Cooking school for teens with ADHD: ‘Their first taste of sweet success’

While ADHD is often misunderstood as ‘naughty behaviour’, those with the condition are crying out to be heard.  

Often it boils down to them needing help with time management, knowing how to tackle the task at hand, or limiting distractions to keep focus.

And now they’ve been thrown a lifeline, by rapper Loyle Carner.

Not just through his music, but through cookery!

He has flung open his doors to a summer school where kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are invited to channel their energy and creativity into cooking.

[Credit: Chilli Con Carner]

Having grown up with ADHD himself, Carner – real name Ben Coyle-Larner – knows all too well how neurodiversity is as much of a blessing as it is a curse.

Often struggling to concentrate, Carner would end up in fights and mischief as a child.

Now, he’s rewriting the narrative, and says his London-based school gives teens who are “accustomed to a diet of failure and anxiety, their first taste of sweet success”.

Having joined forces with Mikey Krzyzanowski from social enterprise project the Goma Collective, the pair launched their Chilli Con Carner school five years ago.

[Credit: Positive News]

Today, it is going from strength to strength as they educate young people on how to make everything from dusty folds of fresh pasta to intricate California sushi rolls.

Speaking about their venture, Carner, 26, said it felt like a natural evolution after growing up around food and cooking, and the human connection that they bring.

Carner said: “It was just me and my mum for a lot of my childhood, so being around a table with loads of people, that was somewhere I wanted to be.

“It came from there, a love of community. The more I could keep people at the table talking about food… I’d cook everything, whatever people wanted, I was a people-pleaser.”

[Credit: Chilli Con Carner]

Meanwhile, Krzyzanowski, 24, explained that their students thrive from factual praise, which is typically in stark contrast to what they have been experiencing at school.

Krzyzanowski said: “We tell them they’ve done something great and they can taste for themselves that we really mean it.

“It undoes loads of the pain and negative wiring that some of their schooling and even the people around them have been subjecting them to for a long time.”

Chatting to Positive News, he added: “It’s so difficult to feel self-confidence as a kid… but with cooking, they start out thinking they can’t do it, and by the end of the day, they’re eating it!”

They had us at California sushi rolls.

To sign-up, click here: Chilli Con Carner.

Wellbeing real talk: The Insta account that lifts self-esteem in an instant

While it’s a breath of fresh air to see mental health discussed so openly today, it can mean the wellbeing world is extremely saturated.

Consequently, it’s tricky to know who just masquerades as a guru and who truly has the knowledge that will impact our mindsets.

This is why we’re all starry-eyed for Marie Klamer, otherwise known as Positive Minded Life.

[Credit: Positive Minded Life]

She is on a mission to boost your wellbeing with fun, bitesize tips that are rooted in clinical study and translated from text-book jargon into Instagram magic.

As a master student of psychology, Marie understands the nitty gritty of science and health, making her posts educational, creative, and, ultimately, based in research.

She hopes that by sharing her passion and wisdom, she can provide inspiration and tools to live a happier and healthier life.

We caught up with Marie to find out more about why she believes in sparking conversations about mental health and reducing the stigma surrounding it.

[Credit: Positive Minded Life]

Marie said: “Positive Minded Life began as a space to share knowledge and tips around psychology, healthy habits, and productivity on a daily basis.

“I’ve been learning a lot about these topics, inside and outside of my education, and felt the urge to share what I’ve learned with others.”

She continued: “Many of the things I talk about are habits and tips that have changed my life for the better, so I hope that it can do the same for others.

“I realised that this project would combine many of my passions – including psychology, productivity, writing and graphic design – which is why I started the account.”

Having received an incredible response so far, Marie now plans to build her online community even further and has set her sights on starting a YouTube channel.

Going forward, Marie hopes she can empower people to take responsibility and work towards their dreams so they can reach their full potential.

She concluded: “What is most rewarding is the chance for me to connect with people who are interested in the topics I talk about, through messages and comments, and also with other women who work on passion projects themselves.”

To get connected, click here: Positive Minded Life.

