Noted - Episode 10
Although I have lost any accurate sense of time, I think it is half term (but I couldn’t tell you which one). For many people that won’t mean much, especially at the moment, but for some it offers a brief window of respite from what’s been a relentless couple of months. A sure indicator that it is half term is that I’ve been a bit unwell (not with ‘that’ be assured) with a pesky ear infection, the sort of irritating minor health issue that always times itself to the school holidays. This is fairly standard sequence of events, school holidays start, I usually stop work, immediately have all plans (best laid or otherwise) scuppered because someone in the house (usually me) is incapacitated through illness.
Please be assured, fellow Northerners, I’d already managed a couple of excursions before the lurgy hit and I’m not planning to drive myself to any local beauty spots to check my wellness anytime soon. I’m just going to stay at home and remain alert (while probably not straying too far from the hammock, weather permitting).
Being a bit under the weather and therefore a touch grumpy, I have struggled to find the required YMH ‘positive gloss’ this week. Luckily, I was reminded by a good friend that the Mental Health Foundation has some really helpful guidance online, for anyone finding life a bit challenging. I duly had a wee peek and although I was aware that last week was Mental Health Awareness week, I hadn’t clocked that the theme this year was Kindness. That feels particularly fitting given that there has been a lot of that about recently, and in so many ways the current situation has brought out the best in us (well, most of us). I spent a good couple of hours on the site and felt properly renewed afterwards.
I was reminded again about the book “Wonder” and about how being ‘kind’ is so much more important than being ‘right’ (I think some in higher office might do well to peruse the teachings here) and it made me think about how and why we display kindness at all. According to an article in the Washington Post , studies have found that kindness is innate and our capacity for it grows with practice. Interestingly, as well as being an inherently good thing to do, kindness is actually good for you. The article states:
“Acts of kindness have the potential to make the world a happier place. An act of kindness can boost feelings of confidence, being in control, happiness and optimism.” *
So just because Kindness Week has finished we shouldn’t stop being kind, and the Mental Health Foundation helpfully suggests a myriad of different of ways we can do just that through their Kindness Matters Guide. Another idea might be to support or make a donation to a charitable cause. Local Music Therapy charity Jessie's Fund are currently running a 2.6 fundraising challenge which anyone can join in with. Alternatively, the school I work at has a unity fund to help our most vulnerable families, or just a few pounds a month could help YMH continue to support a disadvantaged young person with the cost of instrumental lessons. All charities are facing incredibly challenging and changing times ahead and any donation of any amount really helps.
Speaking of YMH, there is a bit of a seismic shift ahead with a significant changing of the guard within our management team. It is with much sadness but also excitement for his future that we are announcing the departure of Craig Brown as the Assistant Manager of the Hub. He has been an invaluable and integral member of the team and will be hugely missed. Craig has worked tirelessly for YMH over the last 18 months, whilst juggling roles in several other organisations as well**. He has now, entirely understandably, decided to step back from YMH in order to focus on his great love of classroom teaching. As with every closing door, a new one always opens, and we are now looking to recruit a new assistant manager to join the YMH leadership team.
So, this week I ask you to consider if you are fancy a fresh challenge and a positive change and think that working with YMH might be for you. Please get in touch to have a chat with us about what we offer and how you could become part of our dynamic, exciting and life-changing work. For further details of the post and to check out the application pack, please click here. The closing date for applications is Monday 15th June.
*According to a ‘Happiness Study’ quoted on the Mental Health Awareness website - I love that there is such a thing as a Happiness Study, that in itself makes me feel genuinely happy :)
** At least 65 at the last count...