World Mental Health Day

Many of you are aware that today is World Mental Health Day. Who you may be unaware of is Shout – they are bit like the Samaritans but offer a purely text service. What you may also not know is that Abi volunteers for them.

It’s not easy but it does give people a way to reach out without fearing repercussions. Text messages may not seem like the best way to communicate sometimes but as a first step they can be massive. Sometimes the thoughts in our heads are so all-consuming that the idea of speaking to someone, actually articulating them is too much. Our brains tell us that people will think we are overreacting, being irrational, they won’t believe us or will just think we are plain stupid. Saying them out-loud will make them real. None of which is true. It’s time we started to understand that mental health is a major part of self care.

We deserve to be listened to and helped. If you had cancer you would seek and expect help, why is this any different? It’s a silent killer that steals the healthy bodied. It’s personally touched us deeply. Many of us have experience issues at some point in our lives and yet we often don’t accept that we should ask for help. Medication comes in all shapes and sizes and sometimes it’s as simple as talking. It’s not all about popping a pill.

World Mental Health day is 10th October but should be talked about every day. Suicide is on the rise, did you know it went up 12% in the UK alone last year? So here’s my promise, I’ll listen to you if you reach out. You are worth it. In the words of Emma Thompson “a stiff upper lip will just give you an achy chin”.

A day in the life of work experience

Aidan’s blog

Hello, and welcome to my rendition of my first five days in the workplace. Considering I’ve never actually worked, other than with my dad in the garden, being in an actual workplace, doing an actual job has been useful in understanding how places of work function. Although being sufficiently exhausting, turning baking from a hobby into a temporary job, has been a nice learning experience.

Aidan typing up his blog on the computer
Now where shall I start?

I’ve spent most of my time in the kitchen with Natalie the baker. The kitchen is probably my favourite  place to work in but it is definitely the most physically draining. The transition from a school day to a day of baking have some very large differences but the most noticeable for me is that at school I am sitting down almost all day apart from break and lunch. Whereas in the bakery, I am standing and walking all day apart from at lunch where I can have a sit down and enjoy my food. Don’t get me wrong, I much prefer going to work in the morning rather than school, I’m just saying that I sleep better as well.

Another part of my experience has been packaging and learning to arrange products to be delivered to customers. You could definitely say that origami is not a strong point of mine and unfortunately creating boxes shares many of the same properties. To make a box you basically have to fold a sheet of cardboard until it fits together. This sounds like a simple task but I can assure you that no everyone is capable of doing this.

Aidan doing the lettering on message cakes
So many birthdays!

Today’s been nice as well, I participated in my first meeting this morning, they’re not as bad as people make them out to be, although I’m sure they come worse than this one. I also wrote my first blog this morning, it has actually been quite fun, admittedly I had to google how to start it but post introduction wasn’t too difficult. I look forward to tomorrow but dread that that will be my last day. Many thanks to Abi and Steve for making this possible for me and to Natalie for coping with me in the kitchen.

Aidan and Natalie in the kitchen baking with the ovens in the background

Abi and Steve’s Response

Do you know it’s been our absolute pleasure to have you join us this week. Thanks for writing a great blog. Aidan, you have shown yourself to be both willing and able. And if you are ever looking for an apprenticeship, please give us a call x

child dreaming of different jobs they could do while reading a book

Growing up

Growing up and the teachers that inspired

When you were growing up did you know what you wanted to be or did you just go with the flow? Was there a teacher that inspired you or one you hated?

It’s all changed so much these days, our children think we are old and complete dinosaurs when we talk about our school experiences.

We recently watch Sara Cox going Back in Time for School. A great program and one we could all relate to. However, when I told the girls that I didn’t use a computer at school… well, what can I say? They sat there in complete disbelief.
It got me thinking though, we all go on about how much things change but the speed these days is quite alarming. It’s exactly 20 years ago that I got my first computer. I was 21. Dial up was slow and cost a fortune. Now we get shouts of frustration if a page won’t load in a few seconds.

Inspiring times

Teachers aren’t praised nearly enough. We all remember the one we hated but what about the ones that inspired us? Now before you take great pity on me, I was more likely to find my head in a book than play computer games (and still am still the same). I love english and drama growing up. However, these teachers were a mixed bunch. I am very sure it wasn’t always there fault 🤣 but I do remember one that had written me off from the start.

But this is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the next english teacher I got. She found my strengths and taught me how to play to them. My clarinet teacher too was someone I felt treated me like an adult and was always there for me. I had no idea what I wanted to be (still don’t) but their chosen vocation was well suited.

young boy holiday hands with dad as they walk along together


I even remember my teacher, Mrs Horner, from when I was about 8. But for the life of me I can’t remember why I liked her so much. I’m sure she was lovely but time plays tricks on the mind! Perhaps it was a just a good period of time in my life? I moved around a lot as my dad was in the army so teachers were just as important as friends to me. I guess I was lucky, although I also think it takes a special person to become a teacher.

A good teacher doesn’t just go into school, go through the lessons and leaves. A good teacher needs to deal with everything that may be going on around those children. The child that hasn’t eaten breakfast. The one that is a pain in the neck to everyone because they feel no one cares about them at home. And then there’s the serious neglect.
Don’t get me wrong I like to think I look out for my team but I don’t worry about whether they are eating enough. I work with adults and these things are up to them. But teachers have a duty of care that’s a real tight rope. Oh and then there’s long hours and poor pay..!

Dreaming of tomorrow

Still in amongst all this they find the time to inspire our children. To find the subjects children excel at and push them further. Their dreams of tomorrow will be completely different to mine. If I’m honest tomorrow seems a long way off to me, let alone them. So I can see that it will be world’s away from my own adult life but I do hope they appreciate the start in life they had.

Don't forget to say "thank you" x