One year on - a good decision
Well, what can I say… My first year with LRSN has been a whirlwind! Flooding, adverse weather, Brexit worries and a global pandemic! Not quite what any of us expected at all.
Luckily my background in crisis work and mental health has prepared me for all sorts of life events, but I can't lie and say I coped in an unphased way. No one knew what was (or is) going to happen and our world as we knew it has been turned upside down.
What I do want to say is, I have never felt more supported both professionally and personally by the wonderful LRSN team of volunteers, staff and trustees.
The team has pulled together to “keep the show on the road” and we have all adapted to our “new normal”. Although we haven’t been able to see each other face to face, we have loved our video calls, (often where people were sideways!) and our continued family feel has been strengthened.
Casework, as expected has increased and the kind, caring, compassionate nature of the LRSN team has shone through.
The cases we have helped with have included several directly related to Covid-19, where business worries, financial struggles and relationships have all been affected during this tough time. The fact that our farming community was already struggling after crops didn’t thrive in the wet ground, grants and subsidies were unknown and more recently the poor harvest, meant people who had never felt anxious before found themselves worrying about the future. All these issues impacted on stress levels and the usual ways of coping, such as socialising and seeing family members, were restricted. Those who have previously had issues around mental health have also reached out for support, with a fear of being unwell again.
This difficult time has strengthened links with partner organisations and new working relationships have been formed which are already and will continue to benefit our clients.
Moving to LRSN was one of the best decisions I ever made, and I am very grateful for the opportunity the board gave me. I hope the coming 12 months continue to offer rewarding challenges.
Read Gilly's top tips for staying mentally healthy here.