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  • Kate Goodhart

Lumi Foundation: 2023 Year in Review

How to top 2022? This was the challenge for the team at Lumi Foundation in 2023. We have kept our focus on what’s important to us - community and connection - and have taught more classes to more yogis than ever this year - over 1,400 classes to more than 13,000 yogis.


We were thrilled to capture some of the joy of these classes in a film that came from a call out of the blue earlier this year from filmmaker Jim Ireland. Jim kindly volunteered to work with us to showcase the Foundation’s work. Jim interviewed our co-founder, Ari, and went to several classes with Barb to film and interview our teachers and yogis. The film is absolutely stunning - we couldn’t be more thrilled with it and we are so grateful to Jim for all his effort and generosity. Please watch it - it’s three and a half minutes long and worth every second.

We began the year with a new offering - a six-week mindfulness course delivered by Katie Fobbester. For an hour a week, via livestream, Katie took us through an introduction to mindfulness and meditation and taught us the skills to live a mindful life. The programme was such a success that we are going to repeat it in 2024 and there is still time to sign up! Whether you are new to mindfulness or an old hand, this is a wonderful course and we cannot recommend it highly enough. Click HERE for more information. 

We held fundraising yin yoga workshops in the spring and the autumn, kindly offered by Virginie and Rebecca. The autumn workshop was Rebecca’s last teaching before she went on maternity leave - and our whole community celebrated when we heard the happy news of the arrival of her baby. We also celebrated in March when Barb and Virginie were honoured for their dedication to the local community at the Hammersmith & Fulham Civic Awards. We had a wonderful evening at Bush Hall as they collected their awards. 

Community classes are at the core of the Foundation and close to our hearts. In 2023, we have opened new community classes at the Earl’s Court Community Hub, a beautiful space just next to the Gibb’s Green estate. We now regularly see over 20 yogis here on Tuesday mornings and Wednesday lunchtimes. The centre offers tea and coffee after class as well as a comfortable place to sit and chat. Please join us and bring your friends - there’s plenty of room for more! Sadly, this year also marked the end of the Community Champions programme in Hammersmith and Fulham. We remain close to all those we worked with and hope to work with them again in the future.

This year we started new partnerships with Hotel School, a charity offering hospitality training to people who have been street homeless; The Marylebone Project, a shelter for women seeking refuge; Turning Point, a charity supporting people recovering from addiction; a class for the Ukrainian refugee community in conjunction with The Quaker Meeting House and LBH&F; and with Melcombe Primary School, James Lee and Bayonne Nurseries. We have also taught classes for the Refugee Council; Look Ahead, Greenhouse Sports; and another series of classes for the St Antonio Eritrean Women’s Group.

We are proud to continue to offer classes to our long-established partners, including AgeUK, The Creighton Centre (previously Bishop Creighton House), Maggie’s, Headway, Action on Disability, Ashchurch Centre, Log Cabin, Imperial College, Riverside Studios, West London Welcome, Cobham Community Centre and the residents at Sycamore House and Percy Bilton Court. 


We are incredibly grateful to Hammersmith United Charities for continuing to support three of our community classes at Old Oak, White City and Masbro Community Centres with a further grant. These are some of our longest-standing classes and at the heart of our community offering.

We were the grateful recipients this year of our first grant from The Daisy Trust, a grant-giving charity based in Hammersmith & Fulham. This was to support our class at West London Welcome, a local charity which supports asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants. We love this community and were so pleased to be able to share The Daisy Trust’s generous support with them. We were also delighted to receive a further award from the Local Giving Magic Little Grants scheme, which supported our Saturday livestream class.


In September, we received the fantastic news that we had been awarded a second grant from The National Lottery Community Fund. This grant will cover the cost of providing five of our online livestream classes for a whole year - including mat, chair and yin yoga classes. We offer these classes for free to our community and it’s wonderful to be able to continue to offer livestream classes to people who prefer to practise at home and who still like to have the experience of joining a community at the same time. We are incredibly grateful to the National Lottery for supporting us again.


In September, we launched a new fundraising initiative, Foundation Friends. We hosted a welcome party for our new group of supporters, and heard from a wonderful panel made up of our yogis and partners, who spoke from the heart about what the Foundation means to them. Andy Slaughter, MP for Hammersmith, joined us to show his support, too. This group gives us more financial stability for the future and we are enormously grateful to our new Friends for their support and generosity. 

Fourteen yoga teachers went through our Step Up to Reach Out mentorship programme in 2023. As our teachers now come from many different trainings and disciplines, this has offered an amazing opportunity for us to learn from each other. We have embraced this and created a new programme at Lumi Foundation for our teaching community - Teach the Teachers. So far we have enjoyed getting together for sessions offered by our Foundation teachers on Yoga Therapy, Yoga for Cancer and Hands-on Assisting.

Our final event of the year was December’s Festive Flow. This annual event has become a fixture in many people’s Christmas calendars and the studio was packed to overflowing. We were led through a festive practice by Maria and Ruth and then came together to celebrate the season.  We are immensely grateful to all who donated prizes for the auction and raffle, which raised almost £2500 for the Foundation. It was an afternoon of community and connection - our favourite things - and we are already looking forward to next year.

Thank you for your incredible support in 2023. We look forward to seeing you all on the mat or chair, in person or via livestream, in 2024.

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