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Hello March!

Posted 2/3/2021

Hello!  Here we are, March again!  This week I am helping my children get used to the idea of going back to school.  We have three teenagers in Y12, Y11 and Y9 – it’s fair to say this past year has been a rollercoaster for them,  they have missed being in school (although they may not freely admit that!), they have missed their friends and they have missed sports.  Our youngest is a cheerleader, her sport involves getting very close to other people and holding them up both physically and emotionally.  She has missed that closeness, encouragement and the feeling of being part of a team more than anything else that has been taken away from her this year.  I am so grateful that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and things are slowly returning to some kind of normality but that doesn’t mean I am not anxious about what the next few weeks may bring.  I don’t want my children to believe that they are behind and must ‘catch up’.  They have worked hard, attended lessons daily (most of them!) and completed the work set.  They have done their best in a world which has gone totally awry around them.  We are proud of them and while we will encourage them to work hard at school – as we always do – we will also encourage them to meet their friends, be outside and get back to their sports because without good emotional wellbeing they won’t be able to learn well and achieve their full potential.

For those of you in schools I can imagine you’re feeling the same as I am, you’re going to have an influx of giddy, potentially anxious children who have mostly been wearing pyjama’s for the last few weeks!  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have children and families who would benefit from some extra support, Jess and I would be delighted to hear from you!

It's appraisal season in Early Help which means Jess and I have had to look at our work over the past year and think about how we’ve done and what we could have done better.  Being reflective is difficult, being reflective and positive is even harder - especially after the year we have all had!  I think I can speak for both of us when I say that we will be incredibly pleased when we can meet real people again instead of talking to children and their families online or on the phone!

Last week we presented the first session of Five Ways to Wellbeing, twice!  Jess and I were both pretty nervous beforehand, a lot of our work depends on us being able to read body language and responses so that we can respond appropriately – that’s quite difficult in a Microsoft Teams meeting!  However, the children who attended the sessions were engaged and engaging, we had a lovely day and we’re really looking forward to session 2!  We’d love to offer the sessions to more children and teenagers, If you would like further information about Five Ways to Wellbeing please get in touch.

We’re continuing to support the Festival of Friends project.  The Festival of Friends Celebration Event will be held on Wednesday 30th June 2021 and we’re planning to make it a memorable event with some celebrity ViPs joining us to talk to the children as well as awarding prizes to the winning Festival of Friends projects.  Hopefully we will (virtually) see you there!

The first Service Families Strategy Group meeting of 2021 was held on February 23rd, minutes have been distributed and the next meeting is planned for 20th April 2021.  If you would like to be included in the SFSG please let me know and I will add you to the distribution list.

This term Jess and I have been funded by an emergency grant from the National Lottery.  That grant is now coming to an end and we have to provide a report on the work we have achieved since October.  If you have used the Anxiety Workshops or shared the stories we filmed and are able to provide us with some feedback which we can include in the report we would be very grateful.  We are currently looking at future funding and hope to have something in place for the role from September 2021.

I hope you are all well.  Days are getting longer, the sun is shining and the vaccination roll out is moving at a fast pace – I’m looking forward to seeing you, giving you a pat or a cuddle (depending on how well I know you!) and having a good chat.  In the meantime be kind to yourself and those around you – we’re nearly there!



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