Wellspring : A Music Recovery Project - by Paul Cannon 27.09.20

Due to covid live music is muted. The well-being of Wells is compromised in more than medical terms. The cultural life of this most musical of cities is in danger. Many fine musicians are being denied opportunities to play together. Incomes are shrinking, performance skills are eroding. (52)

Hence the need for the Wellspring Project, to aid the recovery of live music in and around Wells. Building on the success of a trial event in the Market Place in August, the aim is to showcase a wide range of local talent across the summer of 2021. This will help replace that part of the live music economy that has all but dried up.

Because it will be staged outside, the Wellspring programme should be able to proceed even with covid control measures still in place. Our historic market place is an ideal location now that it is car free. The many cafes and restaurants that border it are spreading their seating areas out across the pavements giving the area a continental feel. It is becoming known as the cafe quarter.

As a local sax player and co-ordinator of the Wells Jazz Collective, the notion of a live music recovery campaign came to me in lockdown. Just before it hit I had never been busier - booking bands for the Friday night shows at the Full Moon in Southover, running the regular jam sessions at The Venue, gigging with the two bands I am a part of.

As the easedown began I floated the idea of an outdoor live music event for August bank holiday. It was eagerly received and actively supported by the many people necessary to make it happen. The overwhelmingly positive response on the day led to the creation of Wellspring.

Life Coaching & Leadership Skills Taster Workshops - by Emma Lefevre 27.10.19

The Life Coaching industry is a $2 billion industry and growing! Project Factory CIC, a recently formed community interest company, is launching a series of ‘in-house’ workshops to offer the community an experience of the techniques and skills that reveal some of the secrets behind the business. We want to tell you why we think the Community will benefit from these taster workshops.

Why Coaching?

Back in 2004, while I was living in Washington DC with my husband and small children, I had recently stopped teaching and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do next. I was asked to be a guinea pig for someone who was learning to become a coach. While I was sceptical at the time, it had an enormous impact on me and so I chose to find out more by doing a CTI “Fundamentals” course. One thing led to another and after a series of courses I completed the Leadership Course and became a certified coach. Coaching changed my life in innumerable ways. I was often prone to depression, I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take. Coaching taught me that I can take charge in my life to create more fulfilment, balance and develop more resilience.

Why were you sceptical?

I think we are naturally cynical in Britain. I remember how my body would recoil as I met neighbours on the street in the Chevy Chase neighbourhood : they would ask me how I was – and, you know, I was fine - but these people were always “great”, and had super-exciting lifestyles, and it would make me writhe internally at what I felt was incredibly superficial. Five years later and the positive attitude had rubbed off and I noticed when new ex-pats came over, I would sense that cynicism, and anticipate their complaints. In DC you get proper weather – it’s bold, when the sun shines the skies are a glorious blue, when it rains you get flash floods, when it snows you get a foot. Here we get greyness and that is how I came to describe the British attitude.

So what changed?

I guess I had thought I would be shamed into feeling that I had to do something about my life, that I would be told what I needed to be doing, what goals I needed to be striving for, how I could be better than I was, and that all made me feel small, sad and resistant. In fact, coaching has very little to do with any of those things. The coaching relationship is one where through a connection built and designed on trust, working in a way the client feels serves them best, you get to look deeply into your life and explore whatever elements you wish. The coaching skills and techniques are what I am keen to teach and they are quite the opposite from telling people who they should be, what they should be doing, and how they should be doing it…. Because the basic tenet in coaching is that the client has all the answers.

So why does Project Factory want to share these skills?

While coaching does change and transform lives, it is hugely expensive and inaccessible for most people. Personally, I have spent at least $25,000 on my professional development in the coaching and leadership world. We want to bring these skills to the community because they are fundamentally empowering, and as our aims are to build a more connected, resilient community, these are skills that can do just that. I will lead the group through the basic skills that underpin a coaching approach, this will involve looking at the way we communicate and how we determine our priorities for our lives. I will move on to reveal some of the tools of fulfilment coaching, balance coaching and process coaching. We will put these tools together to look at how we can apply them to our own particular life purpose, ending with a celebration of who we are, and how we express that.

Who should come?

Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend. The workshops will be practical and fun, interactive - and the skills can be used immediately. On a personal level, the skills will particularly serve those people who want to know “what next”? Or who want more fulfilment in their lives, who are at a crossroads and need to know which direction to take, and those who are stuck and keep falling into the same patterns. I can guarantee that you will learn new skills and have fun doing so!

When is it?

The workshops are on Wednesday mornings from 4th November. They will be held at the Somerset Skills and Learning building on Portway behind the Connect Centre. You can book your place on the first one at:

Project Factory: Coaching Tools "Where to get started"

This first workshop is designed to introduce you to the basic coaching techniques that underpin the coaching approach. While each workshop stands alone, this one is a good entry point.