In July, Unbeatable Energy delivered a Drum Circle event for Me 2 You in Chorely, Lancashire. Me 2 You is a charity for bereaved children, young people and their families, which helps them re-adjust to life after the death of a loved one, or through loss with regards to separation. Here is Steve Rivers' account of the whole event: ''The Me 2 You drumming session was for a special residential weekend for young people who have experienced a loss in their family. This was one of the most important workshops I have facilitated this whole year as the event affected me personally.
I was looking forward to delivering the session because I had a special interest in the charity and I already knew what a massive difference a drumming experience can make with someone who is dealing with loss. But I was also apprehensive because the booking had, ironically, coincided with my father passing away in September last year. In short I anticipated a high degree of empathy with the participants but was also unsure how it might affect me emotionally.
The Anderton Centre is a beautiful residential training centre deep in the Lancashire hills - it is a perfect place to get away from it all and have some quality time to reflect. When I arrived the young people were just finishing a candle lit session and emotions were pretty raw. I was becoming profoundly moved as I saw people hugging and consoling each other - I could feel their grief. If you have experienced grief I'm sure you will know the way it catches you out when you least expect it. One moment everything is normal and then suddenly it hits you. As I could feel the lump in my throat, I was thinking to myself 'How on earth could I have imagined that I would not be moved!
'So I did the only thing I think I could have done and told the charity members what was going on - you see all this was happening prior to the workshop and I couldn't imagine how I was going to lead the session with all these feelings bubbling up. Me 2 You were extremely understanding and suggested I spent a few minutes with one of their bereavement councilors. What a cocktail of feelings! First empathy, then grief; next up - sheer embarrassment at having to take time out and let my 'professional face' slip! That said it was really good to have a few minutes to talk - thank you Paul for offering your time.
'Then half an hour later, after I got back to my 'normal' self and the staff kindly helped me get the drums in, the workshop started! I find it increasingly hard to put into words an amazing drum circle session. I have written about them again and again and after a while the endless blogs start to all sound the same - always trying to re-trace and catch that amazing hour that feels like a minute. I can't remember exactly what we played, but I can confirm that this was one those amazing drumming sessions! One word springs out to describe the group atmosphere - ALIVE! It was as if the rhythms and the singing, and the general vibes took over everybody. It was that great feeling of connection - everyone together and everybody as one.
'This workshop happened right back in July. The experience has stayed with me ever since. It has moved me in a profound way and has reminded me of what Unbeatable Energy is all about. It is about more than just learning how to play drums. It is about making a difference. A group drumming session really can create an experience which leaves everyone touched, moved and inspired in such way as to make a profound difference to their lives. This can be equally shared by both the session leader and the participant.''
Unbeatable Energy would like to thank Me 2 You for inviting us to work with their charity and we look forward to working with them in the future!