Eggtooth give us the lowdown
Laura Dunton Clarke (left) and Sally Greig (right) are co-directors of Eggtooth, a local social enterprise focused on delivering creative therapeutic education programmes based in Hastings and St Leonards. They have run a successful crowdfunding campaign to renovate Hastings Old Town Hall, set to become their new home (or, as they call it, The Nest).
Caf Fean found out a little more about the folk behind Eggtooth.
1. What was the tastiest thing you ate during lockdown?
LC: I can’t quite remember but I think it had something to do with cheese.
SG: Local Fish and Chips my first lockdown takeaway in June.
2. What is your favourite egg-based snack?
LC: Scrambled egg with spinach and double cream (no bread).
SG: Boiled egg and soldiers.
3. Who is your favourite ever female?
LC: Michaela Coel.
SG: Kae Tempest.
4. If you could be an animal, what would you be, and why?
LC: A bear. Bears can be caring, are ferociously protective about things that matter and don’t take any shit. They can also be warm and quite nurturing.
SG: A Red Kite – They were almost extinct, so, in 1990, 13 red kites were flown by British Airways from Spain to the UK. Thirty years on, nearly 2,000 breeding pairs of red kites soar over virtually every English county, in what has been hailed as one of the most successful reintroduction projects in the world.
5. What is your greatest achievement?
LC: Being a mother to Ella but also in the broadest sense of feeling like a mum. I am a step-mum and am proud of our blended family. Families are hard to create and I love ours. Eggtooth is a bit like another child too. Also, qualifying in Psychotherapy.
SG: My three sons and Eggtooth.
6. What is your biggest fear?
LC: My blind spots… and missing people off lists!
SG: Flying and Falling.
7. Where would you most like to be this Christmas?
LC: Somewhere hot.
SG: At home in Hastings with my family.
8. What was the first album you bought?
LC: The Muppet Show Greatest Hits – I was seven years old.
SG: Kings of the Wild Frontier – Adam Ant.
9. What is your passion/guilty pleasure
LC: I love those programmes on Netflix, where they spring a wedding on someone unexpectedly – Say I do or Love is blind – they’re awful but I can’t get enough of them!
SG: A place in the Sun (TV programme) and watching live Football.
10. How can Hastings be more ‘down with the kids?’
LC: It doesn’t need to be. There’s always a real pull for adults to try to do this, but young people don’t want you to be ‘more down with them’. They want to differentiate. They’re fine with their own age group. If anything, they’d say: “Don’t get down with us!”
SG: Stop with the mosquito alarms (high-frequency alarms, some
of which only young people can hear, designed to disperse loitering crowds – controversial, as they are deemed by some to
be contravening basic human rights).
11. What most excites you about the new space at the Old Town Hall?
LC: All of it! Converting that space into something that people can be in every day. We have ideas on citing! People coming in and offering their skills, it’ll be a magnet.
SG: That you can get a coffee, have some lunch, have a natter, watch a gig, drink lots of wonderful drinks that you will remember; and have access to fabulous mental health therapists and creative practitioners all under one very old, but newly fixed, roof!
12. What’s your favourite mocktail?
LC: Ha ! I’ve never had one! Though if I did, I’d have something that resembles a Mojito or a Baileys perhaps.
SG: Orange Juice and Lemonade – that’s the extent of my mocktail knowledge. So, I’m really looking forward to the Sober Sommelier being in the Nest to introduce me to many more exciting combinations.
13. What are the biggest issues facing young people today?
LC: Uncertainty; identity; relationships; where to fit in and belong.
SG: Job market, mental health and wellbeing, ridiculously unobtainable body images fed to them via media and via photo manipulation Apps.
14. Where would you suggest a young person struggling with mental health issues should go, as a first port of call?
LC: It depends upon the severity – if someone is feeling very unwell and have for some time, and are considering harming themselves or others, then they should talk to their parent or carer if they can and to their GP, ASAP; If someone hasn’t found the support they need then contact Eggtooth. You can email us or visit our website and self-refer.
SG: If you can’t talk to a parent/carer or family member or friend, then there should always be someone at school or college that has a mental health remit. Failing that, The Young Minds website or Google ‘I need help with my mental health’ and say what town you live in.
15. What message would you like to pass on to parents or carers reading this?
LC: It is extremely hard to really, really listen. It’s something you have to learn – we have our own preconceived ideas about who our children are and what they want which can be really unhelpful. So maybe don’t speak – just listen!
SG: Spend as much time as is feasibly possible with your children without annoying them… Parenting is a tough gig but one of the best.
16. Where do you see Eggtooth going in the next 5 years?
LC: My wish would be to have created a community-owned space in the truest possible sense. Also to see psychoeducational* programmes delivered there and in schools and organisations. I’d like us to be part of changing the narrative around mental health and therapy as not separate from, but a part of, education, health, creativity and community.
SG: Working with the NHS as a referral route for mental health support.
Developing our training offer so we can share our ethos and methodology.
Making sure the Nest is sustainable, useful and a wonderful place to hang out!
17. If you could be Prime Minister, what things would you change and in what order?
LC: I’d change the political system – I’d start there, get the corporates out of it and ban elitism. Then I’d have a cup of tea and think about what to do next.
SG: Reinvention and trans-formation of the Education system. Invest heavily in the NHS, Social and mental health services and close the House of Lords.
18. What colour do you wear most often?
LC: I want to say black, but today I’m in blue.
19. What is your star sign? Are you typical of it?
LC: I’m a Cancerian, not that I really believe in it really… I do like to cherry pick of course! I take the parts of the characteristics I like, and say “oh yes, that’s so me”.
SG: Pisces. Derren Brown recently convinced a number of different people that he could accurately describe their personality traits. They were all utterly overwhelmed by their private personal readings until he revealed that, of course, they were in fact identical. Astrology is an art of language and should be treated as entertainment, similar to stage-hypnotists or illusionists; no more, no less.
20. Who was your best friend at school and are you still friends now?
LC: I moved around a lot, but age 16 I joined a youth theatre and found my tribe. School wasn’t great, but life got better after. I met my best mate, John, at youth theatre, and we’re still best mates all these years later.
SG: My best friend was Elizabeth from Primary school, we are friends on Facebook… does that count?
*Psychoeducation refers to the process of providing education and information to those seeking or receiving mental health services, such as people diagnosed with mental health conditions (or life-threatening/terminal illnesses) and their family members. (source: goodtherapy.org)
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