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Anne Yarwood

No. 14 – Civil Society

By | Wake Up

The size of the THIRD SECTOR globally and its relationship with UK GOVERNMENT –

  • Global Civil Society has mushroomed into global workforce of 350 million professionals and volunteers. If this workforce were a country, it would be the third most populous …. following China & India.
  • World Economic Forum :- ”Closing space for civil society reduces the chances that these challenges will be effectively addressed’’ – HERE
  • World Economic Forum – “5 challenges for Civil Society in the 4th Industrial Revolution “ –  HERE 
  • UK HMG Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published first Civil Society Strategy for fifteen years. Proposes Third Sector be increasingly involved in design of public services: view NOT supported by general public  HERE 
  • Charities Aid Foundation notes the SPACE between Government and the charitable sector is being shrunk, with implications for the latter’s reduced critical and championing role. The Third Sector role is predominantly “speaking ON BEHALF of the disadvantaged’’ – HERE 
  • UN special Rapporteur MAINA KIANI ( 2011- 2017), UN Human Rights Council visited UK 2013 and 2016. Noted that businesses received markedly more favourable responses from HMG than the Third Sector, particularly application procedures.
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Grenfell Tower, June 2017 – Ben Okri

By | Blogs

I could not get that burning tower out of my head. Bearing witness seemed the only thing to do. Three days after the fire I made my way there. Many years ago I used to live nearby and the tower was always in my periphery. I saw photographs of the dead before I saw the tower itself. Their faces were everywhere. They stared out from the undeniable reality of their lives. They were alive when those pictures were taken, alive like you and me. There were pictures on ordinary white paper, with their names below, sometimes their ages, and then the word MISSING. At that time their families still hoped they would be found. Seeing those faces on the wall, faces that were fresh with life, faces that were serious with a sense of the insurmountable problems of life, faces of a young couple that showed them happy and in love—I was quite overcome. Even before I had walked a few yards, I was already fighting the tears.

Acknowledgement – FT 8 June 2018

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SPIRITUALITY – acting through non-acting Gallery

By | Uncategorized


A picture celebration of family and friends’ imaginings: skilful play, with all forms of Creativity


SPIRITUALITY – acting through non-acting

THE GALLERY offers a series of selected contemplations, of poetry, thought, scientific research, and image. It offers examples of how stirring a quiet seed might be. What thoughts might spring from what you read, what you see, how it touches you? How might the quiet seed grow? For grow it will, and this is the beauty of how we open ourselves up to nourishing freshness, through taking time to focus on spiritual offerings of creative minds.

Jennifer Leach




Don’t Worry About a Thing

By | Blogs

Three Little Birds


Don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright

Rise up this mornin’
Smiled with the risin’ sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Saying’, (this is my message to you)

Singing’ don’t worry ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry (don’t worry) ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright

Rise up this mornin’
Smiled with the risin’ sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Sayin’, this is my message to you

Singin’ don’t worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh
Every little thing gonna be alright, don’t worry

Bob Marley

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No. 12 – Mac Macartney

By | Wake Up

Mac Macartney, international speaker, leader, and founder of the community at Embercombe. We were enormously privileged to have him speak at Festival of the Dark, and moved by how he – a secular speaker reflecting on Darkness – was welcomed in to St James Roman Catholic church by Father John. All Father John needed as reassurance was that it was a positive invocation to live mindfully, with care for our Earth. That then put it in line with Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment; the Pope had asked parish priests and parishes to spread the message of care, and so we were welcomed in. And thus Mac was able to weave his stories of love for the Earth, and our responsibility as spiritual beings to live with care for ourselves, within care for our community, within care for all of our connected environment.

Excerpt from Mac’s talk



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Outrider Anthems’ Festival of the Dark

By | Blogs

Last year saw Outrider Anthems’ Festival of the Dark unfold in Reading. With a small team, we brought over 24 diverse events to the town, hoping to stimulate a shift in consciousness. It became apparent this would be subtle rather than seismic, and indeed most major cultural, political, religious and corporate bodies shunned or ignored the festival. And yet, it was powerful.

To use a yoga anaology, it’s all about ‘micro-muscles’, deep internal muscles not reachable through dynamic exercise and obvious stretches. So one sits in almost complete stillness, focussing on small micro-movements. It feels slightly foolish, disappointing; how much more satisfying to be panting after a few hearty rounds of Salute to the Sun. Yet if one is attentive, the deep workings can be felt; if one envisions the movements, they make sense.

For those feeling overwhelmed by noise, despair, rage, preaching, and shouting for desperate action, exercising of the deep internal spiritual muscles through yoga, meditation, breathwork, gardening, stillness, then hone one for the power of dynamic action.

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Enter an Animal’s Consciousness Gallery

By | Uncategorized



Whistlejacket – George Stubbs


In our Imaginations, Dear Readers, I invite us to get closer to Animals’ experience of life through the ages: where did power lie?

