Do you Know the 4 Reasons why 2023 Felt Pretty Daunting?
By Simon Hawking
That’s the word to describe how I felt during the Christmas period last year.
So much of what we’d been dreaming about for years with Acts was on the brink of happening and we knew that the next 12 months would be crucial.
So, What was going on?
- We had a building site for a base; a huge project to give a home to Lincoln Community Grocery and an office for our small team who had been dispersed for nearly three years.
- We were expanding our support for Night Light across the county.
- Our two long standing youth work teams were merging.
- We had a whole batch of recruitment rounds ahead which would more than double the size of our staff team.
And as such, we had a very stretched team anticipating a ‘turbulent term’ ahead.
Just after Christmas 2022 I changed the ‘Happy Christmas’ sign in our lounge to ‘High Hopes for 2023’. (It’s stayed up all year) It may have seemed daunting but truthfully we were all teeming with hope.
We really believed in our mission, driven by our faith and our total belief that the changes ahead were the right ones for us and for the city.
What I thought would be a turbulent term was in reality a turbulent year as we navigated so much change. 16 recruitment rounds later (or thereabouts, I lost count) and I end this year feeling so proud of the people who made it such a success; the staff and board who have stuck with it as we’ve navigated the changes and the 250+ volunteers across the City who make a difference every day.
How has it been?
It’s a very different Acts Trust to the one we ended 2022 with but it’s mighty to see the fruit of the labours as we connect with more people and families than ever before!
- 100 people coming into Beaumont Manor everyday for the Grocery and making friends in the Alive Cafe
- Around 30 Night Light cafes giving hope across the county
- Dozens of people empowered through our Restore courses and programmes
- Hundreds of partner organisations using our Restore software to connect people to the right support
- Thousands of young people being cheered on across our youth initiatives
- Tonnes of food collected, sorted and provided through Lincoln Foodbank to those feeling the brunt force of the cost of living crisis
I end 2023 reminiscing about 1-year-younger me with all my nervousness and anxiety. Had I made the right calls? Would I be able to stay strong for the team?
How are things looking for 2024?
My feeling now is GRATEFULNESS.
To the team and board who have worked so hard because of their unwavering belief in what they do
To the volunteer heroes who make things happen and give their time selflessly for others
For all organisations and donors who believed in us and supported with donations, grants, time and resources
To God for sustaining us
And to those who carried me personally when I really didn’t feel strong at all (which is a totally OK place to be)
2024 for Acts will hopefully be a little less changeable (please!) but our HOPE is still HIGH. There’s a lot still to do in Lincoln and we’re determined to play our part!
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