More Human Spotlight: Shaka, Community Wellbeing Manager at The Health Tree (St Margaret's House)
'The ethos of More Human aligns very much with the ethos of this project - that people matter and real connections make communities.'
Shaka runs the events program for The Health Tree, a brand new Wellbeing branch of the East London venue St Margaret's House. She wants to be able to list classes for her hosts but also allow them to keep an eye on attendee numbers and ticket revenue for their own events. More Human has the flexibility to help leaders like Shaka relinquish control over easy tasks her hosts can do themselves but maintain an eagle eye over the program as a whole.
Shaka's favourite More Human features:
The ability to easily delegate to hosts who can manage their own activities through the platform.
The calendar where she has visibility of all the bookings made by her hosts.
More Human What made you start The Health Tree?
Shaka Originally when I starting working at St Margaret's House I was managing the Yoganest, which was our yoga studio and wellbeing program at SMH. After the pandemic, we sadly were unable to continue with that project and The Health Tree was born. Starting from a meeting in September 2020, brainstorming ideas about what a wellbeing program might look like the inspiration was to create a wellbeing program that was synonymous with affordable health in the heart of Bethnal Green that is holistic and speaks to all parts of our wellbeing - physical, mental, emotional and energetic.
More Human Had you ever organised/done anything like that before?
Shaka I have been involved organising events and managing wellbeing programs before but I have never created a whole program from nothing and seen it through to conception. I've learnt so much and am incredibly proud of what we have achieved so far, despite the challenging circumstances of the pandemic. There is so much more for us to offer and I'd love for The Health Tree to continue to expand and grow. I'm highly ambitious and my vision is that The Health Tree will be a legacy project that will pave the way for many more projects like it.
More Human How has the pandemic changed what you do /offer?
Shaka Before we predominantly only offered yoga, which was an incredibly rich program however, after the pandemic The Health Tree has invited us to expand our offering into something more varied and holistic. We now offer yoga, pilates, fitness, acupuncture, massage, art therapy and T'ai Chi as well as nutrition and mindfulness!
More Human What do you think will be the biggest learning you'll take away from the way the pandemic has affected The Health Tree?
Shaka I think the biggest lesson of the pandemic is that we could all do with slowing down a bit and looking after our health and the environment. Also, that our wellbeing is multifaceted and interconnected within the communities within which we reside and with nature. Time, space, nature, rest, healthful food and connection can often be seen as luxuries but they shouldn't be - our happiness and ability to thrive depends on it.
More Human Why did you choose to work with More Human?
Shaka Because the ethos of MH aligns very much with ethos of this project - that people matter and real connections make communities. Community is what gives us a sense of belonging and can offer us support as we navigate the vicissitudes of life.
More Human What would you say makes an event 'more human' for an attendee?
That an event is not 'faceless'. That you are able to see who is hosting, connect and communicate with the host if need be and also, preferably for the event to be in person. Although the pandemic has made this difficult and we have all learned to adapt and use technology to stay connected, I still think in-person is where the magic happens and we should endeavour to be with one another where possible.
More Human If you could do any activity with any person, what would you do and with who?
I would do a spa day in the country with my bestie. We'd get pampered and relaxed and enjoy nature. Then we'd eat lovely food and watch the stars before bed.
Any words of wisdom for budding Shaka's?
Shaka My words of wisdom to anyone would be to follow your heart and listen when passion calls. We all have things, no matter how big or small, that make us excited and curious. When we follow that over the course of time we end up building a life that is aligned and deeply fulfilling. Particularly if you are in a position to help others, be creative or serve the world in some way. I believe there is no small amount of impact that is insignificant, we all have an important role to play and important gift to offer. Lastly, I'd say a smile costs nothing and you might make someone's day, so smile often.