As 2020 draws to a close, we wanted to take a look back on what has been a very difficult year for many of us across the UK. But amidst the uncertainty and disruption that this year has brought – it’s also brought us glimmers of hope, of community action, of collectively pulling together as a nation, during these most testing of times. And it’s that hope that we want to celebrate, as something that has kept us going this year.

When the bell tolled midnight on 1 January 2020, many of us had already decided our New Year’s resolutions; we’d already discussed the weeks and months ahead; booked holidays, and planned celebrations. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t always plan for things yet unseen. 2020 has also taught us that in the face of adversity – we are stronger than we ever thought we could be.

This is the year that the world moved online – we saw businesses, offices, venues and theatres shift from the physical to the virtual – with performances and plays being streamed to thousands across the globe. It’s the year that we swapped our desktops for our laptops, and continued our work from the comfort of our own home and, for many of us, our pyjamas.

We saw hotels opening their doors to welcome people in off the streets, and shield them from the pandemic. We saw neighbours going above and beyond to help those more vulnerable than themselves with everyday tasks such as collecting shopping and prescriptions. We saw tens of thousands of local restaurants and businesses feeding schoolchildren during the holidays. We saw Joe Wicks keeping our nation’s children (and many parents) active, every day of the year. We saw families join together in Zoom quizzes – many of which hadn’t seen each other physically in a long time.

It’s been a year of rainbows; a year of clapping for our carers; a year of supporting Captain Tom as he raised millions for NHS Charities Together. It’s been a year of spending valuable time with our pets (they’ve had a great time). It’s been a year of shopping local, and supporting our neighbourhood bars and restaurants.

It’s been a year of incredible fundraising. When the news of the pandemic spread across the UK, many fundraisers’ dreams of marathons, swims, runs and walks, were dashed – and we really weren’t sure how 2020 would turn out. Reflecting on the year today, all’s we can say is how incredibly proud we are of every single one of you who has continued fundraising for PAPYRUS this year. Your determination to raise funds to save young lives has shone through this year, and all of the virtual events, races, performances and fundraisers means that we can continue to raise awareness of suicide prevention, and save young lives.

PAPYRUS is driven by the enthusiasm of our supporters, our incredible volunteers, our dedicated trustees and our family of staff; everyone is an important cog in the mission to save young lives.

And for this we want to say thank you.

We are acutely aware that this year has been incredibly difficult for many. With the uncertainty surrounding where will we live, work and study, who we can visit and services that we can access – 2020 has proved an extremely testing time, as lockdowns were imposed and crucial healthcare services were overwhelmed.

To those people who have struggled this year, we wanted to remind you that PAPYRUS is here – should you ever need us. Our dedicated suicide prevention helpline, HOPELINEUK, is here for anybody aged 35 and under who is experiencing thoughts of suicide. We’re also here for anybody who is worried for a young person who might be struggling; as well as any professional – be it GPs, nurses, counsellors, emergency responders or teaching professionals – who has had an encounter with suicide and would like to talk it though with one of our suicide prevention advisers.

And finally, we wanted to remind all of our followers and fundraisers, volunteers, staff and supporters, that although we might not all be in the same boat – we are all weathering the same storm.

Here’s to 2021 – a year of hope and healing.

Happy New Year, from everyone at PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide.

 

HOPELINEUK is open from 9am to midnight, every day of the year.

Call: 0800 068 4141

Text: 07860 039967

Email: pat@papyrus-uk.org

image: Photo by allison christine on Unsplash

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