Site Title

What is Being on Purpose?

Being On Purpose is a small charity that has been set up to support people in transition (e.g. from custody to the community, from substance misuse to recovery and beyond) who want to make the positive changes necessary to develop the motivation, confidence, skills and self-esteem so that they are able to move forward with optimism and hope. The courses weave together a number of complementary themes using the learning from positive psychology and applied neuroscience to build emotional resilience, alongside the practice of mindfulness to sustain recovery. There is a growing body of evidence from the research into desistance and recovery highlighting the usefulness of these approaches.

The Being on Purpose Courses

We offer the following courses:

  • Resilience for Recovery - a one day/two half day course for staff and volunteers that explores what personal resilience is and why we need it. It also offers practical advice on ways of developing the skills needed to bounce back when life knocks us down.

  • Being on Purpose - an eight week programme that combines group work with individual life coaching sessions. It is designed to provide an opportunity to clarify life goals and to develop resourceful states to support moving forward with a positive mindset.

  • Mindfulness for Recovery - this course focuses on teaching practices that support recovery, enabling participants to better understand, tolerate and deal with thoughts, emotions and feelings, to alter habitual responses and to develop effective self compassion.

  • Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention - this programme integrates mindfulness practices with traditional relapse prevention approaches. It is best suited to individuals who are stable in their recovery and wish to develop a lifestyle that supports their well-being. The programme was developed by Sarah Bowen, Neha Chawla and the late Alan Marlatt of the Addictive Behaviour Research Centre at the University of Washington in consultation with Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Who are Being on Purpose?

Being On Purpose training courses are delivered by Melva Burton and Jill Shepherd who both have adult teaching qualifications.

Melva Burton

Jill Shepherd

Melva Burton, the founder of Being on Purpose and programme lead, is a coach and trainer with thirty years experience in criminal justice in both the statutory and voluntary sectors. Melva was a 2013/14 Butler Trust award winner. She trained to deliver the Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention programme with Sarah Bowen, one of the programme's founders, and Devin Ashwood from Action on Addiction and she has also undertaken teacher training with the Mindfulness Association. She is currently a student on the MSc in Studies in Mindfulness at the University of Aberdeen.

Jill Shepherd has been a trainer and educator in the voluntary sector for over thirty years and a mindfulness practitioner for over twenty years. She recently completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Studies in Mindfulness from Aberdeen University and has completed two levels of the Breathworks teacher training.

The Being on Purpose board members are Helen McFarlane, Sarah Wilkins, Jill Shepherd, Kirsten Antoncich and Elaine Ball. Together they have experience of working in the fields of criminal justice, education, humanistic psychology and coaching.

We are determined for change

For more information contact 07962 185 691

Registered Charity No. 1152663