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2 February 2018

The Sanctuary Stakeholder event at the University of Northampton

Besides teaching Human Biosciences and working at the Competency Test Centre, Dr Margo Livingston has also been continuously giving back to the community. Her passion for helping the vulnerable came to light after she had an idea to set up The Sanctuary charity in Northampton which aims to help people overcome drug, alcohol or any other substance addictions. A while ago, our reporter Bruna Tomsic exclusively did a podcast with her where she talked about her idea in more detail, you can listen to it back here.

Now, a couple of months later, on 2 February, she held a stakeholder event at the University of Northampton to expand the Sanctuary UK charity. Healthcare professionals and lecturers all met up to develop ideas as to how The Sanctuary UK can become locally and nationally sustainable, as well as change the lives of many people for the better. Some of the attendees were the Dean of the Faculty of Health and Society, Steve O'Brien; the GP at Leicester Healthcare, David Smart; Change Grow Live Lead Nurse, Gwen Harding and many more.

The GP at Leicester Healthcare in Northampton, David Smart said:

„This will be an interesting opportunity to combine spirituality and healthcare.“

The charity is set to use the innovative method called the „Three Principles of: Universal Mind, Universal Consciousness and Universal Thought“ which Dr Margo discovered whilst learning about its founder, Sydney Banks, a Scottish welder who emigrated to Canada.

„As a Scientist, I feel sad that there are so many medical people are so classically trained that they don't actually see the other side. The Three Principles method is not greatly understood in the UK.“-mentioned Dr Margo.

The Dean, Steve O'Brien, added that this would be an interesting project for the University and Changemaker to get involved in, as well as to reach into the community, especially after moving to Waterside campus. It even opens up possibilities for changing the curriculum and having more emphasis on the well-being to be introduced in nursing modules.

Dr Margo mentioned that the understanding of those principles was a „spiritually enlightening“ experience. According to the author's book, it is believed that he subsequently helped thousands of people recover from mental health and life-challenging issues. The impact of his work has been recognised by some in the field of psychology and psychiatry as the new way of treating addictions: through recognising mental health problems first.

In basic terms, the theory helps addicts realise that their thoughts, not an illness, are the cause of their addictive behaviour and, that this understanding can actually help turn addicts away from using drugs, alcohol or any other substances. Dr Margo Livingston mentioned that this relatively-new method could actually be the most efficient, unlike any other traditional methods such as the 12-step programme (run by the NHS), cognitive and mindfulness-based therapies as well as positive psychology.

Even though the focus of the charity is mainly to help people overcome substance addictions, The Sanctuary UK is hoping that it will expand in the future and offer relationship and marriage advice, as well as mental health support for staff and students.

She is currently seeking for volunteers so please don't hesitate to contact her and make a difference.


Writing/photography by: Bruna Tomsic

The Sanctuary Event highlights - Unknown Artist
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