Safe Spaces and fresh pastries – a special wellness-themed LDCM

Last week was LightStart’s regular Leeds Digital Coffee Morning AND Leeds Wellbeing Week, so we thought it was only right that we combine the two to create a special wellness-themed edition! With the help of our guests, we decided to take a shot at creating a digital platform that enriches inner (or outer) health in some way, whether this be an app that simply provides little day-to-day bursts of motivation or a more long-term coping solution for people struggling.

As usual, our friends at 200 Degrees coffee provided some scrummy pastries and aromatic coffee, brewed fresh at bang on 8:30am for guests’ arrival. Everyone networked away until 9am when our Co-Founder Dan, who was hosting the app-designing session as usual, rounded everyone to their seats in front of the whiteboard. He began by asking the room the fundamental question: what platform can we create that will help people access a healthier mind and lifestyle? Guests instantly engaged with this delicate topic, sharing their personal struggles and experiences and the methods they use to cope every day. The discussion that followed was hands down the most insightful and personal of any coffee morning to date – we ended up almost forgetting to create the app!


Eventually the ‘Safe Spaces’ app was born, a platform for people to connect with others in a non-judgemental environment, and it had a little bit of all our guests’ stories behind it. Dan began to do his thing on the whiteboards, and it became clear to see exactly how the app could make a huge difference to people’s wellbeing. As well as connecting people in non-intimidating settings, either for ongoing support or even just a short chat, the app will also enable users to build personalised practical pathways to manage their wellbeing.

A few things that the app definitely SHOULDN’T do were also made clear – firstly, it should not do all of the things that social media does wrong (and there was a few). For this reason, it was decided that ‘liking’ won’t be a thing, and only genuine meaningful interactions are an option, because who needs another social media platform to not get likes on?!?! Also, goals are great, but not when you don’t achieve them and feel guilty. SO we decided that the app should only take supportive approaches to wellness goals. Because who needs to feel guilty if they miss the gym one day?!

To sign off, I will list a few key takeaways from this special wellness-themed coffee morning that we think are important to remember:

  • Social media can be very evil
  • Genuine and meaningful interaction will always be more valuable than empty ‘likes’
  • Everyone struggles with the same things sometimes: you might think that everyone else is doing great and you’re not, but they all struggle with the same old things too, so don’t fret.
  • Pathways to wellness and in general life are not linear: it’s okay to take some detours
  • Never punish yourself.


If you would like to see LightStart take an app idea from 0-100 with just a whiteboard then it’s your lucky day, as we have coffee mornings like this every month. Take a look here to see when the next one is and also our many other relaxed networking events! See you at an event soon 🙂