[Credit: Positive Minded Life]

Beat loneliness! Meet likeminded people on fun, free walking events

While working from home certainly has its perks, it also means more hours alone.

Over time, this can severely impact wellbeing and lead to chronic loneliness.

Yet a power duo to outshine all power duos (including Britney and Justin), are on a mission to conquer isolation by creating fun, free walking events across London.

[Credit: Talk the Walk]

Coining their meet-ups, Talk the Walk, co-founders Jake Williams and Charlotte Sinclair wanted to rally likeminded folk together and explore the city on foot.

Having had their own challenges with solitude, the couple were determined to give a voice to others struggling so they can feel connected beyond closed doors.

Now, the gatherings are attracting hundreds of people, as young and old unite to end loneliness.

Speaking about their triumph, Jake said: “I’ve done some crazy things to stop loneliness, like dog sitting for people and joining gyms, just so I can have more conversations with people.”

[Credit: Talk the Walk]

Chatting to MyLondon, he added: “I think that it’s hugely impactful for people who have been affected by Covid, by being forced to work from home and having that isolation.”

The walks cover some serious ground, with their latest venture stretching over three hours as they rambled from Angel to trendy Haggerston.

Meanwhile, previous missions have included treks across Hampstead Heath and Regent’s Canal.

While they are closing up shop for chilly season, the dream team vow to organise more hangouts soon, which always open with icebreaker games to break the nervousness.

[Credit: Shutterstock]

Not only could you find yourself making new friends (and nabbing some of the free chocolate that is gifted out), you’ll be giving yourself a serious wellbeing boost.

Walking dramatically improves circulation, which helps reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, while also strengthening muscles, supporting your joints, and lightning your mood.

As they say, everywhere is walking distance if you make the time.

To get involved, click here: Talk the Walk.

How to manage your child’s anxiety: Boost self-esteem and banish stress

While every parent wants to wrap their child in cotton wool, it’s impossible to shelter them from external stressors, such as peer pressure or exams.

As we can’t control these rites of passage, the next best thing is to equip kids with armour to tackle any challenge that comes their way.

And what better way to shimmy a shield that can not only protect them but also serve them!?

[Credit: Little Sunshine]

This is what Kate Scott believes, the proud founder of Little Sunshine, who uses yoga and meditation on lil’ ones to help them find their zen.

She does this by delivering workshops in primary schools, on a quest to reach children at an early age so they develop skills for life.

Currently, holistic classes tend to start at secondary school, when high levels of stress have already manifest and teenagers are on the back foot trying to manage their mental health.

By educating our future generations as early as possible, we arm them with the tools needed to fight the anxiety monster before it enters their world, so they are prepped when it arrives.

[Credit: Little Sunshine]

We caught up with Kate to find out a little more about her mission and why she believes meditation should become part of the national curriculum.

Kate said: “Little Sunshine began five years ago. I have worked with children for 25 years and have always wanted to make a difference.

“When I found yoga and mindfulness, I knew that this was something special and needed to be brought into schools to help children with their emotional development.”

She continued: “We have evolved to provide self-esteem programmes, mindfulness, meditation, teacher training, and parent support in over 60 schools. 

“We also have published a book earlier this year, Taking Worry Out of the Classroom, and created a yearly website subscription for schools to support teachers with PSHE activities.”

[Credit: Little Sunshine]

Kate and her team are dedicated to creating activities that become “life-long tools” to help reduce anxiety and build resilience in students.

It is proven that yoga not only manages stress levels, but can improve focus, memory, and classroom behaviour, meaning academic performance can skyrocket.

It also has the power to build strength, coordination and flexibility, while encouraging body awareness and self-esteem too, consequently giving children a better sense of self.

[Credit: Little Sunshine]

Spreading their wings across the north-west of England, Little Sunshine also offer their sessions to universities, charities and other organisations to showcase how yoga can improve wellbeing.

Kate added: “We hope to be delivering more training for teachers in the future, so each school has a designated mindfulness/meditation teacher.

“We are excited about the future and how this supports children’s mental health.”

