Barking Riverside, Scrattons Farm and Thames View

News for residents, by residents

Jus Jammin: new live music night funds community workshops

Jus Jammin - Autumn Issue

Hi all, I’m the founder of Healthy Mind Healthy Grind (HMHG), which is a non-profit organisation set up to deliver health and wellness activities within the community.

We currently deliver plant-based cooking workshops in schools and local community centers to educate young people and families about the benefits of cooking simple, healthy meals on a budget. We discuss the gut-brain connection, sugar and salt dangers, and the long-term effects of eating fast food regularly, and we hold each participant accountable each week via weekly sessions and homework.

Our work is a response to the high levels of obesity among young children in the borough. We educate families and young people on how to take control of what they put inside their bodies on a daily basis.

I was once a victim of eating fast food regularly, and at one point I weighed up to 19st. Due to this, I had depression and anxiety and found it hard to cope on a daily basis. I decided to dig deeper into why I was feeling like this, and all the arrows pointed to the food and lack of exercise.

Through further research, I stumbled across the gut-brain connection and how what we put inside our gut controls the way we think, feel, and act, and it all made sense. Living and working as a youth worker in Barking and Dagenham, I noticed the high number of fast food outlets on each street and the high level of families living in low-income areas, which is a breeding ground for obesity due to the easy access to cheap, unhealthy fast food.

HMHG was developed to educate and create the opportunity for young people to learn basic cooking skills that will help them understand the value of looking after their own gut and taking control of what they put inside their bodies, which will in turn lead to more positive behaviour as 95% of serotonin is produced in our gut!

Through my other predominantly music-based organisation, Soul and Sound CIC, I have a background in producing live music events, and in the past, I have put on shows for legendary UK soul artists such as Mica Paris and Omar. I also produced a weekly live music night in Stratford, East London, called ‘Jus Jammin’ before the pandemic.

Connecting HMHG and music, I decided to rebrand my old weekly live music night ‘Jus Jammin’ and added elements of live art and food to the mix and feature at The Wilds. The nights will showcase local artists and their amazing art, as well as provide a chilled, relaxing environment for guests to listen to high-quality live music.The first in the series was on the 17th September and was a huge success, so hopefully it’ll become a regular occurrence!

 I decided that all proceeds from the bar and tickets will go towards facilitating more free plant-based cooking workshops within the community. This will help towards being able to consistently deliver workshops and not have to heavily rely on applying for funding or grants.

Sign up for our mailing list via our website, to be notified about future ‘Jus Jammin’ dates and cooking workshops.


By Marcel Andrew, local resident
Autumn 2023 Issue

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