The Breathe Project

The Breathe Project UK is the social enterprise wing of No More Shoulds, with a mission to make talking therapy accessible to all those who need it when they need it.

The challenge

For a myriad of reasons, so well explained here by The Blurt Foundation,  it can be so hard to ask for help when struggling with negative thoughts and low mood. The very act of reaching out to a family member or your GP can be a huge step. So when you’ve made that step and asked for help, it can feel distressing/humiliating/exasperating/exhausting to then simply be put on a waiting list.

In 2018, the British Medical Association warned of waiting lists of a minimum of 6 months for talking therapies for low-risk mental health challenges and even longer for more serious conditions. The alternative? Paying for private therapy – which is fine if you have the financial means, but what if you don’t? The door is closed, and few private practices offer a way in.

The Breathe Project UK

The Breathe Project UK was conceived as the first step in a mission to make a quota of pro bono talking therapy standard practice for private therapy. In short, to help a bit.

How can you support?

Buy a t-shirt or sweater from the Inner Child ‘Breathe’ range.

Inner Child is a social enterprise clothing line, profits from which fund the Breathe Project. A portion from the sale of every garment directly funds a private talking therapy session for someone who has plucked up the courage to ask for help, who desperately needs to make that next step, but simply can’t afford to pay for treatment. Working with local clinics, talking sessions and assessments are funded either via a silent benefactor donation or a more formal subsidisation arrangement.

Not only do the garments help others, they also provide a little bit of peace for the wearer. Each piece marks a point over the heart and over the belly – two places where we hold emotion – and encourages the wearer to simply connect with the present moment and breathe, to find a little bit of calm.

So far we have funded over 10 private therapy sessions anonymously through Oxford CBT and You Can Be among other practitioners.

If you are a therapist or clinic, can you donate some time?

The Breathe Project UK will donate funds to subsidise, match time donated for free or fully fund private therapy sessions to allow those in need to access support more quickly than NHS waiting times permit. If you are a private therapist or clinic, and would like to talk about partnering with The Breathe Project UK, I would love to talk. Please send me an email at