By Beatrice Obigbesan, CFF Administrator
In my administrative role, I have engaged in various telephone conversations with people of dissimilar backgrounds. On answering a telephone call, I have come across individuals who were in a livelier mood and simply keen for casual discussions. Others had more of a concerned or anxious disposition. Therefore, they needed a sympathetic listening ear or voice to assure them that their mental health support would be provided swiftly.
Indeed my role generally involves the extraction of relevant information from people; either to provide answers or form the basis of an enquiry for a colleague. However, such act must be achieved in a careful; yet considerate manner. You have to be personable and communicate to people that there is a listening ear at the other end of the line. Also, it is important to demonstrate a willingness to provide direction, clarification, information, reassurance and solutions in a professional and friendly manner.
Effective communication is not merely about clear speech, the finest phraseology or hearing the words of the speaker. Over time, I realised that people are actually in need of what I call “a listening heart”. A listening heart is an inward posture which starts with an intentional attentiveness that transcends the use of words at face value; and progresses into a deep understanding of the speaker’s actual need.
This realisation became solidified about two weeks ago when I received a call from a parent. On that afternoon, the CFF telephone rang and I picked up. Then, I heard an automated electronic voice message saying "This is a telephone call from a Hearing Impaired Caller". Although the message was successfully conveyed, it took me sometime to assimilate what was about to happen. My initial thought was that I was receiving an automated commercial call.
By Hattie Allen, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner
In my role at CFF I work with young people who are struggling with their mental health, specifically around anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. When working with young people I stress the importance of; self-love, self-care and focus on strategies they can use to promote their wellbeing. If I had a catch phrase it would absolutely be, “Be kind to yourself!”
By Kate Harris, CFF Project Manager
We have had the privilege of working with a number of young fathers to be through our antenatal work with young parents, delivering the Bumps to Babies programme.
What always strikes me is their thirst for knowledge. I get a real sense that they want to learn all they can in order to get it “right” for their babies and partners. Often feeling an overwhelming sense of responsibility and pressure.
...to infinity and beyond!
By Henry Charles, CFF Project Manager
As we all know, we have all been living in some very strange times over the last 14 months as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. This resulted in a lack of or extremely limited face to face contact with others and the increased use of technology to communicate and connect with the world around us.
CFF, along with many other agencies/organisations, had to quickly adapt it’s services and ways of working to ensure that we were able to provide and deliver easy access to much needed support to young people and their families living within Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. This resulted in CFF being thrust into the realms of digital/remote delivery of services. For me being born in the late 1960’s, growing up in the 70’s and 80’s and not having any real interest in computers, IT or technology, this past year was always going to be a REAL challenge!
By Stacey Chambers, CFF Project Manager
Ever spent time obsessing over things, worrying about what others think of us or worrying about the ‘what ifs’? If so, like many people, you may be falling into negative thinking traps. Cognitive distortions (thinking traps) hijack our brains and convince us that something bad is happening, that everything is negative etc. when in reality it’s just not true. Often when we are struggling with stress, anxiety and/or worry we can spiral into negative thoughts that can then reinforce negative thinking patterns and as a result escalate feelings of stress and anxiety. The good news is - we can overcome these thinking traps!
By Lindsay Woodward, Service Director at CFF
CFF has been really fortunate to be selected for two programmes of support via CAST (who are a 'charity on a mission to create a more responsive, resilient and digitally-enabled social sector'), funded by The National Lottery. The first Catalyst programme in autumn 2020 was called 'Discovery' , lasted 4 weeks and helped us to understand how we might use digital to improve our CBT tool called 'Worry Time'.
At the end of that programme we applied for a longer 10 week programme and were delighted to be successful. The Definition programme built on the work we had done last year, with some excellent mentoring from digital experts Bex, Kat and Mille - we had a weekly programme of learning, sharing and developing a digital version of Worry Time.
Empowerment: the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights.
By Jayne Ballard, CEO
In this blog I would like to reflect on a very important key process that is central to CFF's delivery and practice: empowerment. Various aspects of CFF's approach, specifically group and workshop programmes are instrumental in empowering parents, carers and young people who attend. How do we do this? Examples of CFF's practice that exemplify empowerment are in the read more section below:
Friday 30 April 2021 would have been Captain Sir Tom Moore’s 101st birthday and the one-year anniversary of him completing the now famous 100 laps of his gardens. To mark this momentous date, the Captain Tom 100 asks people to dream up and complete a fundraising activity based around the number 100 between Friday 30 April to Monday 3 May, fundraising for a charity of their choice or the Captain Tom Foundation.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Captain Tom’s fundraising spirit and by choosing to support CFF you'll be helping more local young people with their mental health this year. The only requirement is that the activity must follow the Government guidelines on exercise and social distancing. Want some ideas for an activity?
By Lindsay Woodward, Service Director
If we didn't know it before, one thing the pandemic and lockdowns have shown us is how important social connection is for our mental health and wellbeing. Much of what we took for granted - office kitchen discussions, daily seeing school friends, popping round to see your Gran whenever you liked - has had to stop or has been made more risky or difficult for large parts of the past year. But why is social connection so important to us as a species?
By Lindsay Woodward
Tuesday 23 March saw the one year anniversary of the lockdown in the UK - a National day of reflection thinking of those we've lost, giving thanks to our hero key workers, a personal reflection on how our lives have changed and what the future holds. With the lockdown anniversary and the roadmap set out ahead for the 'reopening' of our country it's been a week of mixed emotions. Understanding and processing those feelings is important, and this article sums it up really well.