Wishing you a very happy festive season!!

Wishing you a very happy festive season!!

Wishing you a very happy festive season!! /










I know everyone says it, but I really can’t believe how quickly time flies – nearly the end of 2018 – wowzer!! 

Change is really the only thing that stays constant

I’ve been thinking a lot about change recently. Change is really the only thing that stays constant but when things change it can be tough and stressful and this can make us worry a lot.  We might feel scared about how we will manage the change, and we might try and imagine all the ways that things might be, or worry about how things will work out in the future.  But change can also bring exciting opportunities.  At HOT we’ve had a lot of changes going on.  We had some staff leave to go to new jobs. We were really sad to say goodbye to our lovely pals but happy to see them move on to new and exciting things.

In our team meetings, we talked about how we felt, and this helped us to manage the change a bit better.  If you trust each other, it makes it A LOT easier to talk about how you feel – luckily at HOT we always work on building trust and sharing our worries and hopes, and this has helped us to build strong and trusting relationships, allowing us to support each other through the change. If you are facing change and feeling stressed and worried, you know that you can trust the HOT workers to help.  Come along to one of our Drop-ins or email us at:


New Staff

We have had new staff come to join the team.  We also have some fantastic new Board Trustees and some tremendous new Volunteers and Sessional Workers.   We are lucky to have a new JET Placement Student and an Intern from Italy.  Before new people join the team, I always worry a bit about what they will be like and will they fit in and be happy?  It’s been sooooo good getting to know the new people and they are all incredible – it looks like our new team will be as fantastic as always.  The core team had an away day to learn about each other and do some team building.

It was loads of fun, we all learned loads about each other – our personalities and how we like to communicate. This helped us get used to the change.


I was so amazed at all the skills, experience and qualities the new people bring with them – and so happy that young people will continue to be so well supported by our team.  You will meet the new team members on social media and in your schools and communities–, you can comment, like our posts, or say hiya.

I was so amazed at all the skills, experience and qualities the new people bring with them

Can you guess from the picture below what this exercise was all about? 

The fact that we are coming to the end of the year also brings change.  The weather changes – in Scotland it changes from rain to freezing cold icy mornings – but we’re used to it :).

Reflecting on 2018

We’ve started to look back and think about all the things that we’ve done as a Team during 2018.  The whole team have worked SO hard, and we’ve been SO inspired by all the young people we work with.

We’ve learned from you about how we can deal with change.  We’ve asked you about what changes you’d like to see, and we’ve made pledges on your behalf to the Children’s Partnership (who will feedback to the Scottish Government).  We’ve done lots of work to become trauma-informed (so that we understand how trauma can affect young people) and we have worked hard to develop methods to help young people who have experienced trauma.  So we’ve had lots of exciting learning and really enjoyed the change that comes from that.

We have also been changing to make our service as accessible as possible for everyone – we want ALL young people to know that no matter what they believe, where they come from, who they fancy, whatever their experiences, whatever their gender, they are ALL welcome at HOT.

We’ve developed some great new partnerships and developed some new resources too.  Watch this space for our new ‘Are you ready for sex?’ and ‘Self-harm leaflets’ !!

The Holiday Season🥳

Coming to the festive season can be stressful for some young people – Christmas and New Year can be a time when people sometimes drink more or take more substances.

Some young people don’t celebrate Christmas at all.  Some people celebrate non- religious winter festivals.  It can be a time when families get together 🤗 – or fall out!!😡

Some young people can feel sad 🙁 as they don’t get presents or they don’t get to spend time with their families or loved ones.  Young people who are in care or who are homeless can feel that they have been forgotten about at Christmas.

I have found a few things that help me when I am feeling stressed or when I’m dealing with change:

  1. I go for a walk – it’s free, and I always feel better afterwards. It’s good to get some fresh air and be outside in nature. Any exercise can help.
  2. Sleeping and eating properly also helps me to feel better if I am stressed, so trying to get an early night and eating healthy food.
  3. I do relaxation – sit or lie down and get comfy, then breathe in slowly through my nose, counting to three. Then I hold my breath for a count of three and then I breathe out slowly through my mouth (like I was blowing out a candle) for three.
  4. I do mindfulness – it’s really amazing for helping with stress, depression, anxiety, low mood and other painful feelings.  At HOT we have all been developing our skills and learning more about mindfulness – you can talk to a worker or come to see us if you’d like to learn more.


There are some useful apps online to teach you – I liked this one:


It can be really difficult to take care of ourselves when we are feeling stressed but it really helps so try not to give up.  Whatever you end up doing over the festive season, I hope you can take care of yourself, be kind to yourself and remember that you are worth looking after.  Remember that services are there to help – no matter what – so please ask for help if you need it.

We are really, really, really looking forward to working with you in 2019 🤩

Niki P

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