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Our 2020-21 Annual Report

By 12th February 2022No Comments

A starting point for this annual message of mine is inevitably reading last year’s and then reflecting on what has changed, what challenges we have overcome, and those that we still face.

I did not imagine for one moment that we would be spending the year 2020 masked and sanitised, fearful for our health and that of our friends and families, and perhaps worst of all – locked down.

I wonder if the nation, in fact the world, dealing with a pandemic is a mega version of one family that might be ticking along quite nicely, and then an unexpected crisis just comes of the blue. Everything that seemed normal and manageable suddenly becomes a huge effort, if not impossible.

It might be a family crisis, ill-health, problems at school, financial difficulties – but something that tips coping into not coping.

Our families, our staff and our schools have all had to make huge adjustments in pretty much every aspect of day-to-day life.

At times it has felt as if we just need to deal with what is in front of us – let’s just get people fed, online and supported. It caused us, as Trustees, to often revisit our core aim and wonder if we had, of necessity, lost sight of that a little.

But, of course, with a staff as diligent, nuanced, caring and tenacious as ours the true work was always front and centre. Traditional home visits might have been impossible, but there has been an incredible amount of checking in, talking, smiling, delivering, meeting outside, signposting, communicating with schools and caring for one another.

The staff team has expanded, which is just as well, as need seems to grow. I can say with confidence that the community we serve still needs, trusts and values what we do and how we do it.

Our Trustees continue to meet online and I am so grateful that our meetings are always so positive and upbeat. This is because we can be rightly proud of the work that is done on our behalf.

Do take time to read this report and you will see that through the pandemic fug there is an indomitable spirit of resilience and care and moments of real joy.

Thank you for being part of our extended Red Hen family and do help us to spread the word. We continue to build that village that it takes to raise a child.

Lesley Ford



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