A message from our CEO, Yvette Greenway-Mansfield
As we head in 2021, this year, more than ever before, we’ve all needed, and extended, compassion, kindness and understanding.
It has also been a year to reflect, especially during the winter months, when the darkness of our land has been accompanied by other forms of darkness too.
Covid19 has presented many challenges. Loved ones dying, businesses closing, people losing their homes, mental wellbeing destabilised, addiction and abuse rates climbing.
But more than that, Covid has forced us to realise the value of life, to make each day count and to be thankful for what we do have, rather than pining for what we don’t have. To appreciate what truly matters and protect and nurture it.
Brexit has also presented us with challenges and uncertainty for individuals and businesses. We are all going to have to adapt on personal, community and national levels.
But it is also giving us the opportunity to build new ways of living and working. Perhaps creating new businesses and jobs, with new skill sets that will live for decades to come.
Both Brexit and Covid have taken, but they have also given. It’s important to move forward with the positives we can take from where we are, and leave the negatives to yesterday, where they belong
As my role of CEO at SOS, I’m extremely proud that 2020 has seen significant growth. We too have had to adapt as Coronavirus continues to impact heavily around the world.
Gone are our physical meetings. But in place of these, a support line which is receiving new and repeated calls from vulnerable people.
We have gone from just a handful of calls a week in August when our service launched, to well over 100 calls a day during some of December. This is both good and bad. We wish that no-one suffered from poor mental health, but they do and luckily, we are one of many charities here to support them.
For a micro charity like ourselves, this is indeed an amazing achievement and makes us more determined to help support even more people going forward.
There is no doubt from the calls we get that Covid is making the most robust of us feel lower in mood. The lack of physical social interaction, the changes in rules and tiers, all add to confusion and frustration as well as anxiety, depression, self harm and sometimes, suicide ideation.
Empowering people to believe in themselves, to engage in self help exercises and encourage them to explore and learn new things are vital. With self belief comes confidence and with confidence comes hope. Because however dark your landscape may look, however distant the light on the horizon may appear to be and however hopeless your life may feel, there is always hope.
Whilst this year has been incredibly challenging both personally and professionally, I can honestly say that my proudest moment has been as CEO of SOS. Seeing all the service and project planning come together thanks to a hugely supportive team, makes the long working days (and nights!) worth it.
With our team of volunteers and resource donors, we simply could not have implemented our support line or our #SOSAngels when we did and I am incredibly grateful for their support, knowledge and guidance.
New partnerships formed, funding to enable us to recruit people to assist with our social media and our volunteers, means I’ve been able to focus more on running the charity and planning for the future.
So as we roll into 2021, still not quite sure what the year may look like and wondering what ‘new normals’ are yet to evolve, I hope everyone will join SOS in ensuring our #compassioninsociety theme permeates through society.
With love, kindness and compassion, we can all give, and receive, the gifts of happiness and hope.
Happy 2021 everyone and stay safe.