Our Why

Why we do what we do

The Fold – a Centre for Inspiration, Creativity and Healing

The Fold is a not for profit community interest company set up to carry out activities which benefit the community and in particular improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, the local and wider community and the planet, to support the local economy and to promote environmentally sustainable practices.

Our Aims

  • Create a sustainable enterprise and supportive community based on a balanced mix of arts, trades, therapies, courses and services that are mutually complementary
  • Provide an inspirational meeting place for the local community
  • Provide employment for local people and support our local economy
  • Create and serve loveable, local and organic food in a café that is the heart of the Fold, and out-catering to the local community
  • Facilitate the Natural Therapy Centre as a loved and well-used centre of excellence for natural and complementary therapies, providing opportunities for people to engage with their own health
  • Create inspirational seasonal events throughout the year
  • Provide an inspirational experience for visitors with opportunities for the purchase of locally crafted and eco goods
  • Extend an invitation to people to engage with their own healing process
  • Provide education and training aligned with who we are
  • Demonstrate the use of sustainable building techniques and materials in action
Outside The Fold

Our Values

Our values and culture are essential to our behaviour. We want to live and breathe them, walking our talk.

In the context of survival, our most important value is ‘Financial Stability’.

It is fundamental that the Fold becomes financially stable so that it can pay wages, bills and other financial commitments, make enough to invest in the future and ensure funding for difficult times.

Supportive behaviours include:

  • Individuals being aware of the budget and current financial situation
  • People bringing financial awareness into their everyday activities

Those that do not support this value include behaviours such as purchasing outside of budget or without relevant consultation.

In terms of relationships, we most value ‘Respect’.

We listen, with the intention of suspending personal judgement, in order to hear and understand what the other is saying or doing.

Supportive behaviours include:

  • Listening and considering in communications rather than reacting
  • Creating the time and space for open conversation
  • Noticing the positive things that are being done before the negative

Counter behaviours include ‘blurting’, blaming, complaining, and not listening.

In terms of self-esteem and performance, we most value ‘Excellence’.

We care about what we do, are enthusiastic about doing it well and aim for consistent quality, which is not necessarily perfection.

Supportive behaviours include:

  • Everyone demonstrating through their behaviour an understanding of what quality means in each situation
  • Staff being mindful of their actions and doing their best
  • Staff being encouraged to undertake suitable training

Counter behaviours include displaying careless or sloppy attitude to assigned tasks.

In terms of transformation, we most value ‘Continuous improvement’.

We encourage individuals to seek and put into action changes that progress the mission of the Fold in line with these values.

Supportive behaviours include:

  • Improving ideas that are captured, discussed and implemented
  • Monitoring what has happened and implementing actions to improve future performance and outcomes
  • People seeking out and putting into action changes that best serve and progress the mission of the Fold
  • Regular appraisals which lead to positive and beneficial actions
  • Healthy challenges and questioning the way we do things
  • Ensuring clear ownership of projects and follow-up

Counter behaviours include ideas being hijacked or not supported

 

In terms of internal & external cohesion we believe in integrity, share these values and focus on our mission.

Together with the fundamental value of integrity, we strive to help staff understand, relate to and live the values and mission of the Fold that we are co-creating.

Supportive behaviours include:

  • Staff talking about and connecting the Fold’s values with each other and customers regularly and often.
  • People are conscious of and connected to our values in their actions and conversations
  • Directors and staff walking the talk of these values
  • Staff training to aid understanding of environmental concerns and our consequential actions

Counter behaviours include behaving in a way which compromises the values of the Fold.

In terms of service we consider ‘Future Generations’.

By this we mean our care and concern for future generations underpins what we do and how we do it.

Supportive behaviours include:

  • Despite financial and social pressures of doing things as “Business as Usual” you would witness things being done ethically & sustainably with care

Counter behaviours include doing something as usual despite knowing it’s not within our values.

Our Motivation

We live on a truly extraordinary and wonderful world, which has evolved over four billion years to be what it is. We have so much to be grateful for, whether its families, friends, delightful food, enriching conversations, gardens, plants and the incredible natural world. When we give ourselves time to get out into nature how can we be anything but grateful for the frost on cobwebs, lichen on trees or a beautiful sunset?

Yet despite this and our innate knowing how special the natural world is, mankind faces a crisis of an unprecedented scale. We have to face the shocking truth that we are systematically destroying the capability of our planet to sustain life and that we are part of life and therefore also threatened.
Beyond the environment the economic and political systems are locked in an unhealthy relationship of growth and power which is becoming increasingly evident as totally unsustainable.

At the Fold we believe it is our responsibility to challenge and reconsider our lifestyles and relationships and co-create resilient sustainable communities. “Business as usual” is not an option.

THE CRISIS
Mankind is facing the potential of an unprecedented multiple crisis that includes:

Population – currently growing at a rate of one billion people every twelve years. The fastest rate ever.

Biodiversity & extinction – we are living amidst the greatest mass extinction of species since that of the dinosaur’s 65 million years ago and the main cause is human activity. The UN reports that one million species are at risk of extinction, that nature is being destroyed at a rate hundreds of times faster than the average over the past 10 million years. The biomass of wild mammals has fallen by 82%, natural ecosystems have lost about half their area. Comparing species in our ecology to rivets holding together an aeroplane – how many rivets can the plane lose before it crashes?

Oceans – their ecological limits are now near or past tipping points, species and ecosystem collapse is imminent.

Forests – over half of the worlds forests have been lost in the last eight thousand years with most of that occurring in the 20th Century. Deforestation is like cutting out our lungs.

Water – ground aquifer water is being pumped out in many areas faster than it is being replenished causing aquifer depletion. Great rivers like the Colorado, Yellow River and Nile no longer run to the sea all year round.

