Skip to main content

Winter solstice message from Alison Bavidge

On winter solstice 2020, National Director Alison Bavidge shares a message of reflection and hope for 'warmer times'...

Whatever our religious persuasion or culture, (unless we live close to the equator) the journey into mid-winter and the passage out of it towards Spring draws us to reflect back and project forward. 

In reflecting on this year, the pandemic has shown the extremes of our human condition; we have learned how to work remotely, testing and vaccines have been developed in record time, communities have mobilised and we have clapped in recognition of the low status and high impact work of carers.  The flip side has been the grinding exposure to food poverty, economic instability and the physical and mental health risks of lockdown on individuals and families who were already struggling.  It has been hard for many of us in social work, finding our complex work made more so, trying to hold safe personal space whilst working from home and balancing our family lives and mental health. 

The Winter solstice is a turning point for most of us.  We count down as the time between sunrise and sunset shortens and shortens. We reckon in weeks how long it will be until we have the same level or more sunlight.  To bear the wet and the cold, we imagine what the warmth of the sun will feel like on the first day we wear a t-shirt again.  This year, in particular, our literal and metaphorical hopes for warmer times have possibly never been greater.   

Already I have green shoots in a pot on my window ledge.  Probably snowdrops, but I’m not sure.  In the coming months we will all continue to work with uncertainty, supporting each person we work with, creating the opportunities we can and mitigating hardship where that is all we can do.  Whether my shoots turn into snowdrops or, maybe, crocuses, they bring me hope by the fact they are there.  For many people who need us, that is our role.