Just off to work on our warrior pose!

To get involved, click here: Little Sunshine.

[Credit: Little Sunshine]

The London café dishing up delicious food that is helping the community

We all want to do our bit to save the planet, though if eating sustainably means living off salad leaves, let’s be honest, it can feel a little dry at times.

That’s why a quirky café is proving to be the fairy godmother of quality nosh, so get yourself down to south London for a trip to Battersea now.

By specialising in sustainable dishes without sacrificing taste, Social Pantry is fast becoming the go-to hotspot for food conscious folk.

We’re talking tastebud ticklers such as smoked bacon and Marmite butter crumpets with poached egg and Parmesan; black pudding and potato hash with crispy fried egg, confit garlic, and spring onion; and chestnut mushroom on sourdough with crème fraîche and pesto.

[Credit: Social Pantry]

This café with a twist is also the leader for ex-offender employment in hospitality, closely working with local prisons and charities to offer people a second chance.

In a bid to prevent many from falling into old lifestyle ways and re-offending again, largely due to the lack of employment opportunities and the stigma surrounding ex-offenders, Social Pantry provides men and women with a trade that they can rely on for a lifetime.

Oh, and did we mention they’re vying to become the first zero-waste catering company in the UK!?

[Credit: Social Pantry]

They are striving for this title by joining forces with a sustainability consultant to make sure everything on their menu is as planetfriendly as possible.

The brainchild of Alex Head, who showcased her entrepreneurial flair at just 15 when she started selling sandwiches, she now runs a catering company and two cafés (the second in Peckham).

In what has been coined an “unassuming and cool approach to food” by none other than Vogue magazine, Alex brings heart and soul to all her creations.

So, either pay a visit to the Big Smoke or you can hire Social Pantry for a wedding, party, or event.

For more info, click here: Social Pantry.

[Credit: Social Pantry]

The real reason boys are not seeking mental health support

The term ‘mental health crisis’ or ‘low self-esteem epidemic’ are often bandied around yet focusing on the problem often means we forget to look at the root cause.

By looking at the root cause, and deep diving into the whys, whats and whens, we can armour ourselves with better tools to help those struggling.

This is why a new mental health survey from youth charity stem4 holds such clout as it gets inside the minds of boys and young men battling their demons to help others understand.

[Credit: Emily Underworld]

Of 1,100 young people who took part, almost half said they would not ask for help for a problem that was making them upset, anxious or depressed, “even if things got really bad”, predominantly because of “pressure from peers to behave in a dominant masculine way”. 

When asked what was stopping them, 36% said they didn’t have the courage, 32% said they “don’t want to make a fuss”, and 30% said they would feel weak or ashamed.

Meanwhile, a fifth (21%) worried that people would laugh or think less of them, 14% said they would “feel less masculine”, and 15% said they don’t know how to ask for help.

This is evident that toxic masculinity is still festering, despite efforts to encourage men to talk more and phase out harmful language, such as ‘man up’.

[Credit: Shutterstock]

Over a third of participants, aged between 14 and 21, said they were currently experiencing mental health difficulties. Of these, 51% had not spoken to anyone.

Speaking about the findings, stem4 CEO Dr Nihara Krause, said we live in a culture that puts huge pressure on boys and young men to behave in ways that risk their mental health.

Dr Krause said: “Our survey shows exactly why this is so damaging, with many suffering in silence, even when they’re approaching crisis point.

“If we’re going to tackle boys and young men’s mental health, we have to address the cultural blind spots to male mental health.”

[Credit: Jose Pena]

She added: “It’s also time to start listening properly to boys and men, understand how they express their needs, and provide services that will benefit them.”

On their mission to focus on root cause and solution, stem4 host parents events to offer support where they explore practical strategies for families, how to spot early signs of mental ill health, and how to start conversations around mental health difficulties.

They are also taking lead from the boys and young men recently surveyed, who suggested positive steps that could be put in place to improve the mental health of young people.

These include regular mental health check-ups (just like going to the dentist), safe places in which to ask for help, one-on-one therapy, better PSHE education in schools, as well as recognition that loneliness is real for boys and young men and that they are not a tough as they portray.

