Meet Lorett: Our community JU:MP Connector
07 June 2022
Lorett joined the JU:MP team as a JU:MP Connector, after helping to run a Bradford enterprise ‘Creative Flare’. The JU:MP connector programme is designed to engage children and families, and to build strong connections between local organisations, the environment and the community, to develop sustainable physical activity within local neighbourhoods.
Here she tells us about the journey that led her to JU:MP, what inspired her to apply for the role and her aspirations for the Bradford community.
Tell us a bit about your background
“I’ve got two children and I moved to Allerton about ten years ago. I helped to set up Creative Flare alongside my friend Rozina (now also a fellow JU:MP Connector). Creative Flare was set up to help support women, build their confidence, resilience and self-esteem and importantly to learn new skills that are transferrable across any workforce. We did this through the delivery of fun and educational workshops ranging from beauty therapy, well-being and recycling to sewing. After Creative Flare, we also set up a parent group that was all about helping people. I was particularly proud of this! It was about supporting families as a whole and I could really sink my teeth into it.
When the JU:MP Connector role came up it felt like a sign. The journey that had led me from Creative Flare, to setting up the Bradford parent group, had then led me to be a JU:MP Connector. It fit perfectly and was the definitely the right next step.”
What inspired you to apply for the JU:MP Connector role?
“My role as a practitioner within Creative Flare gave me a really good grounding for helping parents and families. We would take them out in the local community and go on walks together. The educational workshops we ran naturally started to transition from art classes and beauty therapy to more physically active sessions which felt great! When the JU:MP role came up I thought ‘this is perfect!’ It was the role I had started to natural move into and it would be a fantastic next step in terms of personal development and growth.
I would still get to help people and it was lovely to know that I’d still get to work alongside Rozina – it was perfect for us both. The reward of simply helping people has kept me going for years – it’s a lifesaver.”
Can you say a little about your connection to the JU:MP neighbourhood where you work out in the community?
“I went to school in Allerton years ago and I came back when I had children. I found out about the neighbourhood parent group and the support I could get living in the area and this was really important to me – to feel like I live in an open and supportive neighbourhood.
I had the confidence through the support group and helping to set up Creative Flare to pursue a qualification as a teacher – something I never thought I would do! It felt like I’d found my niche.”
What do you enjoy most?
“I really enjoy helping people get out and about a bit more, be more active, play and have fun. I’m also doing this myself! My daughter isn’t very active, so it’s lovely for her to see me doing this role and to learn the importance of movement and play.
I also love to learn and meet new people, so it’ll be lovely to get out in the community and build those strong personal relationships with Bradford families. I love working in the nitty gritty of everything, right in the heart of communities. It’s so interesting to listen to our families and see how we can help them to be more active, feel more confident and content.”
What do you find are the main challenges?
“The mental health of people does worry me to be honest. I personally know some people who have found it very difficult and are suffering from things like depression – it’s really hard to see. I think this is a real challenge. There are a lot of anxious, unhappy people out there and this is why it’s so important to create meaningful relationships, to listen, engage and try to find positive solutions to barriers.”
Educating people about mental health and physical exercise can be challenging, but I feel it’s also one of the most important parts of the role. Mental health and physical health go hand in hand, and I think by speaking to individuals in the community one on one, we can find innovative ways to personalise ‘how to be active’ to them.
For example, some people see being active and play negatively, this could be from bad memories at school such as sports days. Some people don’t want to be competitive and they’d rather take part in community play, but others love to be competitive which is where more vigorous exercise can come in. A key challenge will be to educate our Bradford communities, to support them in building up their confidence and resilience, both physically and mentally.
If I can help one person to find some happiness and enjoyment through a programme like JU:MP then I’ll be over the moon! It’s lovely to make a difference to people’s lives and to feel proud of their achievements – I can’t wait to take on more challenges!”