Elephants & Anxiety Book

Umbrella CIC

Project Status | Completed

Commissioned by Umbrella CIC for The Big Lottery Fund, The concept of the project was to create a product by people who have learnt to manage their anxiety for those people who as yet, cant. Working with 10 women in Blackpool who had a diagnosis of acute anxiety & depression, We put the kettle on, debated, talked, told stories and slowly formed the concept of the book.

What was lovely about this project was my own learning. This group of ladies taught me that it was no good trying to deliver in-depth analytical concepts, long stories, complicated rituals and self-development no matter how impressive it was produced. What I learnt was that during acute anxiety attacks a person is unable to focus or retain information that isn't bite-size. So, as a result, we produced a pocket-sized book full of simple mantras, breathing techniques and simple control techniques that had proven their value to all the ladies involved., People are on the borderline of panic and as such loud, simple, firm affirmations and solutions are required. 

What started out as an idea to produce a rich book of personal story and tips for overcoming anxiety, quickly transformed into a pocket-size anxiety attack survival manual. We produced 1000 of these pocket-sized books and distributed them to both individuals and community organisations. We also received a high volume of requests from psychotherapists, counsellors and social workers for these, far more than we had a budget to produce. 

What I found was beautiful, There is so much skill, talent, stories, inspirational role models and compassionate passionate people in our communities who do not get the recognition and celebration that they truly as individuals and groups deserve. Community Glue was a reaction and action to that.

The project took 6 months to complete but by its end, we had together produced a high quality 52-page community magazine filled with both personal story of recovery and overcoming whilst simultaneously promoting the good things happening at the grassroots level of Blackpool. Over 200 people took part in the project from 24 grassroots groups. We printed 5000 copies of this magazine to distribute across Blackpool & The Fylde coast (UK).

A reprint of this book was produced and I sold it via my Amazon Authors Page on Amazon (obviously) at a cost that recovered the outlay and produced enough revenue to pay the printing costs of producing free copies to distribute locally. I retired the book in November 2018 with a plan to revise this and reprint a more up to date copy in 2019 or 2020. So far between 2017 and 2018 Elephants and Anxiety has performed as follows;-

  • 1,000 free pocked books distributed across Blackpool

  • 1,400 copies sold on Amazon

  • 1,200 copies distributed across the UK (paid for by Amazon Profits)

  • 5,600 Digital Free Mobile Pocket Book has been downloaded 

Kane Dodgson


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