By Stacey Chambers, CFF Project Manager
Ever spent time obsessing over things, worrying about what others think of us or worrying about the ‘what ifs’? If so, like many people, you may be falling into negative thinking traps. Cognitive distortions (thinking traps) hijack our brains and convince us that something bad is happening, that everything is negative etc. when in reality it’s just not true. Often when we are struggling with stress, anxiety and/or worry we can spiral into negative thoughts that can then reinforce negative thinking patterns and as a result escalate feelings of stress and anxiety. The good news is - we can overcome these thinking traps!
By Lindsay Woodward, Service Director at CFF
CFF has been really fortunate to be selected for two programmes of support via CAST (who are a 'charity on a mission to create a more responsive, resilient and digitally-enabled social sector'), funded by The National Lottery. The first Catalyst programme in autumn 2020 was called 'Discovery' , lasted 4 weeks and helped us to understand how we might use digital to improve our CBT tool called 'Worry Time'.
At the end of that programme we applied for a longer 10 week programme and were delighted to be successful. The Definition programme built on the work we had done last year, with some excellent mentoring from digital experts Bex, Kat and Mille - we had a weekly programme of learning, sharing and developing a digital version of Worry Time.
Empowerment: the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights.
By Jayne Ballard, CEO
In this blog I would like to reflect on a very important key process that is central to CFF's delivery and practice: empowerment. Various aspects of CFF's approach, specifically group and workshop programmes are instrumental in empowering parents, carers and young people who attend. How do we do this? Examples of CFF's practice that exemplify empowerment are in the read more section below:
Friday 30 April 2021 would have been Captain Sir Tom Moore’s 101st birthday and the one-year anniversary of him completing the now famous 100 laps of his gardens. To mark this momentous date, the Captain Tom 100 asks people to dream up and complete a fundraising activity based around the number 100 between Friday 30 April to Monday 3 May, fundraising for a charity of their choice or the Captain Tom Foundation.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Captain Tom’s fundraising spirit and by choosing to support CFF you'll be helping more local young people with their mental health this year. The only requirement is that the activity must follow the Government guidelines on exercise and social distancing. Want some ideas for an activity?
By Lindsay Woodward, Service Director
If we didn't know it before, one thing the pandemic and lockdowns have shown us is how important social connection is for our mental health and wellbeing. Much of what we took for granted - office kitchen discussions, daily seeing school friends, popping round to see your Gran whenever you liked - has had to stop or has been made more risky or difficult for large parts of the past year. But why is social connection so important to us as a species?
By Lindsay Woodward
Tuesday 23 March saw the one year anniversary of the lockdown in the UK - a National day of reflection thinking of those we've lost, giving thanks to our hero key workers, a personal reflection on how our lives have changed and what the future holds. With the lockdown anniversary and the roadmap set out ahead for the 'reopening' of our country it's been a week of mixed emotions. Understanding and processing those feelings is important, and this article sums it up really well.
By Natasha Sond, CFF Director and Mental Health & Court of Protection Solicitor
I remember representing an adolescent for the first time as a trainee solicitor. The client was only 14 years old but had a significant history of self-harming behaviours. These were not just superficial self-harming cuts – these were incidents such as throwing herself off a 3 storey car park. She was detained in a secure adolescent ward. I did not know her history or background when I went to see her for the first time – however, I prepared myself for a very traumatic story of significant abuse. My presumption was that this level of suicide attempt meant significant abuse of some kind.
By Daisy Edwards, Student Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner
At the start of this year, I joined the core team at CFF as a student psychological wellbeing practitioner.
Before working with CFF, my sister took part in an ‘overcoming anxiety’ group. The difference it made to her was life changing and to this day, she still uses the techniques she learnt from the group. This motivated me to help others like my sister, so I decided to volunteer at CFF. I learnt so much as I was volunteering and found it so rewarding, that from then on I knew it was something I wanted to pursue a career in. I then became a sessional worker; I helped deliver the workshops, and met with the families on home visits. I got to see more of the amazing work CFF do and met some wonderful families.
The pandemic has been a time for reflection for many people. In this week’s blog, Sandhya Keshav, CFF’s Senior Finance Officer, has been reflecting back on her 18 years at CFF.
I first set foot in CFF as a volunteer towards the end of 2002, taking on a variety of admin tasks such as making up booklets and data entry. I took on a paid role in the team in 2003 and went on to learn the finance role, including Sage and payroll systems, completing the AAT accounting qualification shortly after.
When people ask me what I enjoy most about working at CFF I always say it’s the people there. In the last 18 years I’ve worked with so many amazing people. I still remember each and every one of them - I’ve learnt so many different skills from them and I wish them all well. CFF has sort of become my second home and the people working there are like a family.
I love the variety that comes with working for a small charity. There’s the opportunity to get involved in many aspects of the charity and we’ve seen lots of change over the past year with moving from office working to working from home.
Will I be at CFF in another 18 years? Time will tell, but at this present I am cherishing every moment of it.
By Beatrice Obigbesan, CFF Administrator
Following the spread of Covid-19 and its declaration as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), office workers have endured a series of lockdowns, restrictions and multiple changes in the way that their work is carried out. From my personal experience, many abrupt shifts and adaptations had to made in order to create an alternative form of office life. Arguably, a unique formula or method of work had to be sought to ensure a sustainable working culture that could withstand the uncertainties of the pandemic. From being completely office-based one year ago, here's an insight into my experience.