The 52 Project is the brain child of professional coaches Dulcie Swanston and Iain Price who wanted to combine their skills, knowledge and experience to create something positive in the midst of the Covid pandemic.
At the end of 2020, Dulcie had an idea – told Iain about it and the 52 Project was born. It was simple – share a science based wellbeing tip on Instagram every Friday throughout 2021 to help us all feel, work and generally be better. We’d got through 2020 and were heading rapidly towards more lockdowns – 10am on a Friday seemed the perfect time for a brew (more on that later) and an open invitation to join in so we could find out whether the tips really worked.
Top Right Thinking
Dulcie is a mum of five, writer, coach, speaker, trainer and fascinated by how our brains work – especially in business.
Think It Out
Iain is a coach, neuroscientist, trainer and mental health champion – fascinated about how people tick and how we can use our brains to release our greatness.
Whilst Dulcie and Iain brought their professional coaching skills, experience of mental health issues and the neuroscience to the project, they both knew that to make it happen, it needed a website – and they needed some help with the joys of Instagram Live. Dulcie and Jen had worked together before and over zoom (obviously…), Iain joined them to create a website that meant we could invite people to try the tips and let us know how they’d got on, as well as sharing the science behind each tip in more depth.
Having seen the first few tips and thought that they really weren’t for her, Jen thought she’d better show some solidarity and joined the Instagram Live for #tip7 – The Power of a Pint. She tried having a pint of water before she got up every day and really noticed the difference in how her brain was functioning and hasn’t missed a day since! From there she got more and more involved with the project, and you’ll find her ideas, writing and contributions to the #tips throughout the blogs and the book.
Dulcie describes Jen as “one of those interesting people” – who knows all sorts of people and has done all sorts of things. When she’s not building websites and creating user experiences, she’s a mentor for Small Business Britain and is known for her ability to bring communities together for good. Her own neurodiversity brings creativity and a very curious mind – she’s fascinated by how we can use our brains to help businesses thrive by looking after everyone involved.
Changing the world, one cup of tea at a time!
Fast forward through 2021 and we finished on with #tip52 – Pass it On on 31st December. With contributions gratefully received from friends and colleagues across the world, we’d explored, stacked, fact-checked and evidenced the science for 52 low (or no) cost tips that, much to our delight, we were being told by our testers, were making a real difference to their lives. Our Instagram lives had (most weeks) taken less time than it takes to make and have brew and hopefully our mission to change the world, one cup of tea at time was coming to fruition.
We’d always planned to turn The 52 Project into a book and we spent 2022 honing, editing, re-researching, referencing and tweaking the blog posts to make each tip as easy to understand as possible. Each tip is an invitation for you to give it a go – you don’t have to start with #tip1 (although you can see Dulcie thoroughly embracing it with some winter North Sea swimming with no wetsuit on our Instagram…) and although we’ve made some suggestions about which other #tips you could stack, it’s completely up to you!
Supporting the Big Issue Foundation
When we created The 52 Project we wanted it to do as much good as possible. Dulcie was already a long-time supporter of the Big Issue Foundation having been inspired byhearing Dr Sab Cohen Hatton on Desert Island Discs.
Dr Sab Cohen Hatton is the youngest of just six female fire chiefs in the UK. However at 15 she was homeless, sleeping rough in Newport whilst still attending school. Each day after school she would get the bus to Monmouth and sell The Big Issue in order to try to improve her life for herself. Improve herself she did, and she has subsequently risen through the ranks of the fire service and gained a PhD in behavioural neuroscience. She has also written a book – The Heat of the Moment – based on her thesis and Dulcie often uses this book in her coaching and public speaking activities.
We spent so much of 2020 and 2021 at home because of the pandemic – but as we created the tips each week from our own houses (which were doubling as schools, offices, broadcast hubs and pretty much everything else), we were mindful of what life must be like if you didn’t have a home to stay in. As part of our 52 Formula we offered a ‘pay’ option to our testers – an option to avoid trying a tip by making a donation to the Big Issue Foundation. We were able to make a donation at the end of 2021 and we’re continuing to support them with a donation from every sale of the book. If you’d like to make a donation now, just click on that big red button below.
How you can get involved:
Buy the book, watch the lives back on IGTV (try #tip13 if you find the one with Iain joining in from a carpark!), send us a message or a dm telling us how you’ve got on or just tag us on your socials trying a tip.
We’d love to bring The 52 Project to your workplace, charity, community group, educational setting and/or anywhere else you feel it could make a difference. We’d love to have a cup of tea and a chat about what we’re calling The 52 Live – and how we can bring it to life for you.
If you’d like to share any of the content on the site, please do so – just make sure you link back to us so people can find out more.
Changing the world one cup of tea and one good habit at a time? We hope so and we would love you to join us so that together we can make that happen!