I sit writing this in my new office, with my new notebook and my new pen and it really does feel like the start of the New Year. So firstly, Happy New Year and I hope that 2020 brings you hope, happiness and peace. 

It’s my first day back in the office today – as it is for many – and I started the day with a mix of emotions;

  • Some sadness as I kiss my girls goodbye after 2 weeks off together.
  • Some trepidation about what I might find in my overflowing inbox.
  • Some anxiety about how I will be able to balance the challenges of being a working mum this season.
  • Some reflection on how Christmas was for me, for my loved ones and for the many families we support across Greater Manchester.

But also:

  • A huge dose of determination to cling on to family time even as life gets busier again
  • A commitment to find time for dates with my husband, my girls, my mum, my best friends
  • A gratefulness that I have been able to worship this Christmas in safety
  • A passion for safe, healthy, happy relationships that burns brighter than ever. Born out of lived experience, fanned into flame by the realities of our world and kept alight by the impact I see when support works.

I decided not to set New Year’s Resolutions this year as every January I start the year feeling the pressure to do more, be better, learn more, support more, engage more and the pressure I feel is sometimes overwhelming. I took 2 weeks off over the festive period and took a break from social media as a way of slowing down and taking some time to recharge and reflect.

But I did catch a bit of the #decadeinreview hashtag when I had a sneaky peak one day and it got me thinking about what I would like the next 10 years to look like.

Here’s my try at my #decadeinanticipation

  • 2020  All stigma for accessing relationship support or personal therapy are removed. There is an understanding that relationship support can be an early intervention step, a relationship check in or a form of crisis support. There is no postcode lottery remaining about where to access relationship support and how much it costs.

  • 2021 All employers recognise the impact of home life on work life and vice versa. The relationship between employer and employee is based on mutual trust, flexibility, authenticity and high impact.

  • 2022 High quality relationship education is available to all children in all areas, for those in school and those who aren’t

  • 2023  Safe and effective perpetrator interventions are available in all localities for both men and women, in both heterosexual and same-sex relationships. Awareness-raising, motivation-challenging, early-intervention and behaviour-change models are all available.     

  • 2024 Access to counselling for children and young people is widespread, in schools, in alternative provision providers and in communities. Support is not only available at the point of crisis but as a form of early intervention to stop issues escalating.                    

  • 2025 Social isolation and loneliness have been eradicated. Friendships and support networks are flourishing. Communities are integrated across perceived boundaries. Strengths are recognised and celebrated.

  • 2026  A real understanding about the impact of parental conflict on children is widely shared and understood. Couple counselling, family counselling, parenting support, separation support all work together. Whole family approaches are the norm not the exception.

  • 2027 Taking time to look after yourself, both physically and emotionally, is encouraged and recognised across all walks of life and in all parts of society. The importance of a kind, honest, open, forgiving relationship with yourself is understood by all.

  • 2028 We’re a society that is known for being friendly and kind. Forgiving and supportive. A society where everyone talks to their neighbour. Love abounds.

  • 2029  Domestic abuse has been eradicated. No more perpetrators. No more survivors. No more victims. No more stories to tell. No more trauma to unlock.

  • 2030 We have a society where safe, healthy, happy relationships are supported and celebrated. In the relationship we have with ourselves, with our partners or ex-partners, with our families, our friends, our work and our communities.
  • I do so very much hope that my #decadeinanticipation comes true.

    I’d love to hear what yours would be too if you fancy sharing. 

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