For more info, click here: stem4.

Do you know what’s really in the food you’re feeding your cat?

Whether you’re a plant-based enthusiast, toot the horn for gut health, or swear by farm-to-table, society is pretty woke when it comes to eating healthily these days.

Though what about applying that knowledge to your cat?

Many of us blindly head towards the pet aisle in a supermarket, chuck some cheap cans or kibble in the trolley, then poodle off for whatever else we need.

Yet the food we are feeding our kitties is barely fit for consumption and is so heavily processed it has been likened to a human eating McDonald’s every single day.

[Credit: KatKin]

There are several reasons why, that we’re not really sure where to start.

Ultimately, industry standard cat food is blasted at searing hot temperatures to keep it shelf-stable for years – that’s why you see it next to the detergents and cleaning products.

This means all of the vital nutrients are scorched out of it during the cooking process.

Secondly, before preparation even begins, the food often starts out with poor quality meat that is rejected for human consumption; consisting of beaks, feathers, hooves and eyeballs.

This is why if you look at the ingredients on a cat tin, the label will state ‘meat derivatives’, with only 4% real meat content. 4%! For carnivores?

So, what’s in the other 96%?

[Credit: KatKin]

Sadly, a large proportion of the ‘food’ is grains and starches – two ingredients cats aren’t made to digest in high amounts – and sugars.

Ah, they’re just cats, what do they know, right?! Well, no. Just as we suffer with our physical health if nutrition deficient, so do our feline friends, and they risk developing chronic disease.

Though purr-fect siblings, Brett and Nikki O’Farrell, are on a mission to rewrite the narrative.

The brother and sister dream team joined forces after discovering how badly their pets’ health was being neglected by mainstream cat food. And they decided to shake up the industry!

Now the proud founders of KatKin, they have created cat food that contains 100% meat to mimic what cats eat in the wild.

[Credit: KatKin]

Speaking about their venture, the duo said they strive to do things differently by offering premium ingredients, prepared by hand with minimal processing.

Brett and Nikki explained: “Mainstream cat food is more about filling pockets than thriving cats. That’s why we do it differently.

“Kibble still resembles the first commercial pet food recipe in 1860. And it was formulated for dogs, not cats! That’s like trying to use an industrial steam engine to check your emails. This is an industry that’s crying out for some innovation.”

They continued: “We choose fresh because we choose the health of our cats over low production costs, tailored nutrition over pet food by numbers, and natural over nasties.

“Cats look and feel their best when they eat a diet high in fresh, premium meat. So, that’s exactly what we put into KatKin. And we freeze it to keep the freshness locked in.”

[Credit: KatKin]

The KatKin crew vow that by switching to their meal plan, which is delivered to your front door, your cats will instantly have better digestion, improved energy, and shinier coats.

With a range of flavours, from Mooo! (beef) to Gobble! (turkey) to Cluck! (chicken), you can pick from eight choices for your moggy, even switching up each month if you want.

All you need to do is make sure you have enough room in your freezer to store the month’s supply.

Due to the meals being steamed and not blasted at insanely hot temperatures, 28 sachets arrive frozen before you defrost them when required for feeding time.

You can even get 25% off a starter box if you use the code: FRESHINSPO25.

To give your pet more paw-some nutrition, click here: KatKin.

Male suicide prevention: Help save a life by joining this walk on Sunday!

When we talk about suicide, it can often sound quite abstract like something that happens to ‘other people’ unless we’ve experienced it ourselves.

Yet when you consider three out of four suicides in the UK are men, with 13 taking their lives every single day, male mental health clearly affects society as a whole.

And now you can help!

In honour of the 4,657 men who took their own lives in 2020, the Rise Against Suicide Sunrise Walk is challenging the public to raise money for blokes in need of support this Sunday.

[Credit: Shutterstock]

To represent those lost over the past year, a metre for each man lost to suicide will see the 4,657m expedition take place in major cities across the UK on November 28.

