Other than Santa, I’m minded to talk about dark tunnels and bright lights – which now seem a little brighter than they once were.
We can now see the light at the end of the term (tunnel). Many of you will have worked without a significant break since mid-August, and I know that there are some of you who really have not had the opportunity to have a significant and sustained break since the crisis began. We now do have a two-week block of time when it is important, whoever you are, whatever you do, that you all take time to rest and recuperate. Once your work has finished, and for most of you that will be Friday 18 December, turn off your computer, close your laptop and don’t look at your mobile phone messages. That really means that you should keep away from the emails and give yourself a chunk of time to do what you want to do and with whom you want to do it with -government guidance and social distancing permitting! Do not underestimate the attritional impact of 2020 on your health and your well-being. Really do think hard about what you need to do to recharge those batteries. You’ve earned it! I have taken the liberty of attaching a pupil / student well-being and support document, which has been shared by the local authority.
The second light might be that, with the first vaccines having been given this week we now see some end to the COVID crisis. We are realistic and know that it’s the dimmest of lights in the distance but it is a light that should become brighter as each day passes. We will not be out of this crisis early in 2021 and we might even still be feeling its impact during 2022 and beyond but there is a sense that some degree of normality is in touching distance. Some of you will have friends and family who may well have already started to participate in the vaccine programme. It will come to us all eventually and I do very much hope that we all will participate and not be sucked into believing some of the nonsense that’s on those wilder conspiracy forms.
This is also the Christmas card message. A number of years ago, like many of you, at home we stopped buying and sending Christmas cards. We now, as a family, make charitable contributions in lieu of those Christmas cards and tend to send (if anything) an e-card – see below. This Christmas card comes to you with my very best wishes and I do hope that it is a happy holiday period for you.
It is that time of year when many of us focus more clearly on those people who are less fortunate than ourselves. It has been absolutely wonderful to track across Sitwell, Oakwood and TRC the charitable support that many of you have been offering. On a personal level and as a family we have made contributions to two local charities we like to regularly support; that is Roundabout (a charity which supports young people who face the prospect of homelessness in Sheffield and Rotherham) and the S2 (a Sheffield based food bank). At Sitwell there has been support, including a Sana Dash today, in support of the Rotherham Hospice (a local charity which offers palliative care). At Oakwood there has been and continues to be significant interest in and support for Shiloh (a Rotherham charity which supports the homeless and those at risk of homelessness) and at Thomas Rotherham College, amongst a number of charities being supported, there has been support for the Rotherham food bank and for Rotherham Rush House (providing accommodation allowing young people to live independently). All worthy charities and all charities which need our support more than ever this year. I have dropped in some links towards the end of this message for those people who want to find out a little more about the charities mentioned. You, no doubt, will have charities to which you support – on behalf of them and the wider community thank you for doing that; it really does make a difference.
‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’ Winston Churchill