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Inspirational visits

As we start to build our family at, one of the great things we can do is meet the people behind the work we are supporting. In the last couple of weeks I have met Aaron and Amy from Skylarks, Emma Jane, Tom, and colleagues from Candlelighters and Sophie and Alice from Shift. These three organisations, all very different in their work, are making a practical and profound difference for families in moments that matter deeply.

I have been struck by several things from these encounters. The colleagues I have met have all been completely committed to what they do. They know the work inside out, they know the issues the families they support face, and they care, very genuinely and very deeply about the challenges and offer meaningful solutions. They are practical and pragmatic. They are across the detail and know what works.

Some have had a personal experience of the situation they are tackling- which brings a particular understanding and empathy. Two of the organisations require Board members to have had a lived experience of the issue at hand - to keep the work really close to the fundamental needs of those who come for help.

The work matters to them - because the families, children and young people matter. The strap-line for Shift is Whatever It Takes - and this is illustrative of the work of the Shift Guides who help the children and families in their care tackle some big obstacles, with the Guides quite literally doing "whatever it takes" to help these families achieve their goals.

Candlelighters colleagues go above and beyond to support the community in their care - watching out for the families, the children, and the nursing staff alike- ensuring that all of them feel welcome, feel respected, feel heard and supported.

The team at Skylarks work in smart partnerships with other organisations, to deliver a first-class service that makes such a difference to families with children with additional needs, while preparing a bold new partnership to ensure its services can be more easily and readily available in the future.

We are seeing work with parents, children, young people families at its very best. Our team at is learning all the time from those we have the privilege to support - from their dedication, their drive and intent to deliver the very best service, every single day, and every single time.

We are lucky to be able to spend time in their company and we look forward to getting to know all of those we work with in the weeks to come.

Nicola Brentnall MVO


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