Have Workshops, Will Travel!

Jan 26 2024

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Simon Abel / Holly laughing with workshop participants

Would you like me to hold space for you and a group of your peers / friends / colleagues to play, connect, learn and grow together? This blog explains how we could make that happen.

Over the winter, I have been developing a ‘Host Pack’ to support local hosts to share me and my work with their local communities. I am pleased to announce that the Host Pack is now ready to roll!!!

I am now seeking local hosts for Summer term (May-July) 2024. My dream is to travel around the UK and beyond, connecting with local communities and delivering workshops.

I am particularly interested in sharing my new ‘Creative Clarity’and ‘Creative Resourcing’ weekend workshops, but I am open to creating a bespoke workshop for you and your community. 

What is the Hosts’ role?

As the host, you will arrange a venue, bring a group of people together, gather payments and help me manage the logistical side of organising a workshop. Then I will turn up and facilitate the workshop.

What kind of support will Holly offer?

  • I will send a step-by step ‘how to host a workshop’ guide - laying out what needs to be done and when.
  • I will send a budget breakdown, explaining how the money-side all works.
  • We can then arrange a Zoom meeting to go through the project steps and budget.
  • If you’re happy to go ahead, we’ll sign a contract.
  • I will then send through a marketing pack with photos, videos, blogs and quotes to help you gather a group.
  • I will be on hand to support you via email and Zoom.

What will you get out of it?

  • You will get a bespoke workshop for yourself and your community.
  • A chance to connect with your friends / peers / colleagues in a different way.
  • A chance to learn a new language of creative exploration and compassionate support, which you can use together again and again after I’ve gone.
  • An opportunity to learn how to organise a workshop, with expert support.
  • A chunk of money, if you would like to include a host fee for your own time.

Where is this idea coming from?

The Workshop Host idea is coming from a deep desire to find a more sustainable way of working and a deep wish to contribute to the sustainability of other artists, facilitators, therapists and practitioners.

I have been organising and facilitating performance skills / self-development workshops for adults since 2007 and before that I was a performer / director. I had accepted regular bouts of burnout to be a natural part of living a creative life, what goes up must come down, eh? That was until June 2022, when I made the radical decision to take a year out, as a live-in volunteer at the Barn meditation retreat centre in Devon. 

During my year out, I explored my relationship with creativity, work, burnout and grief. Through meditation, writing, play and therapy, I got to better understand the habitual patterns and underlying beliefs that have led to the chronic self-sufficiency which has invariably driven me to burnout. 

At the Barn, I got to experience the power of community. I learned to share responsibility, to ask for what I needed and to accept the support on offer. I felt healthier than I have done for years and with surplus energy to explore, create, connect and play. 

Coming back to delivering my own workshops, I am wanting to find ways to bring these wonderful flavours of collaboration, mutual support and sustainability into everything I do.

In asking for support from local hosts to gather groups of people together, the time I would usually put into admin gets freed up to do more of the things that really feed me; creating, facilitating, writing, travelling, exploring and connecting.

I want to contribute to a sustainable culture of mutual support, through sharing with local community groups all the delicious, playful, deep, compassionate, creative facilitation methods I’ve been learning and developing over a lifetime. This way, communities can learn simple support structures and develop their confidence and communication together, so that they can continue to hold safe, exploratory space for each other long after I’ve gone.

I’ve tested out the model with a gorgeous group of Fools in Stroud and a lovely gang of crones in Bristol. I’ve created the Host Pack with the trusty support of radministrator, Beccy Golding. Now all I need is some willing hosts!

Are you interested in hosting a Holly workshop?

If you’re thinking you’d like to be a host, have a look at my off-the-peg workshops to see if anything tickles your fancy. I am particularly keen to offer Creative Clarity or Creative Resourcing, but I am open to creating something just for you and your group. 

Then have a think about:

  • Who might you want to invite? Could be friends, peers, colleagues or you could open up the offer to your local community.
  • When might you want to do it? I’d recommend at least 8 weeks lead-in time.
  • Where might want to do it? There is a room requirements doc in the Host Pack to help with this.
  • How might you fund this? I am suggesting a model where the entire budget (my fee, travel, accommodation, space hire, resources and your fee) is covered by participant fees. The Host Pack guides you though how to find participants and provides marketing materials. But there are other options, ie doing it through an organisation, applying for funding, self-financing etc.

Once you’ve got an idea about all that, get in touch with me at holly@hollystoppit.com and we’ll take it from there!

If you'd like to read some of my musings from my year at The Barn, click here.

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