verbally or in action, or simply by your quiet and attentive presence. If you have known about your trait a long time, you will still learn and experience growth here. The gatherings are kept small, maximum is usually approximately 25 attendees, meaning that there is plenty of time to meet needs, learn at depth and make lasting friends.

Plan ahead financially if you want to attend. These gatherings are residential, in lovely settings and have internationally well-known and respected leaders. Overall, the gatherings are not only empowering, but life-changing and affirming of your trait. Do come if you can. Every effort is made to keep costs of the Gathering as low as possible. I have made a (very) rough calculation that it may cost in the region of £650-750 per person in total – it is a real commitment, I know, for most HSPs. However, for what it is and the fact that the fee includes accommodation, food and the wisdom and support of such HSPs as Dr Elaine Aron and Jacquelyn Strickland means that value for money is not in question. Do consider coming along, I am not sure how many more of these opportunities there will be. If anyone would like to set up a monthly payment towards the gathering from November to June, then let me know, I may be able to arrange this for you if it makes it easier to save up.

barbara_allen-wMore details of the Gathering and venue will go up on our Meetup calendar as soon as I have them, but feel free to ask any questions in the meantime in the comments section below. If you have a private question, please message me at accounts@hspsensitive.com or email Jacquelyn at Jacquelyn@hspgatheringretreats.com. I hope to see you there for a special HSP experience 🙂

Warmly,

Barbara

Article written by Barbara Allen-Williams (e-mail: barbara@hspsensitive.com)

What is happening at the NCHS

It’s been a year of challenges and achievements in the face of struggles here at the National Centre for High Sensitivity (NCHS). The topic of high sensitivity is becoming more talked about, especially when we take information into schools and there is such a lot to do ‘out there’. Health issues, both of myself and a close friend have made it necessary for me to step back somewhat for a few months and this has been very frustrating, knowing what needs to be done and having to rest nevertheless.

Fortunately for me, Ildiko (Newsletter Editor and much more!) has kept her finger on the pulse and filled in some of the gaps on my behalf (thank you so much Ildiko). She has also been a great support to me and kept me motivated throughout some tough times.

The National Centre for High Sensitivity has been very lucky in that some of the people who have attended Workshops and other events in the last couple of years have been inspired to begin working on projects aimed at children, parents and young people. It may be a while before we see the fruits of this, but its good for you to know there is some work going on around this.

In the meantime, it has become clearer that Mentoring for HSPs is a vital service and we are happy to offer that and to continue to support others to do so. We offer Professional Training to anyone wishing to learn more about how to adapt their support work with sensitive individuals. Mentoring is different from counseling because it involves sharing ideas, skills and support in a way that gives more freedom in terms of time and the type of help that can be offered. It is not ‘therapy’ but often feels ‘therapeutic’.

Some of the HSPs who attend our Meetups and Events have a lot of experience in finding ways forward, meeting challenges, living authentically and healthily in a world where we are often put under pressure to live differently than is natural to us. One of our popular types of Mentoring is the ‘Walk and Talk’ mentoring that takes place on a peaceful walk. We need more Mentors, Counsellors and ‘Walk and Talk’ practitioners in our directory so that we can put people in touch with other supportive HSPs in their locality. HSPs pay for these services and if you are suitable, self-aware, reliable and would like to train with us, do let us know.

My next task is to re-start the NCHS calendar and begin adding things into the diary again. I receive numerous requests from HSPs for various events in their locality, but often find that we don’t have enough people to be able to create an event for them – an example of this is Manchester where we would love to provide a Meetup, a Workshop and a training event, but where we don’t have enough people to be able to cover our costs for a venue and travel as yet. That being said, we are still looking at ways to spread the support and facilities we offer at the NCHS as wide as possible – my dream is to have a regular monthly HSP Meetup happening in every county in the UK – maybe this will happen one day.HSP Rest and Recovery Retreatbarbara_allen-w

In the meantime, I keep putting one foot in front of the other and am so grateful to be meeting lovely HSPs from all walks of life as I go about this important work. I am looking forward to another year pushing this project forward and will update you when we have any further news of interest .

Article written by Barbara Allen-Williams (e-mail: hspsensitive@hotmail.com)