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.

Comment Wall

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Comment by Nick Beddow on August 31, 2012 at 14:50

Let’s be miseries for a minute. Let's think really negatively about activism. If someone gives us lemons, can we really make lemonade? What if the lemons are dreadfully small and crinkly? As an activist, the bigger stuff often makes the local effort seem like the efforts of a few ants against a tribe of locusts. And if I reach out to national organisations for an alliance to take on the bigger stuff, it’s often to discover another level of absurdity, a cover-story for ants stabbing other ants in the back. And tweeting about it to their admirers.
So the small is beautiful, and the beautiful is being run over by lorries in the middle of a deserted road leading to...
Whoa. Enough misery..

Because the day-to-day is where we live – it’s the only place we can live, in our relationships and places where we know the scene and can be some use. So we’re ants, then, and that’s fine. Hello ants. We can do something useful if we co-operate, eh? Small, beautiful, sane...
But what about the locusts? Shall we find a retreat where we can hide away from their destructive energy?
And then deny that they exist as we can’t see them? Surely they’re not relevant to us if we find a little game of our own we can play, unobserved by predators?
Well, there’s something to be said for “accentuating the positive”, “building windmills when it’s windy”, “having a half-full glass”. As we build our small redemptions, step-by-step, reaching out to people we can actually get to know.
But there’s also a need to keep the wider reality in our focus, a need to grasp how the small can tackle the big, and understand how the big casts a shadow over everything that needs more light to flourish.
And that’s why I like it when we all play the But Why game – I feel helpless. But why? Because it’s all so stuck and I don’t know where to begin? But Why? Because all I ever hear is bullshit about celebrities on-off egos/couplings/drug-addiction/hair. But why? Because we’re all being distracted by the powers-that-be? But Why? Because if we saw things as they really are we’d focus our eyes and .... It’s a good game: you can’t win it alone but you can keep your feet on the ground while you search the skies.
But why?

Comment by Nick Beddow on August 31, 2012 at 14:45

A Doctor writes...

Natural Cures

Diet: Assess your diet to reduce excessive consumption of stressor foods such as refined sugars, honey, maple syrup, or cow`s milk products. Consume vegetable soups, broths, and a wide variety of green and yellow vegetables. Add more complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, beans, seeds, and nuts. Also be sure to drink up to a gallon of filtered water a day.

Flower Essences: Flower essences can prove very helpful in managing and helping to eliminate anxiety. Use Aspen for apprehension, foreboding, and fear of unknown origin while Mimulus is for fear of known things, shyness, and timidity. Red chestnut is used for excessive anxiety and over caring for others. Rescue Remedy® (combination formula) is for general stress from anxiety, and Rock Rose is helpful for coping with terror and panic from known fear.

Herbs: Panax ginseng has a tonic effect on the adrenal glands, improving blood flow to the brain and reducing the stress associated with mental/emotional issues. Valerian root, an herbal tranquilizer and muscle relaxant, is another good agent for calming the nervous system. It helps balance mood swings and is not habit forming. Valerian-hops combination formulas are good daytime sedatives because they don`t interfere with reflex actions. Passionflower is another mild sedative that helps reduce anxiety, high blood pressure, nervous tension, and muscle tension, and encourages deep, restful sleep. St. John's wort, a highly popular remedy for depression, has proven effective for anxiety and mood swings as well.

Homeopathy: Aconite, Actaea rac., Drosera, Calc carb., and Sulfur are all useful homeopathic remedies for dealing with anxiety.

Hypnotherapy: Self-hypnosis helps to impart to the mind imagery designed to bring about deep levels of relaxation.

Meditation: Develops the mind`s ability to stop anxiety at its source.

Oil Pulling: has been known to help with vision, allergies, and anxiety issues. Learn more at

Nutritional Supplementation: The following supplements have all been shown to help reduce feelings of anxiety by calming the nervous system: calcium, magnesium, vitamin B complex, 5-HTP, pantothenic acid, and adrenal and kidney glandulars. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), an amino acid, can also affect mood by increasing levels of the brain neurotransmitter serotonin (a mood regulator).

Comment by Alan Thornton on June 26, 2012 at 11:33

Personally I find co-counselling a great way of dealing with tough stuff. It is:

  • Reciprocal: co-counsellors take it in equal turns to be client and counsellor.
  • Peer: everyone is equal, there are no "experts" trying to "sort out" other people.
  • Counselling: it is a bit like other forms of counselling in that one person listens while the other talks (or "works" in other ways), but there the similarity ends. It is the person being client who is in charge of the session and the person being counsellor mainly just gives very good attention.
Comment by Nick Beddow on May 18, 2012 at 10:15

A poem for the weekend, mesdames et messieurs? D'accord!!


I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox

and which

you were probably


for breakfast

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold

by William Carlos Williams

Now isn't that a typical bloody bloke, eh?

Comment by Nick Beddow on May 3, 2012 at 14:05

Well, that's fighting talk on the last train to Hadfield :) Still, it's "better" than screaming and being sick.

Or is it?

Telling our moms never really worked for me - she usually sides with my oppressor. And telling my dad was far worse - "if I've told you once etc..". Parents eh? oooooopphhhh

Comment by Adam on May 3, 2012 at 11:54


Ecodharma does provide the space to 'go solitary with a box of food' if that rings your bell; if you feel your chain yanked to Sustaining Resistance, the food is beautiful and excessive and cooked by someone else (often freshly baked bread too)!  And it's beautiful at that time of year; warm inside with wood burners, warm outside in the sun and blue and breathtaking all the time (well, I can't guarantee that!). 

I'm not quite sure if it fits in ultimatums (it's sure meant to sound like a semi-friendly one), but in the 'quiet zone' on trains, I find it effective telling people: "you're in the mobile-phone free carriage, you can either switch it off, or move?"....!

Comment by Peter Smith on May 3, 2012 at 10:21

Thceam and thceam until I'm sick?

Tell my mom on you?

Comment by Nick Beddow on May 3, 2012 at 10:09

Pete, that sort of wording deserves some solitary time in a hut :) We're supposed to be activists - so how about starting with:

" If you don't let me go I'll...."

Come on everybody, share your favourite ultimatums, let us speak truth to personnel departments

Comment by Peter Smith on May 3, 2012 at 9:37

I had a look at the ecodharma site and the idea of spending soilitary time in a hut with a box for food and messages sounds fantastic.

The challenge now is wording the request to go. How about - 

An opportunity to focus on system thinking and to plan and focus without distraction on this years business plan in an effort to develop an integrated, action focussed, target driven, performance led workplan that will provide effective achievement of the corporate vision?

Comment by Nick Beddow on May 2, 2012 at 22:55

Can you just imagine what the Daily Mail would make of a nine day workshop in the Pyrenees? :) Sod em, it sounds fantastic - I'd love to be there (but isn't it nippy in November?)

At a recent NatCAN get-together in Brum, we laughed about having an Agony Uncle spot on this group, but here's one for starters - we won't change anything with bitterness in our hearts. We need a bit of love for what we believe in. So how's this for a challenge - can we remember every ex-lover with affection, recalling when the relationship was good rather than harping-on why and how it ended? If the personal is going to be political, surely we need to focus on life-enhancing times to give us strength? Call me Patience Nick.  


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