Activist’s Welfare Centre


Activist’s Welfare Centre

a new group for getting it off your chest without harming others or yourself.

Feeling blue? Frustrated? You’re not alone! Come and join us for a spot of radical self-pity – any whinges or lamenting will be gladly received by your fellow-sufferers, as we cheer up each other on our long march to somewhere life-enhancing, empowered and empowering.

There’s a serious side to this – Nat Wei (he of the early Big Society elite) blogged about the emptiness of protest which can’t find a reforming home in the system, and predicted suicides. Honestly, the nerve. But we do need to look after each other, and here’s your chance. Jez Hall posted an earlier discussion on sending each other positive messages:

Well, let’s do it, and also have a bloody good whinge (it can’t all be asset-based, you know)

If it takes off, we may introduce “A Doctor Writes..” to give unwanted advice and lofty encouragement.

Over to you – who’s cheesed off?

And to update: there's a serious edge to all this too: for activists who are facing severe strain, there's an online resource:

Members: 31
Latest Activity: Oct 23, 2014

Discussion Forum

The Situation Is Hopeless But Not Serious 2 Replies

"My, oh my, good God, everything's gone to pot" (unofficial national anthem of Austria) . Well, it was written during the plague, about a country who seemed to lose every battle but the hopeless…Continue

Started by Nick Beddow. Last reply by Kitty Leach Oct 23, 2014.

Tools for Effective-Sustainable Activism, October/November 2013 in the Pyrenees (apply soon!)

Tools for Effective-Sustainable Activism12 – 20 October 2013, Catalan Pyrenees!! Deadline to apply for fully funded places, including travel: 20 April 2013 !![apologies I didn't post up here till…Continue

Started by Adam May 16, 2013.

What the Flip am I doing? 9 Replies

It's Monday and another week of work ahead is providing me with recurring thoughts about my role -Am I doing Communty Development or have I "settled" for a job as a manager in the Council? (an often…Continue

Started by Peter Smith. Last reply by Nick Beddow May 4, 2012.

Can we live on air? 1 Reply

And as the 'oxygen' of government funding runs out how can we (ethically) stop pinching it off others... is collective suicide the only honorable answer? At least we may become martyrs without…Continue

Started by Jez Hall. Last reply by Nick Beddow Apr 23, 2012.

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Comment by Adam on May 16, 2013 at 23:49

Good to see you the other week Nick.

For all others too, there's resources and a database of friendly mental health support (including eg Counselling for Social Change) at the Activist Trauma Support Network website

Also see the above 'discussion' (only posted there as word limit for this section) about Sustaining Resistance

Comment by Nick Beddow on May 8, 2013 at 20:06

thanks Andy, seems like loads of us have had the beasts. Panic eh? ooooopphh. Very glad to hear they're abating for you- I've had five days without one so I'm going to award myself a whiskey on Friday

Enjoy the Queen's peach - always interesting to hear Germans moaning about immigration. (Windsor sounds so much English-er than their real names, Saxe- Coburg and Gotha, eh? )

love Nick 

Comment by Andy Benson on May 8, 2013 at 14:15

yep panic attacks, know all about that, took up most of the second half of last year and precipitated by all the things happening in the first half of last year (don't ask). But pretty well over it now (famous last words), so there is life after such crap (well for a while anyway). Meanwhile we're just had the queen's speech, so I expect that will set me off again.... hey ho. Keep on keeping on Nick and love from




Comment by Nick Beddow on May 7, 2013 at 18:47

thanks Penny and Pete, great to hear from you and a big thanks for your support. I reckon your wisdom will still apply "after the revolution" too (unless we're abolishing feelings and human frailty - very SWP :) 

Comment by penny waterhouse on May 7, 2013 at 16:42

hey nick - had been wondering what you were up to. now I know. all my commiserations. really pleased to hear that it's "only" panic attacks. but also know what they feel like. like dying, with terror.


only thing I can reassure you with is that I had them and survived (well enough). after 2 years of 12 hour days back in the 80s when I was in charge of implementing the new housing benefit scheme in a London borough (and look where it's landed us now). the responsibility for two thirds of the poorest in the borough, and if I got it wrong and didn't get to pay their benefits, eviction would result. did my head and body in. didn't know what was happening to me. cos it feels so physical. well it is. the breaking point where the psychie meets the bodie. and chaos happens.


my lesson.....don't treat my body as if it were a machine. cos machines can be mended and bodies aren't so easy. and know thy limits is what I decided. and try not to feel responsible for anything that moves (still working on that).


so, as ellington says "treat you soft and gentle". enjoy the sun, love and friendships and lots of love from me xx

Comment by Peter Smith on May 7, 2013 at 16:15

Hi Nick


Hope to see you at the Starfish in Manchester for a catch up. Possibly an open space group on "how come giving a s*!t causes so much anxiety?"

Had some recent experience from a range of issues going on myself, family, work and an operation so happy to share yoga nidra mp3s.

(a sense of humour certainly helps) 

Comment by Nick Beddow on May 7, 2013 at 14:33

hello again - only 9 months since my last post here - have I been giving birth or what? 

The answer is "Or what?" After a long struggle trying to keep CDX going despite losing our Govt income (discuss), I had a strange episode at a public meeting in Dudley (discuss) which ended up as two days in their local Stroke Unit (gossip) in July. After many months of tests (a whole armful of blood too), I'm not having a stroke/heart attack/brain tumour/TB/diabetes/thyroid problem/baby. What I have been experiencing is panic disorder - in other words, after burning out and trying to carry on at CDX, and afterwards trying not to mess up in a new job, I have been so anxious about not being well enough to cope that I have had regular, unforseeable panic attacks ever since. Even when I think I'm relaxing. I'm finally getting a handle on it via therapies, reading good stuff (""When Panic Attacks" by Aine Tubridy was so good I wanted to email her to say "Thanks", but when I googled her I discovered she'd died last year - which nearly caused another panic attack), and planning to take a whole month off in August (existential or what?) . So apologies for not being around on NatCAN for ages - I've had to go careful and do a load of sleeping. If anyone needs any adrenaline, send a pint bottle over here and you can have mine. Cheers! Nick 

Comment by Lorna Prescott on August 31, 2012 at 20:16
And while I'm sharing inspiring stuff, here are some examples of the ants influencing the locusts, just by being ants:

Comment by Lorna Prescott on August 31, 2012 at 20:14
Here's some inspiration: Spontaneous Interventions - A celebration of the power of Individuals to change society

I fully recommend checking out some of the ideas on the spontaneous inventions site which Tessy links to ( - arranged in such lovely ways, e.g from 3% pleasure to 75% pleasure
Comment by Peter Smith on August 31, 2012 at 16:47

Hi Nick


Misery for only a minute, luxury! No I won't go there.

I was thinking the other day about how big all the challenges seem to be around making positive change and then reminded myself that most of the things that I remember and get pleasure from are quite small. They involve an interaction with only one or a few people and usually end with a minor change in the scheme of things but a great deal of positive change for that person.

Did they get the help thay needed?

Do they feel more confident, empowered or happy?

Were they able to move forward on the journey that is their life?

It is often not about changing the world but rather it is about making changes to someone's experience within the world they live.

I believe that they all add up and hope that I made a little contribution.

I went for a job once where the advert stated that applicants should be ready for the inevitable frustration and dissappointment of CD.

Sounds a little bit better than misery I think.

Have a great weekend and keep taking the tablets or potions or linements or poltices or treatments.


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