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We are the umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in Southwark. We support charities, community groups and individuals through capacity building, networks and training.

Our Nov 2022 Member Spotlight Organisation is HABITS of London C.I.C

Helen Raphael, Founder, Executive Director and Mindfulness Psychotherapist at HABITS of London CIC, tells us about the psychotherapeutic service which offers mindfulness-based programmes and integrative therapeutic treatments to combat mental and emotional health disorders.


Helen Raphael

Organisation and Job role

Founder, Executive Director and Mindfulness Psychotherapist for HABITS of London C.I.C.

What does your organisation do?

HABITS of London C.I.C. is a psychotherapeutic service offering Mindfulness-based programmes and integrative therapeutic treatments to combat mental and emotional health disorders as well as addiction issues and unhelpful habits.

Mindfulness is an innate way of being that brings an awareness of self, others and the world… with an emphasis on ‘habits of mind’… through simple but significantly transformational techniques and practices. This is fundamentally achieved through paying particular attention in 3 fundamental ways: 1. On purpose… 2. In the moment… & 3. Without judgement. Paying attention in this way ultimately enables a deeper understanding of how the mind works which helps people to master their mind and subsequently become their best self.

I am a trained, BACP registered psychotherapist with 20 years experience in the mental health and addiction field having worked for the NHS, non-statutory and private sector, here in the UK and abroad. So impassioned by my journey of healing from my own private and personal experience of mental health and addiction, I studied towards a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in psychology and trained professionally so I could empower and support others on their healing journey. I specialise in Mindfulness, Schema Therapy and Dual Diagnosis.

HABITS was incorporated in 2016 and has since delivered its services to Southwark, Lambeth & Lewisham communities, as well as neighbouring boroughs and the Home Counties.

How does your organisation support and benefit the Southwark community?

HABITS of London C.I.C. is a community & social enterprise delivering Mindfulness-based programmes and integrative psychotherapeutic treatments to improve and enhance mental and emotional health with an overall focus on holistic well-being. This also includes increasing self-confidence, self-esteem & motivation as well as treating addiction, alleviating stress, improving sleep, effectively managing psychological and physical pain and supporting the development of healthy habits. The ultimate aim is to help people master their minds so they can become their best self and meet their life goals… whatever these may be.

Through learning about Mindfulness 10 years ago and adhering to a Mindful way of life ever since, I was empowered to start up my own company so I could take more control and enhance my quality of life. My journey serves as a testimony and example for others of what we are all capable of doing and can achieve once we put our mind to it and have the right attitude.

The next programme I will be delivering FREE from September 2022 is accessible to the Southwark community.

What are you working on, is there anything you would like to highlight?

I have just been awarded funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to deliver a FREE 10-week Motivation and Mindfulness for Life programme to adults residing in Greater London including those living or working in Southwark borough. The programme commences in September 2022 and will take place @ Mountview Academy of Arts in Peckham which hire out fabulous studio spaces. Booking is essential through Eventbrite here.

I’m also coming to the end of delivering a 12-week Motivation & Mindfulness programme called “Aspire to Achieve” funded by Lambeth Made Unheard Voices supporting 16-30 year old marginalised residents. These may have limited or no training, education or employment experience; experience special education needs or disabilities; are care leavers; at risk of gang violence or activity; or disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The goal of the programme is to get them closer to the labour market through confidence, esteem, motivation & resilience building as well as helping them manage their emotional and mental health.

Quote from a beneficiary of Oasis Hub Waterloo:

“The little I have applied already is proof that if I keep going things will get better… this is a gift that will benefit me forever… priceless… the best thing that has happened to me.” – Participant on the Aspire to Achieve programme 2022.

How did you hear about Community Southwark?

From a cohort member of a “Develop Your Enterprise” training programme I attended 7 years ago.

What difference has the support made to your charity?

Community Southwark were instrumental and a significant support in my application to becoming a Community Interest Company (C.I.C.) in 2016 which now as a result has enabled me to apply for funding accessible to C.I.C.s.

Would you recommend Community Southwark to other charities for support?


If yes, why?

They offer everything and beyond to support organisations in the voluntary sector become the best that they can be in delivering their services to the community .

How can people get support from your organisation?

At present people can get support from any of the funded programmes available providing they meet the criteria… or if they fund the support privately themselves. I am working on applying to several different funding pots to make the services I deliver FREE to those who are in need and economically and financially constrained.

How can people find out more about what you do?

They can email me at helen@habits.org.uk… call me on +44 (0) 75757 35538… or visit my website (link below).

HABITS of London C.I.C website:


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