Wow! It’s Spring – I can’t believe how quickly time is moving forward.
Here’s a wee spring flower that popped up
We’ve been busy here at HOT. Soon we will be launching our new Business Plan for the next three years. We want to focus on equality and being inclusive for everyone and the team has been talking to lots of agencies to get ideas and help. Their feedback was great.
Here are some of the ideas they had about being more inclusive:
- More inclusive posters,
- Advertise about where we have disabled access,
- Leaflets in different languages,
- Make young people and schools know that we can help with identity issues,
- Keep in touch with what’s important for different groups of young people.
Here are some of the barriers that they thought might stop young people using services:
- Make it less formal,
- Promote your work to different groups of young people so that everyone knows HOT services are for them,
- Fear, embarrassment or being excluded by others using the service.
It’s given us lots to think about and we’ve made an action plan to try and make all the changes we can so that ALL young people know that they can use our services and feel welcome to come.
I’ve been thinking a lot about equality – like the difference between rich and poor people, the difference between women and men and the difference between what people believe in – their faith or their politics. The thing that really bothers me is the difference between rich and poor. I read today that child poverty and inequality is increasing in Scotland. It makes me angry to think that children in our country are going hungry. Poverty over a long time affects families and communities and makes life, health, education and work harder. It’s a big complicated problem to solve. When I think about it I have to remember about all the people who are working hard to help make changes.
Here at HOT we try to help where we can. We are working towards ending period poverty and we give young women free tampons and pads at our Drop-ins.
We work in areas where there is a lot of poverty and we try to help young people reach their potential by giving opportunities for fitness, health and recovery from trauma. We provide volunteering and work/study placement opportunities for young people so that they can develop their confidence and their skills and go on to the get the jobs that they want.
Thinking about the difference between women and men is interesting. Gender is more complicated than just men and women. We all have female and male qualities and there are a million different ways to be. Some people don’t like to be identified by a gender and some people want to change to a different gender.
I’m reading a book at the moment by a woman called Mary Beard – it’s about women. It talks about how men throughout history have tried to silence women’s voices. It’s funny I do notice sometimes in meetings that some men do talk over women and don’t seem to think what the women are saying is important. But, I also know a lot of men who listen to women and also lots of men who find it hard to get their voice heard as well. I also have met one or two women who don’t listen to men .
I think, whatever our gender identity, we’re all equal and we’re all different. I think one good thing we can do is be whoever we are and work on our own confidence and try to be assertive – so we can get our point across without being aggressive.
Times are changing – it’s 100 years since some women first got the vote and women are still showing all the time that they can do anything, so there was no need to exclude them! It’s exciting to think about the possibilities for the young women we work with and it’s a privilege to work to help them think about this. And all the young people with other gender identities too!
I want to remind ALL young people that our services are relevant to YOU. You all have emotional, physical, mental and sexual health and we will do our very best to help support you with any issues you have. If you think we could make it easier for you to access our services – please let us know.
We’ll be in touch about our celebrations for the Year of Young People #YOYP 18
HOT is 17 years old this year which matches quite well to the Year of Young People. We have lots of ideas about how to mark this important year and we want to hear from any young people about other ideas/events we could do. Look out on our social media for more….
Speak to you sometime soon,