The highlights and lowlights of 2017
2017 is almost over, and here at PoetsIN HQ we’re in a reflective mood. It’s that time of year where we sit, take stock, and look back at everything we have achieved, everything we are proud of, and the things we are glad to leave behind.
Despite only being registered as a charity since September, PoetsIN was founded twenty months ago. Paul, Lish, Karen, and I all worked hard to form a solid foundation that would enable rehabilitation and aid mental wellness for all of the vulnerable people we were working with.
Since then, we have a bunch of things to be proud of here’s our list of achievements:
- We received charitable status, from the Charity Commission after a long road of improving our service to ensure maximum impact and success.
- We took our first grant, enabling us to grow, to reach more people, and to continue the good work we have already started.
- We opened submissions for our debut book, which will highlight the stigma around mental illness, along with showcasing the talent within the writing community, offering a platform and a voice to many.
- We have received permission to publish a book with words of the prisoners we have worked with, which included being able to take a photographer into prison, which is very rare indeed. (Pics and book, coming soon)
- We have become an approved supplier to prison networks, which enables us to raise vital funds for the charity.
- Of the service users we have worked with 100% of those individuals have seen improvement in their mental wellness, along with improvement in their spelling, grammar, and grasp of using creative writing to purge.
- We have helped service users cease self-harm using our program as a coping strategy.
- We have been nominated for an award by an institution we work with, for our efforts within their walls.
- We have grown our very own Facebook writing community, that is growing by the day and is full of support.
- We are in the midst of launching our YouTube channel with a debut video created using the words of our service users.
There are many more achievements that we could list, but one more thing that must be shared, are the relationships we have made along the way. The friends we have made from across the world, that have supported and encouraged us to continue even when red-tape and policy held us back. We’ve passed those barriers now, and it was because of those friends that we made it through with smiles on our faces.
2017 has been kind, but as mentioned above, it has also thrown many curveballs in our direction. Setting up a charity is something that none of us have had any experience in doing, so as you can imagine, it was no easy feat. Our humour, our creativity, and practicing what we preach, has certainly helped and motivated us along the way.
Three things that we’re glad to say goodbye to this year are:
- Forms – Yes, we know we’ll have loads more to fill in shortly, but we’re thankful for a break from these for the time being. We’ve filled in around 12 in the past 4 months alone. They certainly don’t make them simple anymore!
- Red Tape – For now, that tape has been firmly broken with our pen-shaped scissors. No doubt red tape will visit us in the future, but we now have more of an idea of how to move past it with relative ease.
- The Set Up – Setting up a charity takes a long time, it’s a journey we are grateful for and will never forget, but we are glad to move on from that, to use our time to reach more people, change more lives, and raise awareness across the country, and the world.
So, that’s us for the year. What have your highlights been? What are you most happy to leave behind?
Until next year, friends.
Paul, Sammie, Karen, Lish.