LAST year was a challenging year for everyone. Charities like ours have fought hard all year to keep their focus and to sustain business, and so the opportunity to take the morning away from the laptop and get out into the great outdoors was certainly a welcome break from what was a year we will probably all be quite happy to leave behind!
The Clear Sky team met for a socially distanced Christmas team walk along the beautiful Wittenham Clumps; the land that surrounds our Oxfordshire Head office.
On many occasions throughout the year we would look out of the window at lunchtime and decline the suggestion of a brisk walk up to the top of the hill and back, in favour of our comfy office chair, but having been forced to work away from the office since early last March, the team were all too ready to meet up to have a face to face socially distanced catch up in a brisk December wind, with flasks of coffee in hand before we ‘closed the office’ for our Christmas break.
It certainly was refreshing and exhilarating to slip and slide our way along a very muddy Thames-side path, with Fred the dog in tow!
As office Christmas parties go, last year was always, of course, going to be a different one for us too. The morning’s walk followed a virtual quiz night, accompanied by homemade cocktail making. Our quiz included a couple of ‘getting to know you’ rounds where we all learned something interesting about each other that we didn’t know. It was quite enlightening to discover which team members had jumped out of a plane, had sunk a punt in Oxford and had been a Morris dancer! Even more revealing were our Clear Sky Prime Minister for a day’s ‘3-word-slogans’! One that seemed to sum things up rather nicely being ‘Just Be Kind’
Our team of therapists and friends weren’t left out of the Christmas fun either; each receiving a box of gorgeous Christmas cookies by post from our wonderful friends at Happy Cakes, a wonderful Oxford-based company who have supported us generously through the year.
We all took a well-deserved break and we are now refreshed and ready for whatever challenges await us this year.
In parting, I asked the team what they wished for their Christmas and they said:
‘Easy – to hug my friends and family and for everyone to be able to do the same.’
‘With all of the challenges 2020 has thrown our way, it has been amazing to witness the resourcefulness and resilience of the children that I support. They have continued to attend sessions each week whilst adapting to new play rules and boundaries, demonstrating resourcefulness, creativity and heaps of imagination and trust in their therapeutic relationship. They have given me a silver lining to focus upon each and every week.’
‘In 2021 I hope that we can sit less than 2 metres apart as we fly spaceships and fight dragons. I hope that we will be able to build dens again and I really hope to be able to high five them when they recognise how much progress they have made.’
‘I wish for us all to be able to come back together and behave like human beings, supporting and being kind to one another without judgement and division.’
We hope that your Christmas wishes were just as inspiring and would like to send our thanks to you for your support in 2020, and our very best wishes for a bright, happy and kind New Year.