When We Emerge


When we emerge
with cleaner cupboards
longer hair
unphased by Zoom
speaking more French,
or playing the guitar

When we can meet
and hug
and laugh
and share relief
and grief

When we no longer fear
for relatives in care
no longer hesitate
to pick up post
or handle fruit
no longer dodge
whoever comes our way

When we return
to schools and offices
and shops and gyms
and pubs and trains
Here’s hoping neighbours’ kindliness remains. 

Eleanor Nesbitt

Perhaps one of the most positive outcomes to be observed through lockdown has been an increasing sense of community, a heightened awareness of our interdependence and our need for relationships and not just via social media!  People have connected across balconies, clapped outside their front doors with a streetful of neighbours on a Thursday evening, had more conversations two metres apart in a supermarket queue than they ever did before.  And these have been the acknowledged highlights of their day. 

But with this awareness comes the stark realisation that many children and their parents are closed off from such life-affirming experiences.  Behind the closed doors of often cramped living spaces toxic stress erupts into domestic violence and child maltreatment.  The NSPCC has reported a 22% increase in calls relating to child abuse since lockdown began mostly fuelled by parental alcohol and substance misuse. The Met alone is reported to have been making 100 domestic abuse arrests A DAY!

Children who do not have safe family homes and secure attachments to parental figures are going to return to school even more needy than they were last term all in a context of ‘physical distancing’. What can we do to support these children, reduce the possibility of adding to harm and create a web of safety which also ensures that ALL the children will benefit?

Anecdotally I have heard many conversations from teachers who are having to ‘carry’ and ‘hold’ the very real feelings that accompany not being able to see these children, the children they ordinarily know have a place of safety at school. There have been many perspectives, experiences and lenses through which we are all ‘doing a pandemic’. Holding all of these can be hard. As someone more eloquent than I said, “we are all in the same storm but we are not in the same boat.

How can we ensure that the transition back to school is done so through the lens of safety and attachment relationships.

The training session will help to:

  • identify those children who are most in need of support
  • provide insights into the internal world of a child/young person who has attachment relationships as a result of a parent being unable to meet their needs
  • give a theoretical understanding of the hard-wiring of these children’s brains and what can be done to begin the process of rewiring
  • provide you with a toolkit of strategies and ideas to work with

To book your place on the next live training event, please go here for your Connection Pass.

This event has been created as a direct response to the impact of living in a pandemic for children, families and those who work on the frontline. For more training events in this series, please go here.


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