A message from Jenifer Cameron – December 2020

Looking back on the year is a bit different in 2020. We’re looking back on an extraordinary time with very many losses; people, jobs, time, experiences and perhaps not so many gains. We are all approaching the Christmas holidays in weariness as much as seasonal cheer in the knowledge that the many problems covid leaves in its wake will be waiting for us in January. Young people will face uncertainty for their future and unsettled times in the short term, many living in anxiety from day to day.

Of course some good things have happened. Across the wider charitable sector many groups have come together to find solutions. Cumbersome ways of working and territorialism have been put to one side to address urgent need. Here in Bucks the council has worked closely with our sector through the VCS Recovery Board and trust has been built and barriers dismantled, hopefully permanently.

Here at A4Y it hasn’t been an easy year. It was immensely frustrating that we couldn’t work with young people through the lockdown when they needed us most. Now, we’re focussing much of our efforts on those for whom lockdown and restrictions were most challenging so those with special educational needs, disabilities and those at the margins of the community. This work has been a strong strand of our activity in recent years and now is needed more than ever.

I’m glad that we are ending the year with an addition to our specialist provision for those with complex needs by adding a mobiloo at our Caldecotte Xperience. The mobiloo is a changing facility for those for whom a standard disabled toilet isn’t adequate and which can be moved around the site for use at the yurts, residential block or the water sports centre. We are all proud to look to 2021 knowing that we can offer the full outdoor education experience to a group often overlooked.

And so we look forward to the New Year in optimism for better times ahead and with commitment to meet the needs of the young people in our communities.

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