Hello PINners, how is it the end of the year already? 

We’ve had an incredibly busy 12 months as a charity and have achieved so much this year, including reaching our fifth birthday – a triumph itself. We’re all incredibly proud of what we have achieved collectively, as a team. It’s such an honour to be able to reflect on a year spent with inspiring people, all of whom make up the charity. 

In our last blog, we highlighted some of our big achievements as a charity so this year we thought we’d get the entire team to think about the last 12 months and ask them to reflect on their highlights and challenges within team PoetsIN. 

Sit back, and strap yourselves in – our team have dug deep to share their inner-most thoughts about their time with PoetsIN. It’s so refreshing to have a team that feels able to be so open without fear that Paul and I will judge them for their thoughts; instead we welcome them.

Let’s dive right into it. 

Thank you

Our Highlights:

Receiving a phone call from our very first service user who I’ve been supporting since 2016. They have been in prison for six years and called me to tell me that they have finally been granted parole. I couldn’t be more proud of the person they are today, and that I played a small part in that journey. When we as a charity say we are different, we mean it. I think this highlight alone proves that. Watch this space for more about this in the coming months as they begin to volunteer for us.


Fulfilling a 5 year dream to work at PoetsIN after 5 long years of not working due to caregiving responsibilities. It’s already improved my mental health by giving me much needed routine, focus and direction.


Getting in front of over a 1000 kids in one week in December and having them actually engaged in what I was saying, while UP ON STAGE on my own. Such an honour being the person I needed throughout my entire life and increasing awareness of the charity so much. The School Week – big things.


The positive feedback from our Wellbeing in the Workplace packages – in particular from DoTerra where they experienced a marked and positive difference in the language and conversations around mental health between colleagues.


Being made Charity Manager. I didn’t think I would ever become something like that due to previous roles that I have struggled in. But it has given me more confidence and helped see my potential.


My workaversary! Being at PoetsIN a whole year and loving it 🙂  


Finding my way back to my work family and overcoming self-doubt about whether I would be able to pick up where I left off, which despite there being changes to certain aspects of the job, I have transitioned into my role smoothly. Just having the opportunity to be a supportive role to people who need a little helping hand is an incredible achievement in itself, especially knowing how imperative a support system is to those who struggle with mental health issues. I literally cannot wait to see what 2023 has in store for PoetsIN and will no doubt have a list of goals to achieve by this time next year!


Seeing the individual service user feedback over the year knowing that we are changing lives and the positive impact it will have on them going forward.


Seeing the positive impact the work I’ve been doing has had on so many people.


Seeing the Wellbeing in the Workplace Packages grow and evolve; along with implementing our drop in sessions with Co–Space.


In general it’s in knowing how much of a difference the work we do makes, on an individual level I love it when a client who starts off with no camera or mic, by the end of the programme has both turned on fully engaged and excited for the sessions.

Thank you

Our Challenges:

*Inserts Taylor Swift’s “It’s me, hi, I’m the problem it’s me.”*

My biggest challenge is and will always be myself – I am my biggest critic and this has been more of a hindrance than a help this year. I do my best every single day, but my brain tells me that my best is not good enough. While logically, and compassionately, I tell myself that I am good enough, there’s always that self-punishing element of doubt.


Navigating life changes that come with working again after so long without, and resetting everything to make it work 


So many applications for funding in a year that saw less money available and more people applying; the worst being the Arts Council NPO application that is 100% discriminatory to smaller charities and completely broke me for a few weeks. 


Sometimes it’s difficult to get an idea of impact during an online session when people are not on camera or on mic.  I find this quite hard sometimes.  I like to see the whites of their eyes!  Or at least a smile or grimace!


Transitioning into my new role. Trying to overcome imposter syndrome can be difficult to deal with sometimes. But I feel better and more confident, and am learning new things all the time.


An uptick in food bank help etc has been hard to see. 


