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Happy September!

Posted 10/9/2020

Happy September!  I hope you’re all well and managed to have some fun over the summer?  My husband and I took the children to Devon for a few gorgeous days with some friends – the sun shone, the children swam in the sea and we all ate & drank far too much, it was blissful and a nice reminder that the world is still there we just have to behave a little differently in it!

In the last week of the school summer holidays Jess and I received the news that the National Lottery has agreed to fund our posts from October for 6 months.  Which was really good news because we’d already started working on our plans for this academic year!

The last few months have been difficult for us all, our routines have been disrupted, we have had to change the way we live our lives and interact with our extended families.  Our children and young people have had to work through it without the freedom to see their friends or   partake in their sporting and extra-curricular activities.  Their education has been disrupted and the world keeps on shifting around them.  After a few weeks of relative easing it would seem that lockdown measures are going to be tightened again, I personally find it really difficult to hear people laying the blame for the reintroduction of tighter measures at the door of young people who have had so much to contend with this year and, I believe, will feel the impact of the pandemic for years to come.  In light of that I want to take this opportunity to remind you that the Anxiety Workshops are still available, they have been updated to reflect new research and the current pandemic which is raising all our anxiety levels!  The Anxiety Workshops aim to help children and young people understand what anxiety is, why our bodies are affected by it and how we can overcome it.  They also give children and young people the chance to voice their anxieties without having to worry they’re going to upset or offend anyone.  Please let us know if you would like us to present Anxiety Workshops at your school. 

Jess and I finished the summer term by writing a new programme for primary school children – ‘Wellbeing Warriors’ is a 5week programme for small groups of Service children which aims to help them recognise and understand their emotions, discuss their Service families, talk about friendship and transition, look at self-esteem, kindness and developing a positive mindset.  Wellbeing Warriors was great fun to write and we’re really looking forward to being able to present this in schools.  If you would like further information or to book a Wellbeing Warriors course for your school please get in touch.

We have also been working on our annual Service to Remember, unfortunately it won’t be at Ripon Cathedral this year but we’re quite excited about having the Service online and available to more schools.  Jess has been working closely with the clergy at Ripon Cathedral, who have agreed to record the service and we are hoping for a lot of contributions from schools and VIP’s – Jess will be sending multiple emails over the next few days asking for your support.  All contributions will need to be with us by the end of this month please! 

The theme for the Service to Remember artwork this year is ‘Heroes’, this week Jess and I were emailed the pdf for a gorgeous book called ‘North Yorkshire’s Unsung Heroes – Their Stories’ which was collated by Dr Tracy Craggs on behalf of the Ex-Forces Support Network project.  The book has some inspiring stories about local heroes including Mr John Jeffries, who many of you will have met at the Service to Remember at Ripon Cathedral and who sadly died on 30th August 2020.  The stories might inspire your children to think about who their heroes are before they create their artwork.  The pdf of the book is available here: https://communityfirstyorkshire.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/200805-North-Yorkshires-Unsung-Heroes.pdf

This month we should have been celebrating the completion of the Festival of Friends project but unfortunately, due to the lockdown measures, the project was put on hold.  Fortunately the Armed Forces Covenant Trust agreed to extend the project until March 2021 so we will be full steam ahead this term!  Hopefully schools will be working on their projects, the first Festival of Friends Area Coordinators meeting is set to take place later this month with the area meetings taking place soon after that.  I’m looking forward to hearing how the projects are progressing even in the face of the Coronavirus!

The first SFSG of this academic year is on Tuesday the 29th of September, we will be meeting by Skype which will be an interesting experience!  If you would like to be added to the SFSG distribution list please let me know.

I hope your return to work and school hasn’t been too stressful!  Look forward to seeing you all soon!

 

Nickie

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