On Wednesday 1st December, City Lit Fellow Ruby Wax OBE officially opened the City Lit Wellbeing Centre in Covent Garden. Comedian, mental health campaigner and best-selling author Ruby Wax joined students, staff and special guests to cut the celebratory ribbon and formally declared the centre open, as part of the grand opening event.
The event also included an ‘in conversation’ between City Lit Principal Mark Malcomson CBE and Ruby Wax. They discussed her latest book A Mindfulness Guide for Survival. A guide filled with exercises and information for when you’re suddenly forced to confront the hard truths or as Ruby likes to call them the BIG SIX realities – difficult emotions, uncertainty, loneliness, change, dissatisfaction, and death. The conversation was followed by a book signing in Gallery & Exhibition Space in Keeley Street. Ruby also met with students as she visited a number of classes in the Wellbeing Centre.
On opening the Centre, Ruby Wax said: ‘It is a great honour to be a City Lit Lifetime Fellow and to officially open the new Wellbeing Centre. If I had to start over again I would study art, history and Greek mythology at City Lit, and I would encourage everyone to take advantage of the many courses on offer.’
Mark Malcomson CBE, City Lit Principal and CEO, added: ‘We are delighted to have our dear friend and Fellow Ruby Wax opening our new Wellbeing Centre. Ruby has been a great advocate for mental health and a regular visitor and supporter of the College, and our Mental Wealth Festival, for many years so we couldn’t think of a better person to cut the celebratory ribbon today.’
The Wellbeing Centre is located on Kean Street, a stone’s throw from our main building on Keeley Street in Covent Garden. The centre has been designed for the delivery of their well-being and counselling courses, providing bespoke, well-equipped, high quality studios, classrooms, and spaces to facilitate professional training in counselling, massage, complementary therapies and more.
Alan Billington, Head of Health and Wellbeing at City Lit, said: ‘We are proud to officially open our new Wellbeing Centre today, offering professional training in massage therapies, sports massage, counselling, aromatherapy, Reiki healing, facial skincare, and more.
‘The recent pandemic has made us all more aware of our health and wellbeing. For many, it provided time to reflect on our lives, careers and work-life balance. At the same time, the effects of the pandemic increased demand for wellbeing services. Now more than ever, we recognise the importance talking therapies, massage and complimentary therapies to support us in maintaining our physical and mental health.’
Tamikah Andrew-Thomas, Head of Psychology and Counselling at City Lit, added: ‘The Wellbeing Centre is a fantastic addition to City Lit and will offer all Londoners the opportunity to try something new or develop professional skills and knowledge to change career and enter professions within the Health and Wellbeing Industries. Our students have gone on to work as self-employed counsellors and therapists, set up clinics or practices, or find employment with high profile organisations and charities including Urban Massage, the NHS, and the Stress Project.’