The Secret Space is a peaceful sanctuary in the heart of Hertford. We offer a range of yoga, from beginners’ classes to specialised classes, in various styles old and new. We also provide holistic therapies, including reflexology, acupuncture and massage. All equipment for classes is supplied, and we have yoga mats, blocks, belts, bolsters and much more available for purchase so you can practice at home.
At The Secret Space, we know the potential that complementary therapies have to change lives, as people learn to connect to their bodies in a relaxed and positive way. We think that it’s the perfect setting to help people and that is why The Secret Space is also a charity. We aim to give people who have overcome great difficulties in their lives the chance to partake in classes, receive therapies, gain relevant work skills and be part of an inclusive community. So when you use our service, you are not only helping yourself, but without even trying you are helping others.
The first plans for The Secret Space were formed in early 2013. Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) had approached CGL (then CRI, a charity providing local support for people with drug and alcohol problems) to set up three social enterprises , with a view to providing training opportunities and pathways to employment for their service users.
HCC were introduced to Nicky Kearns, who was working providing yoga and complementary therapies for CGL service users undergoing treatment for drug and alcohol dependency. Nicky saw the positive impact that a holistic focus on health was having supporting people who were actively engaged in changing their lives for the better.
Yoga and Holistic therapies have been used for a long time in this field, as they can assist people in overcoming the physical, mental and emotional strain associated with the recovery process, as well as aiding with safely releasing and processing trauma. Holistic therapies and yoga help people to learn how to relax without the need for substances or alcohol. They provide a tangible and healthy way for people to connect with their bodies, and with themselves, learning how to be present in the moment. With Nicky’s enthusiasm and the proven efficacy of a holistic approach to health being useful to people in recovery, the idea of setting up a holistic therapies and yoga centre as one of the three social enterprises proposed by the council was born…
Our vision is about changing people’s lives.
For people in the local area to use our centre, either as clients or volunteers, to increase their health, skills, happiness and their connection to the community.
To run a centre of excellence, for all the services that we provide, to all members of the community.
To work hard to connect with our staff/volunteer team, our clients, and other local businesses and charities .
Yoga and holistic therapies are all about connection, and as a business, this is also a major part of how we work. The sense of community at The Secret Space is a big reason people return to us again and again. We know how important it is to feel connected, to be welcomed and to have a sense of belonging.
Over the years we have seen people flourish in confidence, self-assurance and ever growing self-worth. We have worked with over 40 volunteers, some of whom are now incredible massage therapists and Reiki practitioners, as well as our amazing admin and reception team without whom our centre could not run. Many of our volunteers have gone on to find paid work, either at The Secret Space or elsewhere. We provide a free weekly yoga class for people who are in recovery, and through the kindness of our therapists we are also able to offer low-cost or free holistic therapy treatments to our team.
Most importantly, many of our volunteers have stayed healthy and safe, at least in part because of their connection to The Secret Space. As well as working with those in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, we also work with people who are in recovery from mental health problems, domestic violence survivors, and people with physical disabilities. The volunteers who work with us often become a part of The Secret Space community, sharing their talents with us, meeting people, taking the opportunity to learn yoga, receive holistic health treatments and to support their growth in many different ways. At The Secret Space, we help people to cross the bridge to normal living, giving them the confidence, skills, opportunities and experience to move into wider society, employment and forward with their lives.
``I originally joined the Secret Space as a volunteer. At that time my life had been very chaotic and I was struggling to overcome serious health problems. Having previously had a successful career in a completely unrelated profession I had been unable to work for some time and was lacking direction and focus. After hearing about the project I decided to totally change my focus and retrained as a holistic therapist with the help of the Secret Space. With the support and encouragement of other staff and volunteers at the Secret Space I have undertaken professional training in a number of different therapies and am now in a position to work as a therapist. It is work that I love which allows me to meet a whole variety of people and genuinely help them. Every day is different and exciting. As well as meeting new people I have also been lucky enough to build a consistent client base of those I see on a regular basis. Having clients return to see me has massively boosted my confidence and also allows me to fine tune my treatments to each client as I have become more familiar with their needs. I am thoroughly grateful for the Secret Space and give thanks to all of the volunteers, therapists and teachers who work here. Without you all I genuinely don’t know how I would have got my life back on track.``
``From October 2012 to April 2015 I was an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital. In November 2015 whilst still a day patient at the same hospital I began working as a volunteer at the Secret Space where I still work today. The warm, friendly and supportive environment has helped me grow in confidence and prove that I can be a trustworthy, competent and reliable member of the team. This in turn has improved my self-esteem and has helped me remain well since leaving hospital, something you can’t put a price on! I love working at the Secret Space and hope to remain a part of this wonderful venture for the foreseeable future. I will always be grateful to the team for giving me a chance and for giving me my first steps back into the world of employment.``