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January 4, 2022
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Good morning everyone! Happy 2022 and all that. I hope that you all found some time for relaxation over the last two weeks. For those of you who are currently struggling with covid or isolation I wish you a speedy, and good recovery.

It is the new year time for some resolutions. I am sure that some of you have made a resolution, in public or in private, that this year will be the first year of your authenticity. Know that we are here celebrating that authenticity alongside you, cheering you along when you need a chorus and sitting quietly with you when you need time to reflect. You can contact us on 03448 468 545 or email info@beyond-reflections.org.uk if you want our support.

Be kind to yourself

If your resolution this year is to stay safe, to take every day at a time know this is OK too. Sometimes just getting through each day is what we need to get us to that place where we have gathered the strength necessary to change direction.

Our resolutions

Today I want to share with you my resolutions for Beyond Reflections for 2022. Delivering on our commitment to respect, accept, include, and empower with integrity we resolve to

Get back to face-to-face support

It has been nearly two years since we took that hard decision in March to close our face-to-face support. We all feel the absence of those all-important face-to-face connections.

Coming out of the pandemic our face-to-face support looks different. We are seeking volunteers who love hosting, who can create an inclusive space and who can give us one to four evenings a month for our Wellbeing social groups. Starting with reopening Southampton and then spreading out across Hampshire and Dorset then further afield. If you are interested in getting involved, fill out our volunteer application form here. We provide our volunteers with all the training necessary.

Are you interested in helping us behind the scenes? We are recruiting for a paid volunteer coordinator to work 16 hours a week. Click here for more information and get your application in soon.

Go to more Pride events

Pride month is coming. Last year Beyond Reflections attended the return of Southampton Pride. It was wonderful to be back out talking with people. We met some members face-to-face for the first time. For others it was a chance to reconnect, to share their successes and show off authentic faces, bodies, and incredible smiles. I often wish I could bottle the spirit of Pride to warm me during tough times.

This year we have the wonderful Abi joining the staff team as our Projects and Events Administrator. She will be delivering on this new year’s resolution, meeting with our chair of trustees and one of our faces of Pride Samantha Whitehorn to start planning a fantastic schedule of events.

The charismatic Abi will be liaising with Pride teams across the South, gathering volunteers, working with marketing on some fantastic merchandise and developing her own great ideas for improving engagement. Watch this space for how *you* can get involved.

Share our first-hand knowledge of the challenges trans+ people face

Beyond Reflections is a mental wellbeing charity, we know the impact denial, discrimination, and abuse have on trans+ people’s mental health. As a charity we have a commitment to empowering social change through education.

Beyond Reflections has been capturing data for four years on the experiences of our members, and those who reach out for our support. We know what the world is like for trans+ people and we are ready to share that knowledge. We will provide more training, more education to our partners including Southern Health and the Crown Prosecution Service and we will be publishing our first White Paper soon.

Provide more counselling placements

Coming to Beyond Reflections saves lives. We provide three strands of support which together break down the barriers of isolation built to survive denial, discrimination, and abuse. Our members attend casual wellbeing socials, commit to group therapy in our support groups where they can speak about trans specific issues and access one-to-one counselling.

What is counselling?

Counselling provides a safe space to speak about anything which is important. It is the role of the counsellor to listen, to reflect and to empower the client to understand themself better. One member beautifully encapsulates the process of therapy:

“Wow, she has sat there and listened to me go on and on about things that are happening with me and my past, then pops in with something really important and then goes back to TRULY listening. Her approach has helped break down and, more importantly, connect my problems so that I can accept them, change them or be aware of that’s who I am. She brings things to light and to say she’s “gone the extra” mile for me is a massive understatement.”

Why have a placement at Beyond Reflections

Beyond Reflections provides counselling and supervision placements to trainees and to experienced therapists who wish to develop their practice. As a therapist working with people who are understanding their own identity is work like no other. I first got involved with Beyond Reflections as a trainee therapist back in 2010 and have never looked back. Many of our therapists stay on past qualification and all of them leave us with a real understanding of the lived experience of gender diversity.

Our new Counselling Administrator Lydia will be working with Dawn and me to develop our counselling placements. She will be building relationships with the training providers and handling  the tedious administration. Freeing up our volunteer counsellors and supervisors to concentrate on what they do best: really, truly, listening, accepting, and understanding and so promoting mental wellbeing and saving lives.

Applying for a volunteer counselling or supervision placement

If you are interested in a placement, no matter where you are in the country, get in touch. We have online and face-to-face [Southampton] placements and all the clients you could desire.

Can you help me deliver on our new year resolutions? Would you like to see something else in these blogs? Do you have a fantastic fundraising idea? Are you thinking about becoming a trustee? I would love to hear from you. You can email me ceo@beyond-reflections.org.uk.

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