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Why my lower left eyelid twitches!

We are now heading into week four of the lockdown. As I write this the government is deciding whether to extend the lockdown for three or six weeks.

As a service that specialises in supporting marginalised people into work, we have had to adapt quickly to also support wellbeing and increase people’s access to resources.

This had led to us becoming aware of the magnitude of the issues within our society, where the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable are not part of the government announcements.

For example, today I read an article in the FT, that says migrants in low skilled and zero-hour contracts are the most affected with current sudden unemployment and lack of access for funding resources.

We know of international students who are stuck here and are unable to access financial support.

For us the question that hangs over our heads is how we support them or who do we signpost them to? Please email if you know where we can signpost individuals to specific support in the community. or if you want us to add your website link on our site.

To answer some of the questions that are outside of our expertise, we have added an extra resource page to our website with links to governmental and other relevant support links. This page will be updated weekly.

As we head into a longer lockdown, it’s time to reflect, recharge, reorganize and get back to what we do best… Career and Personal Development Coaching - specifically to support people for after lockdown opportunities.

I am proud of how our small team of two (and now three), could quickly turn our physical workshops into online zoom sessions, create video content for our YouTube channel, research and upload relevant resources on our website while home-schooling our 7-year-old daughter. We even managed to fit in five whole days of Joe Wicks PE sessions in the morning.

Yes, millions of people are doing this too…however, we must all be allowed the space to say ”It’s ok to not be ok and not have all the answers”

This really hit home after the first two live sessions and subsequent one to one coaching where the focus from some individuals was on mental health and clarity on when the lockdown will be over and what jobs were still hiring. To continue our wellbeing check-in support we will organise a virtual 11 am coffee morning ( stole this idea fro Joy Lewis at AAI). Monday to Friday Join us on Facebook and Instagram.

Now more than ever is a time to talk and look after our wellbeing and mental health. Some useful links:

SAMH is the Scottish Association for Mental health - lots of great support and resources here provides support for students

As a coach, you want to have all the answers and be ready to guide, however, I am also human, and this pandemic has shaken all our foundations. It’s time we service-providers take time to show we are also trying to make sense of this.

This realisation and the weight of rapid change has also affected my own personal well-being. I started to have dreams about letting people down, started to doubt my service and who I am as a person, which has caused my left bottom eyelid to twitch (if you see one of my videos I am not winking at you, promise!).

That was last week. This is a new week to get back on the horse…

The feeling I have had over the past couple of weeks is normal and I am sure a lot of other services-providers are feeling the same.

After three weeks of roller-coaster adapting and throwing ourselves in, we have to give ourselves the personal kindness we ask our candidates to give to themselves. We also must be honest about our abilities and what we can and can’t offer.

That being said we are going to continue to focus on supporting individuals to continue their personal development, boost their career-focused skills and create group workshops to keep and build supportive networks and of course one to one coaching.

We feel it’s important to maintain structure and routine while looking towards an uncertain future with an open mind to the possibilities ahead.

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