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Photo Credit: Nicol Marquis (Shooting My Journey), Dareographer

At least one third of adults in the UK experience body confidence issues at some point in their lives


Why we work

  • A staggering 80% of British women do not feel body confident
  • 9/10 women will opt out of important activities such as engaging with friends or loved ones
  • 9/10 will stop themselves from eating or put their health at risk
  • 5/10 have not been assertive in their opinions or opt out of a decision

In fact the Dove report 2017 now classes body image as a critical issue across the world. Eating disorders among men are now growing at the same rate as women according to NHS figures.

Read more on this article 

The Minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson, commissioned the latest Gov.UK report to help understand the extent of the UK’s body image problem. She said: “the evidence from academic experts shows that poor body confidence doesn’t just affect how people feel about their looks. It can have a devastating effect on many aspects of their lives, from achieving at school to succeeding in the workplace - and at worst can lead to depression and self-harm".

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Project Dare exemplifies South London’s Lambeth Living Well Collaborative (and the wider Living Well Network) ethos to address people issues in the community, with their GP or groups/activities that help them to become more resilient; the aim to meet the Collaborative's big 3 outcomes:
  • To recover and stay well
  • To make their own choices
  • Participate on an equal footing in daily life
Project Dare is represented at the Living Well Network's Open Morning/event, held on the last Thursday of the month, at the Living Well Partnership, hosted by Mosaic (at 65 Effra Road, Brixton). It's about people living their lives to the full, while working creatively to prevent people reaching crisis point when they may need the support of secondary care. A mental health bed costs approximately £450 a day, while Project Dare workshops (full Dare Sessions) cost £420 per person for twelve weeks. "It's cost effective and has a proven track record of restoring people's self esteem" says Ursula Joy (founder). Project Dare offers a myriad of routes to clients, the community and professionalsClients can use their personal budgets or other types of funding to pay for their place on a course. If people are unemployed they can be referred by their GP or charities or if they are not receiving support from their local health authority.
Article by Karen Hooper, Journalist

What else is making the news headlines?

There are a lot of news articles being published around how body confidence issues are affecting people's lives - an increasing indication that a course like Project Dare is a necessary service to help boost confidence, change mind-sets and bolster self-compassion. See some of these headlines below:

Shocking number of women have negative body thoughts daily:

"You are a fat, worthless pig". "You're too thin. No man is ever going to want you".

Huffington Post


Consumer Culture feeding body image anxieties:

I was ugly and unacceptable, it was like that’s my lot in life".

RT Question More


Eating disorders in men are being over-looked:

One man said he thought eating disorders only affected "fragile teenage girls"; another said he thought eating disorders were "something girls got"; while one was told by his doctor to "man up".



Binge eating disorders at all time high:

Binge eaters believe they have absolutely no control over their eating. After a bout of binge eating the person feels disgust and guilt. This feeling of failed self may form part of an underlying problem, such as anxiety or depression - both can either cause or exacerbate the disorder.

Medical News Today


Poor body image makes girls less assertive and risks health, study finds:

Majority of those dissatisfied with their figure will skip meals and avoid friends, the doctor and clubs, says global beauty report

The Guardian


GPs struggling to tackle weight loss issues with patients:

Almost half of GPs have said they struggle with making interventions on patients’ diets, and have said a lack of will to tackle the problems in the food industry undermines efforts by the health service. A Pulse survey of almost 600 GPs found that discussing steps to help patients lose weight were among the most difficult for GPs, with 45% highlighting diet as an issue and 35% saying that discussing physical exercise posed a problem.

Pulse: At the heart of general practise


Elderly struck by epidemic of body image and eating disorders:

A growing number of older British people – including those in their 70s and 80s – are suffering from low self-esteem and anxieties relating to body image.

The Guardian


Project Dare is inspired by renowned practitioners and refined techniques

Each unique class methodology draws from extensive research that using arts based approaches are beneficial for both physical and mental health. It is designed with learning styles in mind, catering for an exceptional experience which ever way you learn best but also leverages the power of group learning.  Each session is carefully created from a ‘person-centered’ perspective, crafted to be effective on various levels harnessing ideas of play, games, discussion, movement, improvisation, acting, dance and lots more. We use the work of Brazilian theatre practitioner Augusto Boal who famously created the “theatre of the oppressed”. We take inspiration from Boal to run games and activities that explore images, stories and how to fight oppression.

Social impact

Project Dare inspires by setting participants ‘dares’ to do each day, which help build resilience. When individuals are inspired they can live full lives, both mentally and physically. For the most marginalised, being able to nurture a positive body image and positive mind gives people confidence to access health services and education, to become more sociable and reconnect to their community and job opportunities.

Making a positive social impact and creating community value is our central purpose. Body image issues are on the rise and whilst the female population 25-39 years of age are feeling the brunt of the issue, body issues do not discriminate effecting men, young boys, girls and the elderly. We monitor the well-being of all our participants.

Take a look at out social impact report: Social Impact Report