All you need to do is show up at one of the locations – including Manchester, Belfast, and Brighton – or walk in your local area and get your mates to chip in, sponsoring your efforts.

So, for less than three miles, which is the equivalent of 15 laps around a football pitch, you will literally be saving lives as all money raised is being donated to HUMEN.

[Credit: HUMEN]

The London-based charity work tirelessly to be a voice to men, on a mission to change the face of what it means to be a man.

They do this by providing anonymous, non-clinical spaces for fellas to talk, listen and connect on a regular basis so that they can prevent issues from festering inside.

Their campaign, in partnership with sports brand Decathlon, has attracted support from some well-known faces – including Alan Carr, Bill Nighy, and Emma Ribgy.

Rigby, who rose to fame in Hollyoaks, said she was devastated to learn of the suicide rates in her local area and is calling for the public to help.

 She said: “I am from St Helens, Merseyside, which has the highest rate of male suicide in the UK.

“I began to learn more about the horrific statistics around male suicide and self-harm admissions after hearing MP Conor McGinn speak during a House of Commons debate.”

Emma added: “I urge anyone who can to join me on November 28 to walk in honour of those lost, and to prevent further damage from being done to underprivileged communities.”

Meanwhile, River Hawkins, founder and CEO of HUMEN, said he kickstarted the charity to address the root causes of this epidemic of suicides in men rather than only the aftermath.

Hawkins said: “HUMEN focuses on preventative action, prevention is better than cure because there is no cure once someone has ended their life.

“We can’t always see the battles our fathers, brothers, husbands, sons, and friends are facing.”

He added: “We want to honour those men we’ve lost to suicide to rise against it, the sisters, mothers, wives, girlfriends, and friends of these men and to encourage men who may be struggling to see another sunrise, begin anew and keep going. Who will you rise for?”

To get involved, click here: Rise Against Suicide Sunrise Walk.

For the list of locations, see below. All walks are 06.45am arrival for 07.15am start.

[Credit: HUMEN]

Decathlon Manchester: Ashton New Road, M11 4BD

Decathlon Cardiff: Culverhouse Cross, CF5 6XQ

Decathlon Greenwich: Greenwich Shopping Park, Bugsby Way, London, SE7

Decathlon Brighton: Unit 3, 134 North Street, BN1 1RG Brighton

Decathlon Nottingham: Giltbrook Retail Park, Nottingham Road East, NG16

Decathlon Edinburgh: Hermiston Gait Retail Park, Edinburgh, EH11 4DG

Decathlon Poole: Poole Retail Park, Redlands, BH12 1DN

Decathlon Oxford: Seacourt Retail Park, Oxford, OX2 0JJ

Decathlon Newcastle Gateshead: Team Valley Retail Park, Team Valley

Decathlon Liverpool: Huyton Lane, Liverpool, L36 7TX

Decathlon Belfast: Holywood Exchange Retail Park, Belfast, BT3 9EJ

Your own 4,657 metre walk in your local area

Meet the elves! Musicians struggling for work are delivering Xmas trees

Ever tried fitting a Christmas tree into your Ford Fiesta? It ain’t easy!

So, why not save yourself the drama and give Green Elf a little try.

In return, they’ll give you a whole lotta love by bringing your tree right to your door.

You can even live track your elf on the day of delivery so the magic can begin before you decorate.

[Credit: Green Elf]

Better yet, these are elves with a twist, ones that will not only brighten up your living room but also ones who are struggling to find work in the music industry.

This means, by simply buying a tree from them, you are supporting artists as they find their feet again following the pandemic.

Rewind to Christmas 2020, London company Green Elf Trees launched during the second lockdown as an olive branch for out-of-work musicians to make a few bob.

While all industries were hit hard, performers really had it rough as venues closed, shows were cancelled, and even teaching opportunities were axed.

Fast-forward to today and they are still going strong, lighting up homes with glorious trees.

[Credit: Green Elf]

Oh, and did we mention the trees are sustainably sourced from UK growers?!

There’s even the option to add in natural decorations, such as pine cones and dried orange slices, for a touch of class.

