Inspired by the urban trend of uplifting and enriching social event spaces, life coach Darren Brady explains why he decided to invent Soulful Sunday Sessions, a weekly Sunday morning event for gay and bi men as an alternative to the hangovers many of us have become accustomed to.
I set the group up because lots of people I knew, myself included, wanted to experience a different kind of weekend to the crazy ones we had got used to. But there seemed very little to do on a Sunday morning when most people are in bed or recovering from the night before. So last year I trialled the idea of a Sunday gathering and it proved very popular – people came from all over and kept coming back. At a time when social media and internet platforms dominate, people have started to look for a more direct and human way of connecting.
In 2005 I retrained as a life coach. As well as setting up my coaching practice I also founded The Quest for Gay Men with my friend Ade Adeniji and we have been working with groups ever since providing personal development programmes. It has really opened up my eyes to the root causes of many of our issues.
Soulful Sunday Sessions are uplifting and very friendly. We explore a new theme each week which I also talk about from my own personal experience. There is always an interesting activity we will do as a group and at the end of the session guys have an opportunity to commit to doing something during the following week that would make a difference in their lives. There is social time in the break and most of the guys go off for Sunday lunch after because they enjoy the sense of connection so much. The session is always facilitated by either me or another qualified facilitator, so everyone is in good hands.
We offer a very welcoming space for anyone and every week there are new people coming along, so everyone feels included. It’s intended as a ‘drop in’ so people can come and go as they please – there’s no need to attend every week. People don’t need to bring anything other than their curiosity and some positive energy. It is a space for people to experience something very new and different. After a session, guys leave feeling energised, optimistic and ready to face the world. I know that sounds grand, but it’s true. By listening, sharing and staying curious the group creates a wonderful atmosphere. Positivity and connection is contagious and the sessions generate that. Plus people get to meet and make friends on a very connected level.
To keep informed, find us on Meetup.com under The Quest for Gay Men; join to find out all relevant information. Otherwise guys can just turn up on the day. Doors open 10am, we start at 10.30am and we finish at 12.30pm. It’s £15 on the door or FREE if you bring a friend.