Today I want to celebrate some amazing people I met yesterday. These are former colleagues who work with children and young people who have suffered significant harm.
We met yesterday and had a beautiful time in Chris’s garden. I am no longer working in this arena, although I did so for almost ten years and had the most amazing time during this period. I was shaped into the person I am today and learnt many lessons myself from those who have suffered greatly.
Today I celebrate all those people who are working with young people and their families to rebuild hope. I want to shout out to all those who were there yesterday; Chris (thank you for your fabulous hosting skills), Karen, whose sardonic humour has carried me through many days, the lovely Angela who shines with hope and Manuela who is adorable. I loved working in that crazy team all those years ago. I love how we still connect with one another after all this time. I admire you all for your strength to carry on against the odds and tirelessly help so many many people.
Youth workers and social workers help rebuild hope, where it has been smashed and that is a very special calling. I shout out to all of you today. And to any young people who are struggling with hope today, I celebrate you and keep hoping. Life has its storms, but it also has much true beauty.
I remember my former headmistress Sister Mary who was one of my biggest fans. When other teachers were negative, she would always find a positive word to say about me. Knowing someone believes in you and carries hope for you is worth a thousand certificates.
I remember the people who made me feel judged, but I also remember people who made me feel great. We convey something to others and our words don’t necessarily mean a great deal. What does mean a lot is when we show up when we say we will and we are a champion for people who may not believe in themselves. We all get it wrong, I certainly have, but I think especially with younger people what they remember is people who simply like them and stand in their corner. And challenge too. Young people watch older people and I think we need to show rather than tell them how to be.
Today’s recipe of hope is to consider your impact upon young people. If you are a teacher or social worker then today celebrate your excellent work. If you are considering a career in this, it is very challenging but worthwhile. And if you are young then learn from others how to be the best you.
May we all shape the lives of the tomorrow people and help rebuild hope for those who have had it smashed down X