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Project Lovebomb

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Hi, my name’s Emily :)

I’m raising money for Project Lovebomb, a project I’m running that helps to raise awareness of the red flags of abuse - such as “lovebombing” - to help prevent people getting sucked into toxic relationships and increase general awareness and understanding about abusive relationships. The project will also provide workshops for abuse survivors.

This project derives from personal experience of being lovebombed into an abusive relationship and wanting to prevent others from going through what I did, but approaching it from a way where I can also help to spread a little joy and positivity.

This is such a heavy topic that makes some want to avoid looking at it (until you’re forced to because it's too late and you ended up in one), but this project makes it more palatable to engage with by also celebrating and actively facilitating real appreciation and connections, reclaiming the idea of “lovebombing” in doing so.

(For those not familiar with the term “lovebombing” it is a manipulation tactic used to groom someone into an abusive relationship by flooding them with fake and grandiose displays of “love” including constant contact, compliments and big declarations that make it harder to leave once the abuse starts).


1. The workshops
The workshops for abuse survivors will run at women’s charity Whisc (in Liverpool) and be cofacilitated by myself and Whisc staff trained in working with abuse survivors. These involve some craft therapy, support, guidance and signposting aswell as a chance to share experiences in a safe space and meet other people who have been through something similar. Survivors can find themselves quite alone after exiting an abusive relationship (or whilst in the midst of one).

The crafting element will involve making “lovebombs” which are appreciation packages to send to loved ones that also contain information about the origins of Project Lovebomb and what lovebombing is to help spread awareness as a side benefit to first showing appreciation.

Photo: a lovebomb

The act of crafting is a mindful activity that can help bring people out of their heads and into the present moment. Furthermore, the focus of the crafting in these workshops is on making something that will brighten the day of someone they care about, which again gets them out of their head and focussing on something more positive and on real connections. And the fact their lovebomb will contribute to raising awareness about lovebombing and abuse will help participants feel like they are doing something productive about what just happened to them.

Photo: handmade positive affirmation banners that go in the lovebombs

2. The awareness raising campaign (or “appreciation campaign”)
With the awareness raising campaign I am trying to reach people who might never of heard of things like “lovebombing” or who may not have much understanding of emotional abuse - or to reach people who may even be in an emotionally abusive relationship but not realise it though lack of knowledge about how these types of relationships operate. Because anyone can be taken in by lovebombing and/or find themselves in an abusive relationship and prevention is better than cure.

With this in mind, rather than go with a campaign that was too direct and heavy in its approach - which people might avoid engaging with or think doesn't apply to them - I chose a route that would be more uplifting and engaging in its initial encounter; that would get people talking and that people would want to interact with and share on social media and that would ultimately bring them back to the project instagram, which houses information on topics such as “what is lovebombing?” and sign posts to resources for support.

This takes the form of an “appreciation campaign”. I went with the idea of an appreciation campaign as I wanted to reclaim the idea of lovebombing, facilitating genuine expressions of appreciation and genuine connections (since lovebombing is about accelerating a false connection to groom someone into an abusive relationship). The appreciation campaign will take place in Liverpool in its physical form and on instagram for those outside of Liverpool that want to engage with it.

For the campaign in Liverpool, there will be murals and flyposters dotted around the city with the phrases “you are appreciated” and “tell your friends you love them” painted on them. When people take a selfie with one of these and post it on instagram, tagging the project and a friend they appreciate, saying why they appreciate them, they can claim a free appreciation postcard to send to a friend.

Photo: locals enjoying one of the murals (photo courtesy of Tony Knox)

Photo: an appreciation postcard

The murals, flyposters and postcards will all direct people back to the project instagram which has engaging posts on topics to do with abusive relationships as well as sign posting sources for support. Anyone who engages with the appreciation campaign will need to both follow the account and tag a friend which will also help to introduce new people to the project and what it’s about about.

What will the money pay for?
A lot of people, including myself, are giving a lot of time for free with this project as they want to support it and help raise awareness about an important topic that affects so many people - and many of the people involved have also had direct experience of abusive relationships themselves so it's a subject close to their hearts.

I have done all work involved in this project unpaid (design work, managing the project, social media, promotion, running 2 appreciation campaigns, plus organising a Project lovebomb event to provide a space for artists/musicians/performers to express their experiences of abuse in a safe space that is also a fundraiser for the Whisc workshops).

For the workshops I will again be giving my time for free for the 4 workshops (including prep time) but I need to cover the cost of the materials for the lovebomb kits.

There will be 8 people per workshop and 4 workshops spread out across a year. Each lovebomb kit costs £10 at cost price. So for 32 lovebomb kits that works out at £320.

There are also workshop materials that need to be bought once but that can be reused across the workshops such as fabric scissors, rulers, posca pens, pritt sticks, etc - these come to £179.76 (with the mini fabric scissors and posca pens being the pricey items! The mini fabric scissors for detailed cutting are £13.39 each - I tried cheaper ones from Home and Bargains but they were too difficult to cut detailed felt with!)

For the awareness raising campaign (or “appreciation campaign”) the flyposters cost £330 and the appreciation postcards cost £260.

Little gift for donors over £10
Anyone who donates over £10 will get an appreciation postcard sent to them (if an address is supplied - I've not done a Go Fund Me so I'm hoping there's a way to message?).

Since there is a transaction fee taken from every donation I have also added 8% to the total to account for this (its hard to gauge exactly what the transaction fees will amount to as it includes a percentage plus 25p per transaction but if i’ll readjust if it looks like I'm way out). I have also tentatively added £23 for postage for appreciation cards for donors (which again I’ll readjust as I go so it's accurate).

If I raise more than the target
If I raise more than the target of £1,200 I could use the money to run more workshops, possibly including in other cities (although after 4 voluntary workshops, each totalling 15 hours of time including prep time, I might need to look at paying myself for my time, even if its just minimum wage as I may struggle to continue delivering free workshops on an indefinite basis!).

Thankyou for your time and I hope you find this project inspiring and uplifting, even for such a heavy topic! There are other aspects to this project that I haven't talked much about here like the event and another appreciation project that takes a different form, taking reclaiming lovebombing to another level, but if you would like to know more follow the project on instagram (@projectlovebomb) by clicking here

The project is part of Liverpool’s “Independents Biennial” creative festival and the first of the appreciation campaigns (“The lovebombs”) will start 14 August, while the second (“The Appreciation Campaign” involving the murals) will start 28th August.

PS You are appreciated!


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Donations 

  • Yvonne Wake
    • £30 
    • 10 mos
  • Madeleine Dale
    • £20 
    • 10 mos
  • Nathan Horan
    • £20 
    • 11 mos
  • Anonymous
    • £20 
    • 11 mos
  • Graham Smillie
    • £10 
    • 11 mos
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Rachel Salinas Edwards
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