A welcome to 2021!

Posted on: 18/01/2021 in
From all of us here at Young H &F and best wishes for a better year ahead.

Crossing everything that we can start to look forward to a more positive future for all whilst also recognising that is the most difficult time in modern memory and whilst the wonders of modern science and medicine are providing hope, this is only the start of the start. The healing and recovery will take time so let us apply patience, empathy, and compassion as we move forward together and remember, it is OK to not be OK.

Whilst the challenges remain, Young H & F is optimistic and excited about the year ahead. We continue to grow our offer to become more relevant and impactful. 2020 saw us quickly shift from working under the old norms to the new world of (Ed – You are on mute!) sorry, I was saying, the new world of Zoom, Teams, being on screen, working from bed in our QPR pyjamas (maybe that was just me!) and more curve balls faced than Babe Ruth.

I am complete in awe and eternally grateful for the work my amazing colleagues continue to produce, despite the challenging circumstances. Time and time again they stepped up to carry on the business as usual in the unusual whilst also starting several exciting new projects that we cannot wait to see flourish.

Members, you are doing great things and I dread to think where we would be without the vital services you offer. I applaud you! From offering digital activities, starting new mentoring projects, food provision, providing laptops, online theatre projects and, quite importantly, a place to escape from all of this, even for a moment. Keep on, keeping on.

And finally, Children and Young People. Wow, I cannot really imagine how this must be for you right now. Our peer research report ‘Growing up in H &F’ has shed some light on that but we will not stop there. We want to help amplify your voice to make sure there is no excuses in hearing you and responding to the issues that are impacting you now and in the unseen ones in the future. We will do our very best to play our role in support the opportunities that you both want and need.


We are delighted to welcome Nadia Harding to our team as Partnerships Director. Nadia joined in November, coming with a wealth of experience form the sector and she is going to be great asset. And welcome back to Becky Brookman from maternity and it was lovely to see her and her latest addition, especially at some of our Teams erm, Team meetings. 😊

My thanks to the Board of Young H & F too for remaining present and continuing to govern us in the responsible manner that you do.

Best wishes and see you soon, Gareth Dixon ceo.

PS: It is OK, to not be OK. If anyone reading this need us, we are here. Thanks to Nadia, here are some helplines for additional support;

SamaritansAvailable 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts.

W: www.samaritans.org
T: 116 123 (free to call from within the UK and Ireland)
MindMind offers advice, support and information to people experiencing a mental health difficulty and their family and friends. Mind also has a network of local associations in England and Wales to which people can turn for help and assistance.

T: InfoLine: 0300 123 3393 to call, or text 86463
Rethink Mental IllnessRethink Mental Illness works to help everyone affected by severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, recover a better quality of life. It provides effective services and support and campaigns for change through greater awareness and understanding.

W: www.rethink.org
E: Email:advice@rethink.org
T: National Advice Service: 0300 5000 927
PAPYRUS UKPAPYRUS is the national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. They support young people under 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide, as well as people concerned about someone else.

Their HopelineUK service is open 9am - midnight every day of the year (including weekends and bank holidays).

W: www.papyrus-uk.org

T: Helpline: 0800 068 4141 Text:0786003996


W: www.youngminds.org.uk

T: Parents helpline: 0808 802 5544 Text: YoungMinds Crisis Messenger: text YM to 85258

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): A helpline for people in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support.

W: www.thecalmzone.net

T: Helpline: 0800 58 58 58

Webchat: www.thecalmzone.net/help/webchat/

SaneSANE services provide practical help, emotional support and specialist information to individuals affected by mental health problems, their family, friends and carers.

W: Support Forum: www.sane.org.uk
T: Call 07984 967 708 and leave a message, giving your first name and a contact number, and someone will call you back as soon as possible.

Saneline: 0300 304 7000