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.
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.