The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on all of our lives, risking not least our health, but also our lifestyles, work and mental wellbeing. Now more than ever we need bright ideas that will rebuild our communities and support those most affected by Covid-19.
Until the UK lock down, Supply Yoga ran in-person yoga and meditation sessions from their east London studio. The profits from these classes allowed them to offer bespoke sessions to groups of people for whom regular yoga and meditation is not accessible.
Since winning a place on the Investec Beyond Business programme in 2016, Supply Yoga has established a reputation as an innovative organisation changing the culture of access to wellbeing services.
In March 2020, Supply Yoga was forced to close the doors to their community studio, and have since moved their operation online. They now run a subscription service for those who can afford it, while continuing to run online classes for beneficiaries with the profits.
Founder Abi Nolan explained how going digital solved their ongoing premises complications, without compromising their commitment to the communities who need their services most.
“Having started on such solid ground, thanks to Investec Beyond Business, we have been able to thoughtfully respond to the many curve balls that have been thrown our way this past 18 months.”
Altering how they conduct their business has allowed Supply Yoga to fit within the pandemic landscape we find ourselves in. By moving online, they are able to serve communities far beyond their original east London neighbourhood. They can also meet the needs of people who – pandemic aside – aren’t able to mobilise and physically engage with services on offer in community facilities.
“The silver lining to being forced online has been that actually, video conferencing technology is more ubiquitous than we’d all probably liked to have thought and we can now connect with people on their terms, in the safety of their homes and with their families in a way that wasn’t possible before.”
Supply Yoga are currently working with their partners remotely via Zoom and Youtube Live – each week gathering virtually with East London Cares, The Bromley by Bow Centre’s Family Health and Active Together mental health support programmes – plus, more recently, a Tower Hamlets based Care Home in collaboration with East London Foundation Trust. Next, they plan to add a Women’s Wellness and LGBTQIA+ offering to their commercial services.
To date, they have developed relationships with organisations such as Macmillan Cancer support, St Joseph’s Hospice, The Hackney Migrant Centre, East London Cares and Clifden Centre (NHS Homerton) – amongst many others.
“Without the support of the community that Investec Beyond Business built for us and the access to the invaluable expertise and encouragement from their many contacts and corporate partners, it would have taken a longer and been a lonelier road to get to where we are today.”
Do you have an idea for a social enterprise? Investec Beyond Business has extended its deadline for applications to capture enterprising ideas conceived in response to the current crisis.
Find out more about the programme. Applications close at 5pm on 30th October 2020.