Crocus Child Bereavement Group Service Manager Hannah Lind has been nominated in the Mental Health and Wellbeing category of the YouthLink Scotland National Youth Work Awards 2019.
Hannah is one of three finalists in the category, and was nominated by young person and service user Verity Nichols.
Crocus Child Bereavement Service has been running in the Highlands for 20 years, and Hannah has been in post since 2015. She manages a team of around eight volunteers and works closely with the young people who use the service in a role which she describes as “pressurised but very rewarding.”
Hannah explains, “One of the first things I did when I joined Crocus was to work with Youth Highland in setting up a Teens Group. Previously we had run a drop-in service for primary school children and held remembrance days. There was a need for something ongoing for teenagers, led by them and their needs.”
Currently, sessions for teenagers are held with a Youth Work approach. Groups, support sessions and remembrance days are held for primary aged children and support is offered to parents and carers of younger pre-school children.
Hannah said, “I am so delighted to be nominated for this award, and was so touched to read the words of the young people who put me forward for it. Our teenage group is so important – we tailor their support according to what they are looking for, and help them to develop peer support. It is so satisfying to see them develop as they become more confident in their inner strength to channel grief alongside others who have a shared understanding of what they are going through.”
Verity Nichols, who is a client of the Crocus service and nominated Hannah for the awards said, “Hannah is an amazing person who has supported us all, she is literally a life saver.”
Other service users who backed Verity’s nomination added:
“Hannah is without a doubt the single greatest person I know, countless lives have been touched by her dedication to others, to her kindness and helping others. Personally I can confidently claim that without Hannah I would be severely depressed and potentially suicidal. I cannot underestimate how much her work has helped me.”
“Hannah has been there for me at my lowest and helped me out of it, I couldn’t have done the things I have done without her to build my confidence.”
“Hannah is way better to talk to because she understands, I’d probably be dead without her.”
Crocus Group, which was formed in the late 1990s, is partly funded by Highland Council and relies on fundraising for the remainder of its income. Initially housed in Raigmore Hospital, it moved to its own premises on the Carse Industrial Estate in 2011, where it continues to operate.
In January 2018 Crocus Group integrated its services with Highland Hospice. Through integrating with the Hospice, Crocus now benefits from the economies of scale of being part of a bigger organisation, allowing its staff to focus on service delivery rather than fundraising, administration and wider governance tasks.
The winner of the Mental Health and Wellbeing award will be announced at the YouthLink Scotland National Youth Work Awards 2019 at a ceremony held in Glasgow in March. Hannah will attend these awards.
Tim Frew, CEO, YouthLink Scotland, the national agency for youth work said, “At the very heart of these awards are young people whose lives have been changed in such a positive way by youth work. Through finalists like Hannah we celebrate young people and the youth workers who make a difference. In every part of Scotland, every day, thousands of youth workers, many of them volunteers, are supporting young people to follow their dreams and realise their potential.”
Highland Hospice Chief Executive Officer Kenny Steele said, “Since Crocus integrated with Highland Hospice last year I have been greatly impressed with the hard work Hannah puts into her role, and the impact she and her team of volunteers make on the lives of the young people who use this hugely important service.
Hannah’s nomination is a well deserved recognition of her ongoing dedication to the young people she works with.”