Project Hope – Mac age 19
Mac age 19
I first heard about Project Hope through Twitter. Naomi (a Youth Cymru Llais Ifanc member), the-now lead coordinator, sent out a tweet asking if any young people wanted to get involved on a project to address loneliness and mental health during the Coronavirus crisis. When I signed up to help, I could never have imagined what the project was going to become. In the 1 and half months since I answered that tweet, since I went on that first zoom call and since I first met the people working alongside me on this project, I have had the privilege of meeting some of the kindest, most altruistic and determined people that I’ve been lucky enough to do work with. People willing to dedicate a significant amount of their own time, many at crucial stages in their education, for Project Hope, a project’s that’s principal goal is to help people.
Along the way, we have all split off into different teams. Some people are involved with signposting, some social media and some involved in hosting sessions just to name a few. I am lucky enough to be on two teams, so I have the ability to see that this Project is amazingly organised and each decision is taken not only with utmost care but also real thought. It is for this reason that I must give my thanks to the leadership team, with which there are too many to name however applicable the thanks may be to all of them, for their hard work, organisation and especially their care for the teams that they lead. I can honestly say that my opinion has always felt respected and listened to.
I must give a special thanks to Naomi, the lead coordinator, for all the hard work she has done in bringing this project to fruition. She is the driving force behind the project, and whilst the project would not be able to function without its great team of volunteers, it has to be said that we would not be here without her tenacity for helping people.
The Project has managed to produce 3 sessions a week for the weeks it has been active, involving one mental wellbeing session, one skill-based session and one fun session. Each session is dutifully hosted by one of the amazing team of hosts, and every session I have been on manages to encompass the great virtue of being relaxed and open whilst dealing with serious issues. Just in the last week, we have had a great Mandarin learning session, a music themed night and we are looking forward to the wellbeing session on Saturday.
To highlight the culture of what Project Hope is, I want to tell my story of when I hosted a session recently. It was to be my first hosting session, and I was undeniably nervous. Having elicited my nervousness to some of my colleagues at Project Hope, I was overwhelmed with messages, words of support and offers of help to make me feel more at ease to host. After the session had finished, I was messaged by two separate people almost instantly telling me what a great job I had done. The point of this is not to brag about my hosting abilities (or lack thereof!), but to show the culture of the Project. Everyone wanted me to do well. Everyone did their best to make me feel comfortable. Everyone was so lovely and calming and eager to make me feel welcome, and that shows. That shows in our sessions, that shows in the leadership, and that shows in our volunteers. Everyone in our project is here to try and help alleviate the loneliness and mental wellbeing issues that Coronavirus has caused, and I really think we’re making a difference.
I am truly humbled to be able to say that I have worked on this Project and I am constantly inspired by the compassion and empathy that all of my colleagues constantly exhibit. My
only hope is to increase our outreach so we can get more people involved in our great project.
Mac, aged 19.
To find out more about the project and how you can get involved please contact ReachOut project lead, Kirstie via firstname.lastname@example.org or take a look at our Project Hope Twitter & Instagram socials, @ylprojecthope