Agriculture and Soil – Loss of topsoil and organic matter together with soil degradation mean food security will be seriously challenged. Industrial Agribusiness has resorted to horrific means to produce cheap meat at horrendous costs in animal welfare.

Consumption – As a race we are consuming in vast quantities. We have more than any of our predecessors. Yet we are no happier and depression rates have reached epidemic proportions. Our addiction to consumption has serious consequences.

Resources – More have been consumed and more have become depleted over the last fifty years than in all of our time on earth. Many mineral resources such as phosphates for fertilisers are becoming scarce and will soon be in short supply.

Climate Change – CO2 levels are the highest for 42,000 years and the earth’s atmosphere is warming at the fastest rate in recorded history. This trend is projected to further change weather systems significantly and damage forests, marine ecosystems & agriculture. Food security is already being affected and likely to become very serious. Human communities are also threatened by significant sea level rise and erratic weather. A rise in temperature means irreversible climate change, uncertainty of the stability of Antarctic ice causing sea level rise of around five metres, Siberian permafrost melting and catastrophic weather systems leading to insurmountable food production problems and the inevitable breakdown of society as we know it. We don’t know what the tipping point is with regards temperature but we know that we are close to it.

Ancient sunlight & its peak – We are rapidly squandering the precious resource of Ancient sunlight that we have inherited and whilst Peak oil is being nudged off a little with the discovery of large reserves off Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico and Africa, it is still likely to be reached within a decade. Only history will decide when peak oil has happened and its impact on energy prices. They will certainly go up!

Plastics – Plastic is everywhere. Useful and convenient, it’s also a massive pollution problem, especially in our oceans. A truckload of plastic enters the ocean every single minute and UK supermarkets produce 800,000 tonnes every year. Turtles and seabirds become ensnared in discarded plastics, and tiny microplastics are eaten by everything. We need to solve this problem at the source and produce less plastic in the first place.
Plastics in our waste streams are breaking down into tiny particles, or microplastics causing potentially catastrophic consequences for human health and our aquatic systems.

Economy – Our politicians and corporate business run the economy with the hope that it will grow for ever despite the finite nature of our planet. To prop up this paradigm most money is now in the precarious computer driven financial markets rather than the real world of trade.

Politics – Our political system is inextricably linked through lobbying to the Industrial growth society of corporate business to feed its addiction.

HUMANKINDS CROSSROADS
We are at a crossroads, a knife-edge or ecological tipping point, and can choose which way to go. There appear to be three possibilities:

1. We continue with ‘Business as Usual’ blind to what we are doing and hope that a miracle or a technological fix will sort everything out. This is looking ever less likely and there are fundamental problems as why this is the case

2. We live into the disastrous possibilities that business as usual is creating, sometimes called the ‘Great Unravelling’ and the consequences of the crisis in terms of societal breakdown.

3. We choose this time as an opportunity to transition to a life sustaining society, we might call this the ‘Great Turning’ to the Ecozoic age.

We are the generation with the information and science at our fingertips. Our actions and activities now will decide the fate of our world and that of our children and their children.
It is our choice which of the 3 stories we want to get behind. We can choose where we put our attention. There is no guarantee which story will unfold. Uncertainty is the only certainty!   

 THREE WAYS WE CAN ALL SUPPORT POSITIVE CHANGE:

1. Standing up and saying no when we see things happening that we know in our hearts are not right

2. Creating and supporting new organisations and ways of doing things that are more ethically sound. This may simply be a decision to buy as much as possible from local sustainable sources and minimising purchases from non-ethical and multinational corporate organisations. Be conscious of where and how we spend and invest our money. It makes a real difference.

3. Being part of the current paradigm shift and evolution of consciousness which can be seen as a convergence of science and spirituality; a deepening of ourselves as a human beings undertaking inner work that enables us to be the change we want to see in the world.
Moving from a worldview based on classical reductionist science where everything is understood by knowing what it is made of and power is considered to be held by individuals including political parties resulting in a ‘power over’ world view to one based on Quantum science and Systems Theory where everything is understood to be in relationship and interrelated, that nothing can be done in isolation and that the relationship between the parts is key. This is a win win world where the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

For thousands of years we have been developing more and more sophisticated ways of making, doing, working and living. Our material world is full of creature comforts and sophistication. Yet as a race we are no happier we are actually more stressed and diseased. As we wake to the errors of our ways we must challenge many of our core beliefs.

Now is the time to take stock and find a new, elegant and simpler way forward. To look inwards with our ingenuity and engineering skills to where the key to our happiness truly lies rather than outwards to the myth of the material consumer-based world. Making use of the wisdom from indigenous peoples, eastern philosophy and the best modern therapeutic practices we can reengineer and transform our lives into new possibilities that can live in harmony with each other and this our beautiful mother earth.

Business as usual is suffocating us and we have to find another way. The Fold is an organisation and organism intent on this transitional transformation to a new way.

Come and join us

 TRENDS IN ‘WAYS OF BEING’ FOR POSITIVE CHANGE:

  • From power over to power with
  • From I can’t to we can
  • Despair to hope
  • What I am made of to what I am part of
  • Ego to eco
  • Linear to cyclical
  • From blame to compassion
  • From top down to bottom up
  • From male orientation to male female balance
  • Maximisation to optimisation
  • Scarcity to abundance thinking
  • From defence to trust and emergence
  • Moving from what can I gain to what can I give
  • From what to how
  • Living into elegant simplicity

 

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Beginners Yoga with Melissa Porter

April 17 @ 6:45 pm - 7:45 pm
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Silk Flower Headpiece: Millinery Workshop

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