Sustaining Resistance

By Holly Hammond

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Activists are awesome! I believe in the power of people working together to change the world. I’ve been proudly politically active for almost 25 years and engaged in supporting social movements for the past 10.

In that time I’ve seen the profound personal impacts activism can have on people’s lives – both positive and negative. I’ve experienced burnout myself and seen many people struggle with finding balance, prioritising wellbeing, and dealing with the emotional impact of facing dark societal challenges.

This is why a significant part of my work is supporting activists through one-to-one mentoring and sustaining activism workshops. Through Plan to Thrive I gather and distribute stories and resources about activist health and wellbeing.

I love my work but I’m in need of fresh inspiration and new approaches to activist training and support. I also want to equip many more people to run training and set up peer support groups.

I’ve found some exciting projects in Europe which could provide the new ideas I’m after, including:

  • Sustaining Resistance: Empowering Renewal – a two week intensive residential retreat focused on personal and organisational effectiveness, burnout prevention and long term sustainability of advocacy held in the Catalan Pyrenees
  • Counselling for Social Change – an amazing activist counselling project based in Cornwall which could provide a model for an Australian equivalent
  • Inner Transition Group – Transition Town Totnes has been doing impressive ‘heart and soul’ work, recognising that key barriers to change (and drivers of community) are emotional and psychological.

I’m planning to embark on a research trip in May-June 2016 where I’ll experience programs, meet activists and educators, gather new resources, and develop curriculum for future workshops and retreats.

To get there I need your support to cover flights, workshop fees, travel around Europe and accommodation (when I’m not staying with lovely European activists).

Being a full time social movement educator and facilitator is not high paying work and the majority of the work I do around activist health and wellbeing is unpaid. If you want to show your appreciation for my work or you’re curious about what I’ll be able to share after this trip, please contribute according to your means.

This trip is all about being able to share what I learn – starting with the perks! You can claim these for yourself (yay for activist self-care!), pay them forward to a low income activist (yay for community care!), or waive the perks and just make a gift (thank you!)

To find out more about my work visit Plan to Win and Plan to Thrive - and check out the findings from the PTT activist health and wellbeing survey which shows just how necessary this trip is.

Thank you for supporting me to continue supporting others.

Holly Hammond

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Holly Hammond