Hello everyone,

This week it’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2021! To mark the occasion, we at Project return have decided to share with you some recent updates from our project and look to the future for what’s in store for the project, and how these activities may help positive conversations around mental health.

Firstly, I’d like to introduce myself as the new project worker for Project Return. I started my post on the 21st of April, and while it’s never easy starting a new job during lockdown, I have been made to feel very welcome by the Staf team and the Project Return Catalysts! My background is in independent advocacy for children and young people, particularly in the areas Mental Health and Children’s Hearings. I hope to bring this knowledge of supporting young people’s views and rights to a wider platform through Project Return. I am also a big music and boxing fan, and hope that I can enable creative self-expression in young people through song-writing and sport.

During my short time with Project return, I have been really impressed with the great work they have carried out so far in raising awareness for trauma informed practice in the Care sector. One project that I have been delighted to have been part of is their Togetheroo big breakfast event, taking place on the 25th of May. Togetheroo aims to mark the importance of relationships by encouraging organisations, houses, and teams to host their own community breakfast with creative resources available from ourselvesSimply choose the theme you and your organisation wish to discuss on the day from: Relationships, Culture, Safe Place and Wellbeing and we’ll send you a pack with the resources to facilitate your event! We hope it encourages some great conversations around trauma informed practice from both young people and the workforce and look forward to hearing how you got on! For more information please see the webpage at: https://www.staf.scot/togetheroo or contact me at [email protected]

Not stopping there, the Project return team have also been busy with their Pets in Care and Seeds for Change projects. Pets in Care aims to explore issues faced by young people in care and care experienced young people in owning pets, with the end goal of creating a one-stop shop for advice and guidance around these issues for both workforce and the young people themselves. Our advisory group for Pets in Care will be meeting throughout this summer, with the hope to go live sometime later this year. Seeds for Change sees us partnering up with the Scottish Forestry commission allowing Care Experienced Young People the chance to develop outdoor skills at various forests around Scotland. We will be commencing this project again throughout August and September (and knowing Scottish weather, we’ll have out waterproofs at the ready!)

The Project Return Catalysts’ are also looking for new young people to join our advisory group. If you would like to get involved with any of the above, or have new ideas yourself then we went to hear from you! Please contact me at [email protected]

That’s all from me for now, but much more to come soon! I hope you all have a great week as we begin to ease out of lockdown.

Take care,