If you’re not sold yet, their removal service will sway you as they’re committed to coming and collecting your tree in January to avoid them being dumped on streets or landfills.

With each purchase, a £3 donation is made on the customer’s behalf to a charity of their choice: Mind, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Crisis, Dogs Trust or Age UK.

So, bid farewell to your inner Scroodge, it’s time to get festive!

To choose a tree, click here: Green Elf.

[Credit: Green Elf]

Why December 21 will spark a change to ‘flood the world in positivity’

As festive lights go up in town centres and restaurants boast new Christmas menus, there is actually a date before December 25 that is of great importance.

So, you better get marking December 21 on your calendar!

The winter solstice holds such power that it is set to flood the world with positivity.

This year, a global ceremony will take place at Uluru (a sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory in central Australia) to revitalise the spiritual heart of the planet.

[Credit: Photoholgic]

It follows on from last year’s service, when hopes were high that the ‘magic box’, as described in aborigine prophecy, could be turned on and kickstart a gradual ascension in earthly vibration.

Yet with the events that have unfolded since then, it has become apparent that many of us remain overwhelmed by fear and division and a new mission is required at Uluru.

Forgotten Origin co-founders, Steven and Evan Strong, have written about why this is the case and how the discovery of magical rocks has opened their eyes to the work that remains.

Below, you can read their remarkable insight from words published in their blog.

[Credit: Forgotten Origin]

“At Uluru on December 21, 2020, beginning at 7:32 pm, a global ceremony involving over 15million people was totally successful in activating the big red rock which began the process of a global cleansing of the body and soul of the planet and all its residents.

“In the simplest terms, we were told that if the ceremony did succeed Uluru would activate what the Mayans refer to as ‘two roads,’ while the Hopi refer to the recommended pathway as a ‘fast flowing river.’ Either way, a choice is on offer for each soul, and this time around there are consequences. Basically, if the right decision is made that individual is granted the right to remain, conversely, if the wrong choice is the preferred course action, then that soul must immediately vacate these earthly premises. Moreover, the time allowed to make the correct choice is not measured in decades but has a sum total of less than three years.

“Even though the timing is short, we have been assured that the time leading up to the final day will be ‘ugly’ and ‘brutal’.

“We had assumed that our role in all of this was to get the required number of souls joining together in a global meditation and dedication directed towards Uluru, which would lead to the ‘magic box’ being turned on. From that point on, we thought it was all a matter of stand back and watch in taking on the role of a passive but very interested spectator.”

However, it became clear following the discovery of new rocks and artefacts, that more was being demanded of Steven and Evan’s participation.

[Credit: Forgotten Origin]

They continued: “The day after a message from behind the curtain was received and accepted… the ancient magical objects wanted to change the global setting and charge up the atmosphere through assisting those who were under stress and are suffering. But how?

“That night I delivered the group of artefacts an ultimatum, I was taking a ring, a rock and piece of bone to be placed beside my bed and during that night I wanted all the details set out step by step.

“When I woke it was all clear. Very simply, the instruction was more of the same. They wanted all of the people who joined in last year in positive meditation directed towards Uluru to do the same thing again on the same date, and hope many more will join in. Their aim is to flood the world in positivity. Surely this is not only desperately needed, but doable. It worked before and we see no reason why we cannot succeed again. Uluru is generating and accelerating every day, but to supercharge the process is not only warranted but needed right now.

“This is what they have decided is the best course of action forward and will be our primary focus leading up to December 21. It is a win-win situation, if on the exceptionally negligible chance the rock does not increase its outflow the reality of millions of people healing the world with positivity is good for the planet and every soul participating.”

[Credit: Forgotten Origin]

While there is still a month to go until the ceremony, you can get your fix of Steven and Evan at their upcoming conference as they lead their Our Alien Ancestry: Mystical Ways & Historical Days event across November 27 and 28 with a glittering panel of guest speakers.

To nab your tickets, click here: Our Alien Ancestry.

To read the full Uluru article, click here: Forgotten Origin.