  • In the caves of Lascaux in the Dordogne, September 1940, teenager Paul Ravidar and his dog Robot were the first to see some of the 2000 PREHISTORIC 15,000 year paintings of the hunt. Hunts which had been between equals: kill or be killed.
  • DOMESTICATION of animals began in the land between the Euphrates & the Tigris 10,000 years ago by the SUMERIANS; goats then sheep. Current research is finding a complexity of information e.g very new DNA techniques analysing archaeologically retrieved bones, offer genetic samples of domestication played out long ago. Such knowledge adds to our understanding of how plant and animal domestication changed human settlements from a hunting to a settled, farming society
  • One of the 5,000 year old Indian religion JAINISM’s premise is AHIMSĀ: NON- VIOLENCE. This includes no harm to animals or their life- cycle…. ‘the first function of the soul is to help one another’.
  • CHEROKEE Native American matriarchal society: women worked the land, men hunted, preparing themselves by sacred rituals. They would pray to the wind, rivers and mountains for success, then ask the gods’ forgiveness for taking a life, after a kill. AND note…the slaughter of the Plains’ buffalo herds by the White Man.
  • Specific LIFE- STYLES developed around the world, illustrated by the COUNTRY HOUSE culture of the 18th century in the British Isles: balancing land enhancement with the central social life of hunting, shooting & fishing. This culture symbolised then and today, the power of the gentry as creators of the values of rural society; importantly including rural employment.
  • BEASTS OF BURDEN in the pits & on the battlefield. Pit ponies first used in 1750 and to replace women & boys under age 13 in Lord Shaftesbury’s Mines Act 1842, following public outcry when The Times revealed conditions. In World War 1 – 8 million horses and mules died. Invaluable for transport, hauling ammunitions and supplies. They died agonising deaths from wounds, starvation, thirst, exhaustion, diseases and exposure.
  • UK FARMING Post Brexit. ‘HEALTH and HARMONY’ DEFRA’s long- awaited consultation paper on food, farming & the environment: vision of a ‘green Brexit’. Over-arching goal, to change way land is used to provide Health and Harmony. Animal Welfare in UK ranked internationally in top four by World Animal Protection. Government COULD pilot scheme offering targeted payments to farmers who deliver higher welfare actions.
  • UK FACTORY FARMING run by giant, primarily private corporations, strives to maximise output by minimising costs. The farming method was encouraged by 1947 Agriculture Act granting subsidies to farmers to encourage greater output through new technology. This in order to reduce British reliance on imported meat.
  • The OPPOSITION / SUPPORT ON ANIMAL RIGHTS ISSUES consolidates. On the one hand, is the power of the Cosmetic Industry & University Research departments who support Animal Research. In US 26 million animals are used annually in research. Out of 98 Nobel prize winners in Physiologyy and Medicine, 78 used animals in research. A growing section of the opposition to animal research is VEGANISM; take-up of its diets & life- styles, apparently inspired by celebrities. At 5th international EAT Forum Stockholm, strong Vegan and Vegetarian presence.
  • ANIMAL THERAPY is gaining use in statutory and voluntary settings. In 1984 EDWARD O. WILSON’s ‘Biophilia Hypothesis’ – included the idea that attachment and interest in animals stems from the strong possibility that human survival was partly dependent on signals from animals in the environment indicating safety or threat.
  • Our own FAMILY ANIMALS who have given us loyal companionship and love.



Leigh Bowery – Lucian Freud



An exhibition at the Tate until August 27

ALL TOO HUMAN : Bacon, Freud & a century of painting life: expressing the tangible reality of life through paint – HERE

Placed in our Gallery to witness the human amidst the animal









No. 11 – Wake Up to and shout aloud…..facts about Factory Farming

By | Wake Up

Head of Compassion in World Farming, Philip Lymbery states :

“There is a desperate need for joined-up action on Industrial Farming if we are to avoid a catastrophic impact on Earth”  – READ HIS ARTICLE HERE

IN ORDER FOR HUMANS TO BE ABLE TO BUY LOW COST MEAT – Interrelated conditions exist :-

  • In UK there are 1,674 intensive factory farms. Average space per. chicken 25cm x 25 cm. 94% chickens raised for meat in these conditions.
  • About 1/2 European antibiotics are given to livestock to combat infection & to enhance rapid animal growth. Infection spreads rapidly in factory farms.
  • Dutch scientists estimate 1/3 to 1/2 of antibiotic resistance in humans is due to infections originating in agriculture.
  • Poor working conditions for Farm Workers in factory farms: bacterial infections, cross contamination, excessive lines’ speed, exploitation, low wages
  • 5 privately owned firms control the new MEGA FARMS:- Faccenda, Moy Park, Cargill, 2 Sisters, Banham Poultry .They supply cheap meat to Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrison, Asda, Macdonalds, Nando,



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Goat Yoga

By | Blogs

Goat Yoga is ‘big’ in the US apparently; rapidly gathering enthusiastic joiners in the UK. From the imaginative response to her own challenges, Lainey Morse 45, from Oregon, has brought happiness to scores of people.

One such Goat Yoga class was featured by Kate Humble on her BBC Programme endorsing small- scale new ‘farm’ projects.

Another series of classes is promoted by Dartington Dairies ; an offshoot of Dartington Hall inspirations, over many years. ( The Dartington Trust founded in 1925 by Dorothy & Leonard Elmhirst is well worth researching as a transformative heart- land for thousands of visitors seeking inspiration around the arts, social justice and sustainability. ”It attracts people with big ideas who want to transform the world”).

And the facts: Petting animals releases stress-reducing hormones including serotonin ; there’s a similar effect from yoga practice.

Read about Goat Yoga – HERE – Goatyoga

Dartington Trust  – HERE – Dartington Hall


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