Let’s stop and think about what the word ‘respect’ means to you or me as an individual.
To me it means . . . hmn. Not so easy when you get started, is it?
Ok, I’ll try again…
To me, respect means that the rest of the world recognises me as a person, not as a case or as a statistic. That such things as my gender, sexuality, race, nationality, skills (or lack of them), physical or mental health are accepted as a vital part of me – but as just one part of me; not seen as defining me or as putting me permanently into one particular tick box.
Respect means that the rest of the world recognises – just a little bit – the things I can do well. Like feeding the cat, or singing in tune (actually, I’m not very good at that, but I would love to be) or keeping my temper, or fixing the *&%^$ computer yet again, or cheering someone up when they’re down in the dumps.
Respect means that the world is a little patient with me when I get things wrong – like grouching when I know I shouldn’t, or making mistakes.
What does it mean to you?
Being recognised for our strengths can help us all move on to better things. And it’s not only important to each one of us as an individual; here at Orb we very much appreciate the recognition that we get from other people for the things we are getting right
Often it’s the everyday support and recognition that we get from our members – volunteers and service users – via Facebook. Or the encouragement we get on Twitter from fellow workers in the field of mental well-being.
Essential Skills for Volunteering
One of our ventures which has been gaining recognition from service users and volunteers alike is our Essential Skills for Volunteering programme. We already have a number of successful graduates – people who have gained, or re-gained confidence through gaining new skills. Of course, it’s very much in our interests – volunteers with greater knowledge, skills and understanding can give so much more to Orb’s service users. But these skills are also transferable – to other voluntary organisations or to paid employment. We very much welcome new recruits to this programme. Watch this space for more details next week!
And from the wider community . . .
Recently we’ve received funding form organisations such as the Charles and Elsie Sykes Trust, The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation and the Brelms Trust. These generous grants are what keep Orb going, helping us to help others when they’re struggling – so that these people can then go on to help yet other people in their turn.
Our studio tuition, sound systems, thriving garden (and thriving gardeners) our art classes (and brilliant 2nd Summer Exhibition in Harrogate Library) simply wouldn’t exist without support from these people.
But the benefits don’t end with the money. Such organisations don’t hand out funding simply for the asking. Each grant we receive means that a very professional organisation has taken a very professional look at Orb and likes what we do.The grants are an indication of respect and recognition for what we do well and, as such, are very highly valued.
The Duke of York’s Community Initiative award is another example of the importance of such recognition. This month Mark attended a conference with other award holders, all community enterprises which are:
‘. . . of real value to the community, well run and an inspiration to others’.
Being able to acknowledge recognition like this means that Orb, and everyone involved in it, is gaining wider respect throughout the community for our work in promoting positive mental health.