Join us for Climate conversations: how do you feel about the changing climate?
How do you really feel about the changing climate? Here is a space to share, listen and be heard. The full range of thoughts, feelings and emotions are welcome!
We will break into small groups and offer mirroring for each other, taking turns to speak and listen. Mirroring is an easy technique to learn that helps us hear others, understand where they're coming from and build our Empathy muscles.
Wednesday 7th December
44 Carrier St Benalla
Uniting Church meeting room
Donations to contribute to room hire are welcome. There will be tea, coffee and some snacks available.
To join call Rachel on 0417 720 984 or email email@example.com
'Empathy Cafe coming to Benalla - connecting community through conversation' Simon Ruppert, Shepparton News
The following article by Simon Ruppert appeared in the Shepparton News on 10 October 202.
The Empathy Cafe experience is coming to Benalla library on Wednesday, October 19.
Empathy Cafes are a space where people can explore their feelings about social issues such as climate change and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local facilitator Rachel DeSumma said she wanted to get involved and bring them to regional Victoria after attending Empathy Cafes in Melbourne.
“It can be difficult to connect socially and to have places where we can share our feelings and opinions in a non-judgemental space where we can feel seen and heard,” Ms DeSumma said.
“During the past few years we have seen rapid changes to our daily lives.
“The pandemic has increased social isolation and feelings of loneliness and we are also seeing the impacts of climate change, which for some can lead to feelings of anger, grief, fear and overwhelm.
“I found it so helpful, connective and nourishing to practice the reflective listening skills that we use in Empathy Cafes.
“I began using these skills in my everyday life and in my relationships, and it was so helpful.
“I’m really committed to sharing these simple skills with others so that they can have the benefits in their communication with others too.”
Empathy Cafes will be held monthly for the next six months at Benalla library in partnership with the Benalla Sustainable Futures Group.
The first of the series is on Wednesday, October 19, from 5.15pm to 6.45pm.
Tea, coffee, and light refreshments will be provided.
Further events will be on November 16 and December 7.
Dates for the new year will be confirmed after the December event.
This event is offered on a donation basis. Contributions to room hire, refreshments and preparation costs are welcome.
You can register to attend at events.humanitix.com/empathy-cafe-series"
(Click here to go to direct link, while available)
Empathy cafes are happening next month and the following two months. If you would like to attend that would be amazing! So far three dates have been set for the series:
Empathy Cafe: Practice the art of listening and speaking from the heart.
Wednesday October 19th 5:15-6:45 Benalla Library meeting room
Wednesday November 16th time TBC (during the day might be another option rather than evening?)
Wednesday December 7th
Empathy cafés are a connective community building activity that practices reflective listening. In a small group of 3-4 people, take turns listening in response to a prompting question. You will learn to listen out for, and hear the other person, reflecting what they said, which can be helpful in resolving conflict, and gives the listener the opportunity to see the speaker's perspective. Reflective listening helps the speaker to feel seen and heard and can support your nervous system to relax and it's really easy to learn.
This event, in partnership with Benalla Sustainable Futures Group, is being facilitated by Rachel DeSumma and a team of Empathy Cafe facilitators.
We are committed to building stronger, connected communities with skills to thrive and relate well with each other.
The skills you learn at an Empathy café can continue to be used in your relationships with loved ones, colleagues and with the broader community. Once you start empathic listening you won't want to stop!
This is the first of a series of six monthly Empathy cafes with a different prompting question each session.
Topic for Session 1: What I love about life is...
The topic has been kept very open for the first session. We hope to incorporate climate grief as well and climate anxiety, but want to start a bit lighter and deepen into other topics over time.
If you have any suggestions on topics please let me know. Keen to hear your thoughts and feedback.
A wonderful meet up st the Northo in early September with the BSFG social media and website team to discuss reinvigorating BSFG's Instagram presence!! If you have content or local events to share let us know!!!
Rachel, Bev and Peter - and Lou who was with us in spirit
The new 'Connecting and engaging the community' action group's purpose is to connect and engage the Benalla and surrounding communities through facilitating sustainability and connection skills workshops. The workshops will run in partnership with local groups. For example, building home food share boxes with the Men's shed, crocheting reusable/washable dish clothes with the knitting group, propagating seeds with the Permaculture group, nature bathing with wellbeing groups.
Building sustainability skills supports our community to be strong and independent, and prepare for the impacts of climate change, like bushfires and floods impacting our food on farms, and the flow on impacts, stress, rising cost of living, feeding families, mental health.
Growing connection skills are vital for our community to enable the sharing of skills (repairing, building, growing, sewing), tools, knowledge and great memories. Connecting with our community also helps to reduce loneliness, isolation, and depression and brings our diverse communities together.
WORKSHOP 1 - Build a food share box for your home and community (PROPOSED)
Do you have excess zucchinis & cucumbers in summer, heaps of lemons and too many pumpkins for the winter? A food share box out front of your house is a great way to share food and give back to your community. In this proposed workshop, participants will be welcome to come build their own food share box!
Who: Local men's shed
Please note - after looking at what was already being offered in the community; visiting the men's shed and considering possible options it was decided not to pursue this proposed strategy at this stage.
WORKSHOP 2 - Empathy cafe
An empathy café is an active listening process in which everyone takes turns to speak, listen, and offer reflections, in a small group with others, in response to a prompting question. The prompting question can be in relation to climate change, an issue within the community or anything that serves the purpose of the group. Empathy cafes can be particularly supportive when there are two groups with different opinions or perspectives on an issue.
Who is it for?
An Empathy café is suited to adults who want to transform their ways of relating with others. People who are generally curious and willing to try new things, as well as practice reflective listening.
How do you do it?
At the start of the event, we will introduce the Empathy café concept and how to do it and then we will break into small groups of 4 or 5 and practice taking turns responding to a prompting question. Each person has 4 or 5 minutes to speak, and one person reflects what they are saying. The others listen. Each group has a facilitator that keeps the time and participates in the group as well. The facilitator offers gentle prompts and reminders to participants to support the active listening and reflection process. We end the session with a chance for people to reflect and share how the experience was for them.
We will share a meal at the end of the session and people may choose to contribute something to dinner.
Who: Local community groups
0417 720 984
Forest Immersion walks facilitator
Connecting and Engaging the Community Action Group
The 'Connecting and engaging the community' action group's purpose is to connect and engage the Benalla and surrounding communities through building sustainability and connection skills .
0417 720 984
of North East Victoria, and pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.