2022 Reflections With Adam Ballard and Ben Eckett
As 2022 draws to a close, we sat down with Urban Yogi’s UK and Gloves Not Gunz founders and directors, Adam Ballard and Ben Eckett to talk reflections and lessons, and what we can expect in 2023.
Talk us through how this year has been for Urban Yogi’s UK and Gloves Not Gunz?
Ben: This year has been a year of positivity and growth for us. We’ve seen some of our contracts extended with councils and local authorities and we’ve received new funding which has been great after having a difficult year in 2021. In 2022 we have expanded our services in schools, implemented and developed new systems, and built structure and consistency within the team and organisation.
Adam: 2022 has been the year I was able to take my role full-time, which has been a huge relief. Taking the leap has been the best thing as before I was struggling to juggle everything. Now, I’ve got more time to develop and grow the organisation. There are moments in life when you’ve got to just throw caution to the wind and thankfully this has worked out.
How have the Urban Yogi’s UK and Gloves Not Gunz teams developed over the past 12-months?
Ben: This year we decided to get Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s together which we’ve never done before so it’s been really nice to see how both organisations can help each other. We’ve also hired new people who have proven to be great additions to the teams.
Adam: We’ve continued to employ young people which is personally one of my favourite things we get to do, as we can offer them an opportunity they may not get elsewhere.
What have been some of the challenges that you’ve faced this year?
Adam: One of the challenges we’ve faced has been engaging with other community groups in Croydon and some of the politics in the work we do.
Ben: The challenges and politics can make you feel frustrated and angry, but you have to realise that it’s not worth it and we just need to focus on what we’re doing.
Where would you like Urban Yogi’s UK and Gloves Not Gunz to be this time next year?
Ben: In 2023 we’re really focusing on expansion – expanding both the team and our services and programmes. We’ve got some really exciting things in the pipeline that we can’t wait to roll out and we’re looking forward to continuing to change young people’s lives.
Adam: Yes, we definitely want to expand across the country too, with the plan to perhaps go international as well. We’ve got big plans for the next year, which is exciting.
What three words sum up 2022 for you?
Both: Progressive, Innovative and Reflective
2022 has been another successful and transformative year for Urban Yogi’s UK and Gloves Not Gunz. We’d like to thank everyone who has used our services, attended our programmes, supported us, and worked with us to inspire and create positive change. We look forward to 2023 and another year of success with our team, young people, partners, sponsors, and ambassadors.
We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s UK!