Is it really 2021?

Well it seems pretty surreal to be entering 2021, I feel like I should be living like the Jetsons and travelling by teleportation! How amazing that would be in the current circumstances. It may not be the start of 2021 which many of us hoped for but I’m trying my best to stay positive and put into action all the things which I have had time to reflect over and think about a little more in the last 10 months. It certainly has been a tough year for everyone no matter your circumstances as its not been the norm for anyone. I hope it’s made people really value the little things in life like hugs and kindness, it has for me.

For Kinlochlovin’ what I have really been able to see is the power of community and how although we haven’t always been able to do as much as we want we have done our best. I think what’s really clear now is how we need to drive forward our aim to support all young people inclusively in their social and emotional development. We have tried to increase our youth workshops and when restrictions allowed we increased to 5 workshops a week, this will return as soon as possible and I hope increase over the next year. The group creative activities support social skills and its been great to see the young people so happy. We saw a good increase in the attendance from our High School Seniors too which was fantastic and we know us adults want workshops back too so virtual classes are coming! To keep the creativity flowing I’ve been doing a wee bit of painting with my family as it really helps calm us all and makes us smile, the picture here is my hallway come art gallery of this weeks family creations.

We are really hoping to increase access to 1:1 therapeutic services for children and young people and offer more sessions. I really believe that funders need to value an investment in children’s mental health especially with the last year and I am committed to trying to find the funds to expand this service.

My personal target this year is to be braver and bolder in trying to make people understand the importance of play and creativity on young peoples mental health and taking a chance on something new and genuine. Not because its profitable but because it matters. It matters to do things the right way morally and ethically, and it sadly  makes things slower but in the long term the value and social impact is much greater.

For the last 5 years I’ve been doing my best to do things the right way for Kinlochlovin’ and at times it frustrating and exhausting but lets celebrate the fact we are still here and still smiling!

Happy New Year everyone!