That whole self-doubt thing is probably -and has probably always been – one of the biggest challenges I face. Also sticking to the concepts that we teach others to be able to cope with my mental health issues so that I can be the best version of myself for our service users and my co-workers -that has been challenging, but in a good way. Keeps me focused on myself so that I can focus on what’s important to me – and PoetsIN is definitely one of the most important aspects of my life; the people who work hard to keep us going and the people we are able to support included. My time away helped me realise just how important they all are to me and words can’t express how grateful I am to be back home! Love you Sammie. So much!


Juggling work, ill-health and family life.


Getting organisations to see how important looking after their team’s mental health is.


Trying to get used to working from home and not having that in-person team feeling. (whilst also trying to complete an MA alongside it)


When no-one in the group programme has their camera or mic on and I am relying solely on the chat box, it can make it challenging to maintain engagement and momentum or have a sense of their situation.


So many applications for funding in a year that saw less money available and more people applying; the worst being the Arts Council NPO application that is 100% discriminatory to smaller charities and completely broke me for a few weeks. 


As a team we may all have different highlights and challenges, but the thing that connects us all is the compassion, care, and love for the support we provide and for our little home called PoetsIN. 

Thank you!

Before I sign off for the year, I’d like to say thank you to some people who have been fundamental to our successes:

Our team and volunteers: 

You have all been vital to every thing we do. I get so much joy seeing and hearing the success of our clients because of the care and support you provide. Your passion and commitment blows me away and I am so proud of you all. It really is a pleasure to know and work with all of you. You’re all my extended family; Paul and I couldn’t do this without you. 

Our clients: 

Mental health is such an intimate thing; talking about our deepest and darkest crevices in our minds is so hard. You all inspire me every time you reach out, talk about your pain, or ask for support for your loved one. Thank you for putting your trust in us. 

Our Funders: 

Being a charity is hard. Getting grant makers to notice you amidst hundreds of other applications often feels impossible. Thank you to every single funder that has seen the value in what we do, has offered us funding to allow us to continue to do what we do, and to improve what we do. We would not be here without you. 

Our fundraisers:

Thank you to each and every person who has taken on the challenge of raising funds for us this year. We’ve seen planks, silences, walks, and all manner of wonderful things to gain donations for the charity. We are always so humbled that you choose us. 

Our Partners: 

To organisations that have reached out to us for our Wellbeing in the Workplace packages, thank you. Your investment in your teams is refreshing and sets a standard that all organisations will look up to. 

To those who have partnered with us on contracts, enabling us to continue reaching more people across the country who so desperately need mental health support, thank you for your confidence in us. 

To those who have referred to us, thank you. Your clients are in good hands. 

To organisations that have raised funds for us through inventive activities, thank you. We’ve had so much fun with you all this year. 

I have to make a special mention to Strand PR. Strand was founded and is directed by a woman who constantly inspires me. I am in awe of your determination, drive, and your unwavering support of the charity, Laura. You have built a talented team who have all had a hand in providing PoetsIN just what we need, exactly when we need it. Thank you all so much. 


I always worry about thanking people because I am scared I will miss someone and upset them and that isn’t ever my intention. 

If you have had contact with Paul, the team, or myself – Thank you. Thank you for your support, encouragement, trust, love, generosity, and kindness. We’re lucky to have met you. 


I couldn’t sign this off without saying thank you to my partner-in-charity, Paul. 

Paul, no amount of words could ever summarise my gratitude and love for what you and I have grown together. From day one to day 2190. We have been through so much together, great things and the not-so-great things – and here we are, at the end of another year, still doing this together. 

I could write a whole blog just on our relationship and why it’s so meaningful to me and to the charity, but I’ll say this and this alone. Thank you, Paul. 2190 days as co-founders and I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else. 

Until 2023, PINners, 


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  • Commenter's Avatar
    Catherine Whittaker — December 30, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    You do a fantastic job and I feel extremely that I have benefited from you services, looking forward to participating further in 2023. Happy New Year to the whole team and a huge thanks for all you do

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