January: in review

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The distance between my review of last year and this first round up of 2019 feels way more than one month apart. January has felt like a very long month but we’ve made it, and that’s something to be grateful for!

To mark the new year, I’ve given my monthly reviews a little makeover with new headers – both aesthetically and in terms of themes. At the start of 2018, my health was the dominant feature of my day to day existence, which is why it was always the first section of the blog. However, I’ve decided I don’t feel like it deserves its own section this year. I’ve come a long way with my conditions over the last twelve months, to the point where health feels like an undercurrent instead of a core theme, for which I’m unspeakably thankful.

So, here’s the first new look round up of my January – I hope you enjoy it.

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This month is the busiest I’ve had in terms of work for a very long time – where usually I try to maintain a balance with my schedule, this month I’ve packed every moment. It’s been exhausting, so I’m definitely going to revisit my balance again, but I’ve really enjoyed working on a range of different projects.

The core of my work schedule has been with Rethink, where I’ve been delivering teacher training on youth mental health, recruiting and training Young Champions, and co-producing a youth mental health conference. I’ve taken over leadership of the project since the start of the new year, so it has been demanding but I’m feeling really thrilled with how the project has been going.

Alongside Rethink, I’ve continued my work with Future First and MyKindaFuture on employability workshop delivery and content design for secondary students. I’ve also been gearing up for future work with both Brook and Inspire! Education Business Partnership. Link all this in with volunteering with Yes Futures and Action for M.E and you can see why I’ve ended the month feeling a little weary.

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As you may have gathered, life has taken a bit of a backseat to work this month (must. do. better). Most of my time outside of work has been spent resting and recovering or at health appointments (the usual!) However, I have still been working on creative projects in the background.

I’ve finally tipped over the 40,000 word mark of my novel and am getting back into the swing of a more regular practice. I’m feeling good about my goal of finishing the first draft by my birthday in June which is an exciting (if also somehow nerve-wracking) prospect.

I’ve also been lucky enough to see a long talked about idea turn into a reality. You may have read me singing the praises of Write Like a Grrrl – writing courses that empower female writers – in previous blogs. In January we launched the pilot of the programme designed especially for 14-25s. We’ve partnered with the brilliant charity Arts Emergency, who have helped us to find some wonderful participants and connected us with Faber & Faber who have been kind enough to host. I feel like a very lucky grrrl. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be testing out the model in the hope we can roll it out wider as the year goes on. Watch this space!

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The largest blinking dot on my horizon in February is the mental health conference I’m organising for Rethink, in partnership with young champions. We have five schools attending, some incredible workshop options and a truly inspiring team of young people at the helm. Event planning is always stressful but I’m feeling incredibly excited too.

February will also mark the end of my time as a coach with Yes Futures. Next weekend I’m going with my school group, as well as several others on the programme, for a weekend residential before our final coaching session. It has gone incredibly quickly but it has been a brilliant experience. The team are currently looking for new coaches for their summer programme so be sure to look them up if you’re interested in taking part.

Finally, I’m excited to continue with my writing, Write Like a Grrrl: ROAR and I also have an embroidery workshop booked to try out some new skills.

Wish me luck and I’ll see you on the other side to tell you all about it.

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