Moving forward into the new 'normal'
Confusing. Isolating. Traumatic. Anxiety-ridden. Loss. Change.
There are many, many words we can use to describe the global, collective and individual experiences we have had and continue to have throughout this unprecedented global pandemic. We have been faced with huge societal changes that we could never have foreseen. Changes which, for some, have resulted in unbearable loss, not just in terms of loved ones or people close to us dying (whether or not as a result of Covid-19), but also in terms of affecting our hugest need – the need for connection with others.
Amber was spot on in our last blog when she highlighted that connection is key. It is essential for human existence. Not only does connection help to improve our mental and emotional health; our connections play a core part in defining our identity, who we believe ourselves to be. Throughout the pandemic our ability to connect has been altered, diminished and in some cases, taken away altogether.
However, there is another side to this biological chaos that has turned society and our lives upside down and inside out. We can also use other words to describe our experiences, which sit alongside those I first mentioned:
Determination. Persistence. Community. Patience. Acceptance. Resilience. Hope.
For Phase Trust, our work and support with and for young people specifically aimed at those facing mental health and situational challenges has continued and adapted despite the pandemic and all the lockdowns and restrictions which ensued. And I can absolutely say that each one of these young people, who we have the privilege of working with, have inspired us! They have inspired us with their ability to keep going against all odds. When their already challenging circumstances and experiences have been further accentuated by the change of lifestyle brought on by the pandemic, they have continued to take steps forward, and have proven to us that even the smallest of steps matter.
As we move towards a greater sense of freedom (with the easing of restrictions) and bit by bit regain our ability to connect with others and to enjoy a wider range of activities once more, I want to encourage us all with a newly acquired lockdown skill and one that we try and remind our young people of: the achievement of small steps forward despite our circumstances. And the ability to persevere even when faced with setbacks.
We are looking forward to continuing to work closely with local schools, colleges, churches, community groups, families and other agencies to support our young people to increase in confidence, aspiration and hope for their futures.
We can all be hopeful for our futures and of taking one step at a time to get there. I see a positive future for all our young people, but in their own time and in their own way, and with a little bit of support and encouragement along the way.
The young people we work with highlight that we already have what we need inside to achieve. Sometimes we just need someone to believe in us and support us in finding our own voice and way forward.
If you know a young person who needs support right now, please do get in touch with us at Phase Trust! Let’s continue to live by lessons learned through the pandemic – community is essential, connection is key, and hope and resilience are the way forward.
Lead Personal Development Officer, Phase Trust