• SAYiT

CEO Blog: Reflections on first year

Today marks the one year anniversary of my appointment as CEO at SAYiT and what a year it has been for everyone. It is difficult to reflect on my first year, which has taken place entirely in the context of the global Covid pandemic, without using the clichés of ‘unprecedented times’, ‘new normals’, and reference to lockdowns and restrictions which have impacted all of our lives.

And while the pandemic has affected everyone, we know that some groups have been disproportionately impacted including people of colour, disabled people and LGBT+ people, meaning the support we offer as a charity to young LGBT+ people in the region has never been more needed.

I have been incredibly proud to lead a dedicated team who have have adapted to the highs and lows of the year and the ever-changing world in which we are operating, adapting their ways of working as we have offered a mixed delivery model of smaller socially distanced face-to-face groups (where restrictions have permitted), online support, a new text support service, care packages schemes, converting all of our training packages to be delivered online, and quickly adapting plans each time the rules have changed. Throughout the year their commitment and passion for supporting young LGBT+ has been unwavering in the face of the challenges presented.

While this year has been challenging, it has also provided opportunities for us to reach young people who may have previously struggled to access support. Offering online groups and text support has meant that young people who may live in areas on the outskirts of the city or which are less accessible by public transport, or have young carers responsibilites or commitments or other barriers to attending face to face groups, have still been able to access support.

This year has had huge impacts on mental health, and for young LGBT+ p