Ypeople is an organisation that has five core values at its heart. Our values of Respect, Integrity, Compassion, Aspirational and Reflective are inter-related and they guide the “way we do things” every day. Over these last few weeks, our values have become more important than ever.
I’m sure, like me, you have been humbled by the stories of our NHS Heroes and inspired by people like Hon. Colonel Tom Moore, who raised over £30m for NHS charities. Everyone seems to be stepping-up and doing their bit during these difficult times, and the teams at Ypeople are no different.
Recently our Friday Focus updates on social media have highlighted some of our accommodation services where despite the impact of social distancing, we are finding new ways to support and engage people in their own homes – including outdoor exercise classes, gardening, arts and crafts, bingo and quizzes. The staff, volunteers and people we support in these services describe their experience as being part of a family because everyone cares for each other.
This week’s Friday Focus is on our intandem mentoring service. Here, our small staff team are continuing to support 22 volunteer mentors and 15 ongoing mentor matches with young people in Glasgow and North Lanarkshire. intandem has been recognised in the past for the positive impact it has on young peoples lives. Young people affected by family breakdown or abuse, those who are managing caring responsibilities, or feeling excluded from society can gain huge benefits from having a strong adult role model in their lives. The impact of Covid-19 is exacerbating these challenges further and causing some young people to feel increasingly isolated and excluded, as well as worried for their future and their own mental health and wellbeing. For some, it is also causing them to be fearful for their own safety in their homes and communities.
Our staff and volunteer mentors and working with our intandem mentees to ensure they stay connected and feel supported during this time. This is not only helping and encouraging them, but it is also having a positive impact on the mentors too.
Hannah has been a mentor for four months now and is a source of encouragement and enthusiasm, not only to her young mentee but also to other mentors. Hannah wrote:
Volunteering with intandem has helped me remain positive and motivated during this time. Every day, I am searching for new ways to communicate and connect with my mentee, something that is necessary now more than ever. And through this, I am pushing myself out of my own comfort zone, trying new things and watching our mentoring relationship grow.
There will be sunshine at the end of this, and we will dance and sing and never take our freedom for granted again.
The work of Ypeople is making positive change in people’s lives. It is heartening to hear so many stories of how this is continuing during this time. But I’ll end with this short video that was made by some of our staff in Edinburgh this week. It concludes with the word LOVE: Living Our Values Everyday which I think sums up the work of Ypeople perfectly.
Take care and stay safe,