FOR loved ones living with someone battling an alcohol or substance abuse it can feel like there is nowhere to turn. 

But one community group in Colchester is helping people approach their worries head on. 

Blossome was founded in April 2022 by, 53-year-old marketing strategist, Kim Moore. 

The organisation came as a result of Kim’s experience of living through her late husband, Chris, battling with chronic alcoholism

“You get so lost in helping your loved one, you begin to develop your own unhealthy patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving - but you don’t realise it,” she said.

After Chris’ passing, Kim found herself realising the effect his alcoholism had had on her – physically, socially, emotionally, financially and mentally.

She began researching available support, but quickly realised there weren’t a lot of options.

“It was difficult to find people who understood what I was going through,” she said.

Through this exploring, Kim developed a healing journey and began inviting others to join her in activities she’d found helpful.

This resulted in the founding of self-care community, Blossome. 

Blossome is a community, and is described by Kim as "a safe and non-judgemental space", where people who have had similar experiences of a loved one’s addiction can come together and know they will be understood. 

Blossome currently has just under 300 members in their community in their open group, and 20 members who are committed to daily self-care, actively taking steps regularly engaging in activities. 

Gazette: Blossome walking event

The organisation offers community and peer support, as well as their six-step programme - which encourages self-care, centring on self-compassion. 

Throughout the programme, members are taught about all aspects of self-care and learn to utilise self-compassion to assist with that. 

“Self-care is not easy, and self-compassion is the key,” Kim said.

Self-compassion is an evidence based practice, with much research proving that it improves well-being by easing anxieties and boosting self-confidence. 

“It turns that critic in your head that’s always been harsh on you, into a voice of compassion that supports you,” Kim said. 

Each month, Blossome offers opportunities - in the form of invitations – for community members and others affected by alcoholism and addiction to take part in monthly themed activities.

Activities vary, from meeting on online platforms to share self-care tips and connect with one another, to cold water dips at sunrise followed by breakfast in beach huts.

They have launched a walking programme called ‘Walking Through Emotions’, a six month long progressive walking programme.

The programme consists of 17 walks. 

Gazette: Sunrise Dip at the beach

Blossome offer Compassion Café’s, with their most recent café taking place on Tuesday. 

As well as activities, which are free for any member of the public to take part in, Blossome offers closed programmes, for those who have been affected by others’ substance abuse – with their latest programme launching next month. 

As a small community, Blossome will select 12-14 participants to take part in the programme and applications are still open.

Everything set up by Blossome is free, and fully funded by many sources.

“We never want money to be a barrier to self-care, you can pay what you can afford – or take part for free,” Kim said. 

Blossome’s first funding came from Active Essex, the Physical and Sport Partnership for Essex, that supported the organisation’s initial sunrise dips in 2022 - getting them started as an organisation. 

Other funding has come from Colchester Catalyst, North East Essex Health and Well-Being Alliance, Grassroots and – most recently - Essex County Council, allowing Blossome to deliver a Cultivating Self-Compassion programme for carers of those battling addiction. 

The organisation hosts an annual fundraising event, which began this year, taking place on January 1st, called ‘The Big Dip’. 

‘The Big Dip’ consists of a cold-water dip at sunrise on New Year’s Day, followed by a pancake breakfast to be enjoyed in beach huts.

“We’re hoping to grow that every year for awareness and fundraising,” Kim said. 

Blossome is primarily run by volunteers, and Kim is currently seeking funding to allow them to employ staff members.

“We aren’t therapists, or counsellors; we offer activities in the community,” Kim said. 

The organisation follows governance structures and safeguarding processes for all their programmes, with participant screening under the guidance of a trained psychologist. 

Blossome understands that some peoples’ health conditions may mean they are unable to participate in community-based activities. 

“Because of the vulnerability of participants, we know we need to be trauma aware to have a culture of safeguarding in the community," she said. 

“We want to offer activities that will help people move forward not set them back."

Blossome want their community members to feel safe, connected and understood.

Because of this, Kim believes it would be in the best interest of community members to keep Blossome small – allowing members to feel secure and familiar with those participating with them.

“It’s not about large groups, we will always keep our groups small," she said. 

“We don’t want to get so big that people don’t know or trust one another." 

For more information, to book tickets for activities and to get in touch with Blossome, visit