Lockdown 3: An update from Aaron, KLS Director (16Feb21)

16th Feb 2021

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We wanted to share our Director’s (Aaron) regular update he’s sending out. Just to keep you in the loop!

Contact Us

If you need anything during this difficult time then please get in touch with us on 

020 7223 2845 and [email protected]

Aaron’s Update

I’ve been thinking about mental health recently (my own and the impact of this year for all of us). This third Lockdown is definitely more challenging than the last two. There hasn’t been an end point that the other Lockdown’s had (though we will find out more from the government on 22nd February) and life seems a bit like ‘Groundhog Day’ – work, sleep, repeat – monotonous, boring and cut off from people. And it’s tougher for our members, as the isolation, loneliness and increased hardship and poverty bites.

It was Children’s Mental Health Week at the beginning of the month (Josh wrote an excellent article for our blog here) and it got me thinking about what how I’m dealing with this lockdown. I’m sure you’ve got a routine and things that help you but here’s some of the things I do when it comes to work, that you might want to try too:

  • I love a plan (as you know) – every Monday morning I write a plan for the week ahead – it gives me structure, purpose and the focus I need to do the things that need getting done.
  • Put in a start and finish time to your day and stick to it!
  • Schedule in regular breaks including a proper lunch, a walk (late afternoon for me with the kids and Iggy, our dog) and some exercise (after work)
  • Take a break – get up from your table every hour, stretch and walk around, have a cuppa
  • Speak with colleagues regularly – pick up the phone (on your walk-?) and use zoom
  • Hold shorter meetings (20 mins or 40 mins long)
  • Leave time in between meetings for a break (5-15 mins)
  • Reflect at the end of the day – 5-10 mins thinking about how the day has gone for you – what did and didn’t work, success/challenges/frustrations, what you’ve learnt, what you would do more of and less of, and planning for the next day (you could use a journal, bullet points, work book)

I’ve found that home life does take over sometimes, and that’s normally and okay. Some days are a bit shit – that’s okay – I talk about it with someone. Some days are fantastic – that’s okay – I talk about it with someone.

I would encourage you to educate yourself about mental health and wellbeing – read, watch, listen – there’s so much on the internet (just google) about mental health and wellbeing; and try and incorporate a couple of new things into your routine. If you do need a bit of help then do use ‘CIC Wellbeing’ . They offer a variety of anonymous wellbeing services for all KLS staff, volunteers and their families. And/or talk to you line manager, colleagues or me. I’m around.

This marathon of a pandemic is coming to an end but we still have some way to go. It’s vital that we all take care of our mental health and wellbeing. so be kind to yourself. It also means we’re better able to support our members. Take care.

What’s happening across KLS (please click the links to find out more)

1. Getting a digital life: here’s a quick update about what we’ve all been doing to support our members lead more digital and independent lives.

2. Elders: Read the latest edition of our Elders Team newsletter here and find out more about the Battersea Zoomers programme here.

3. ESOL: Read the new ESOL Team newsletter here and our new Early Words Together partnership with the National Literacy Trust.

4. Love to Learn: Read about why student volunteers are an integral part of Homework Clubs success; and what our GCSE Study Groups have achieved over the last year.

5. Campaigns: We’ve joined three new campaigns recently: #VaccinesForAll, #NeverMoreNeeded and a Community Wealth Fund. Are there any other campaigns we should be joining? Let me know.

Take part in ‘Spring Steps for KLS’ (12-19March)

We’d love for everyone to take part in our ‘Spring Steps for KLS’ challenge (12-19th March) – staff, volunteers, our supporters and members. We’re asking everyone to walk 1 million steps during this week – for our own health and that of the wider local community. Find our more and sign up here and speak to Annabel on [email protected] who’s organising it.

Find out more about KLS

There’s a lot happening across KLS at the moment. Check out the news section on our website – we’re posting 2/3 updates about aspects of our work each week here. If you’d like to feature something then do let me know.

Contact 

If we at Katherine Low Settlement can help you in anyway during this third lockdown (and beyond) then please contact us on

020 7223 2845 and [email protected]

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