[Blog post from YogaMatters Studio of the Month dated 23 Oct 2020]
Core Clapton is more than just a yoga studio! As a charity, osteopath clinic, event space and community space, at Yogamatters we love everything they stand for. After hosting our Urban Retreat with Ekhart Yoga last year at Core, we were excited to be back and use the gorgeous main hall for a photoshoot recently. We had a chat with Core’s founder and CEO, Danny Orchard, about what Core is all about. Read on to learn more about Core and have a sneak peak at the beautiful images from the Yogamatters and Gossypium shoot.
Tell us all about what Core Clapton is and what you stand for?
Core Clapton is a charity and was set up in 2017 with the aim of making osteopathy and wellness accessible to everyone no matter their income. Core stands for the Centre for Osteopathic Research and Excellence, which hints at our secondary aim, which is to study the positive effect osteopathy can have on people’s lives, especially those suffering from chronic pain. Ultimately, we believe everyone has the right to a pain-free life and we want to make osteopathy accessible to all.
Rather than rely on grants and donations (which we gratefully accept) our business model is based on charging normal high street prices for osteopathy, therapies and classes to those that can afford it, and renting out our beautiful event space, to subsidise the cost of wellness for people on low income and universal credit.
Creating Core Clapton, what was your vision and has this come to light?
I came up with the idea whilst working for Goldman Sachs as their in-house osteopath. The employees would crawl down to me from their desks and I would treat them and allow them to get straight back to work. But at the same time the NHS refused to employ osteopaths as there was a belief that most pain resolves spontaneously if given time. This seemed strange to me as chronic pain has been increasing exponentially over the last few decades and is now as high as 1 in 3 of the adult population. And if Goldmans saw the benefit of using osteopathy to get their staff back to work quickly then why shouldn’t those that need it most, the underfunded sectors of our community, have the same opportunity. It was thanks to the backing of one of my patients, Bobby Vedral, who was a Partner back then, who gave the first seed funding to help set up the charity. Three years on and we have now seen over 2,000 patients, 50% of them subsidised by our ‘Robin Hood’ model of pricing. We are now also getting more referrals from the local GPs and Social Prescribers who see osteopathy as a way to get people off painkillers and get them back to the things they enjoy.
We know that core is far more than a yoga studio, how do you help your local community?
As well as yoga and pilates we also run some really interesting classes for the local community. Social Singing on a Friday is great as it brings together an intergenerational group of people to improve their well-being through group singing. But the main way we help the community is by trying to reduce the burden of chronic pain, one patient at a time, and showing the medical establishment that so-called complementary treatments can be seriously life changing at times.
We absolutely love your bright and versatile studio space upstairs, what do you love most about the space?
My favourite aspect is the beautiful Edwardian, barrel-vaulted ceiling which really accentuates the space and brings out the amazing light from all the original sash windows. Everyone is always so surprised when they step off the street and enter the main hall. People literally don’t expect to see such an amazing space in the depths of Hackney.
Core Clapton is a registered charity, and we know you do incredible work, how can others best contribute and support you?
Simply by using our services, be it for osteopathy, wellness or hiring our space for a photoshoot you can help fund our charity and allow us to support those less fortunate. We’d also massively appreciate donations of any size which would go directly towards helping us continue to provide our services. You can visit our JustGiving page to find out more here.
What is your vision for the future?
My vision for Core is to see it become the go-to place for wellness in East London. And to see osteopathy on the NHS throughout the country.