I’ve decided to start a blog. My very own slice of the Salvesen Mindroom Website, where I can talk about the issues head on, share the latest updates that affect children and young people with learning difficulties and their families and give an insight into the valuable work that goes on behind the scenes. And there’s no better way to commence 2021, than with a recap of a very different year and how we plan to navigate the year ahead with hopefully more positivity in sight.

Tackling the year that was 2020

Unprecedented. We all heard that word on repeat last year, and rightly so. It was a year we couldn’t have expected or planned for.

Like many organisations, the pandemic and resulting lockdowns and restrictions completely changed the way we worked (and continues to do so). Remote teams, cancelled fundraising events and finding new ways to support, inform and empower all posed a challenge for the team. But at the same time, the children, young people and families we work to support were facing a whole new range of issues and worries.

We needed to push on and rethink our usual approach. One of the main obstacles was losing our ability to visit homes, schools and other organisations to provide direct help and support, face to face. But we quickly adopted the digital world, adapting procedures to offer virtual support.

Thanks to funding from the Imlay Foundation and support from maclean, we were able to embrace new tools and technology, launching our new website. And our online interactive Back to School Toolkit continues to help pupils, parents, carers and teachers as they try to adjust to the ever-changing educational environment.

As I write this, in the middle of another national lockdown, it’s clear we’re not out of the woods yet. But there’s plenty of hope and we have a dedicated team that are determined to be there on the other side of the phone or screen supporting children and young people with learning difficulties and their families as they navigate the ‘new normal’, whatever that may be.

Our 21st year

Throughout 2021, we’ll be reflecting on how far we’ve come since 2000. You’ll already see the new branding on our website and social channels. We’re determined to make it a time of celebration despite the restrictions with a range of exciting events. You can find out all about them in our latest January newsletter.

Here’s to the next 21 years!

What’s next for Salvesen Mindroom Centre?

With big goals, comes a lot of planning and throughout the first quarter, I’ll be working with the team and our Board of Trustees to devise our 3-year business plan. We’ll also be creating specific cultural and digital plans.

We will continue with our evidence-based research with our key partners at Salvesen Mindroom Research Centre. We’ll also be working in partnership with universities and research departments across Scotland and beyond to identify new joint working initiatives.

And we have a number of exciting digital resources on-route this year, so watch this space!

A journey to change

As we start to build momentum, make plans and make changes, it’s important to remember that we have a long way to go on our journey.

The end is a time and place when Salvesen Mindroom Centre leads as an internationally recognised centre of excellence in neurodiversity. I think it’s absolutely possible. We have a team with the minds, determination and confidence to get there, and we’re in a better position than ever before.

However, we can’t achieve this on our own, more than ever we need your support and financial backing.

Alyson Miller
Chief Executive Officer