Debbie’s Blog #13 – A Christmas dedication (this is not a political blog)

December 15, 2020

2020 will probably be remembered for very negative reasons. Some have felt the impact of the pandemic, been touched by it more than others. The impact has been a personal experience, but I’m sure it’s a year that no one will forget.

But with due respect to all of the heartache and loss, and without underplaying that in any way, I want to focus on the good that has come out of the last few months.

It goes without saying that my fellow ‘huggers’ out there will never again take that pleasure for granted. Those who know me well will know that I hug (a lot)! And not just in my personal life! I’m one of those nightmare people who often feels it’s totally appropriate to hug someone I like at the start of a meeting. I often forget that not everyone is like me – so if I’ve inappropriately hugged you at the start of a meeting, making your hairs stand on end – I’m sorry (I really am)!!

I’ve been at YMCA Humber for just two years. And I don’t think a week has gone by when I haven’t been bowled over by the impact of our work on the individuals we serve. But wow, this year, the team at YMCA Humber has more than bowled me over. Their dedication, commitment and hard work during this pandemic has been a joy, a privilege to witness.

Our NHS staff and other keyworkers have rightly been applauded; and I took to my doorstep week after week to do so. But in my opinion there have been so many unsung heroes of this pandemic and in my eyes, this includes the team at YMCA Humber. Running a 24/7 service, 365 days a year, they’ve turned up, cracked on and gone above and beyond. When our residents needed the support of our coaches the most, they were there. When our residents needed face-to-face mental health services more than ever, our counsellor put on her mask and provided the support. Every day presented a new challenge, every day, the upmost, wonderful dedication was evident. I am so proud of their work and I want to dedicate this blog to them and thank them for their dedication and commitment.

And, whilst I’m in the mood for dedications, there’s something else on my mind.

And before I start, I should say that this is absolutely in no way a political-point-making blog.

I worked in local government for over 22 years before I joined the charity sector, and so I’ve seen dedicated public servants in abundance. During this pandemic it’s been all too easy to criticize decisions at both national and local level, but would any one of us really like to have been in charge and was there a set of decisions that would have suited us all? What I know is that locally I have seen hard graft. By council staff, by health service staff, by the voluntary and the business community. All doing their bit, and much of it unseen. People working all hours to get support, emergency supplies, grants to those most in need – and most of this under the radar. So many local heroes just doing their thing, but in difficult circumstances.

It’s easy to see the negatives, especially at a time like this; the things that didn’t go well, the things that shouldn’t have happened, but if we are to learn anything from 2020 let’s try to see the positives too; I know I will.

Have a wonderful Christmas folks. Thank you to everyone who has worked tirelessly throughout these last few months. Thank you to everyone who has supported YMCA Humber. Here’s to health and happiness in 2021!

Best wishes, Debbie