3 Reasons to feel Hopeful this Easter

In this special Blog Post, Dave Boden, our Grace Foundation Ethos Strategic Lead, talks about 3 reasons why we can be hopeful this Easter time.  

What do you hope for? It’s a question I have been asked many times in the past and yet hope is a word that has often seemed distant to so many over this recent season of disruption.

Whether it is the simple desire to gather friends around the dinner table, see a Marvel Movie at the Cinema again or the hope rooted in a deep longing to see an elderly relative again, hope makes all the difference. What if hope is part of the antidote to the despair, loss, and pain we have all felt over the last year?

Young people understand that hope matters more than ever. Over the Easter Holiday period we will be sharing poetry created by students from across the schools our Ethos Team work in via our Grace Foundation social media. Please do make sure you follow us on Facebook via https://www.facebook.com/gracefoundationcharity

As one school student said through their poem “Hope is in you it’s there – you just need to scoop it out of you.”

So here are three things that I am hopeful about despite all we have been through together.

1. I am hopeful that young people are tougher than we think

There is no point in trying to gloss over the growing sense of concern about the impact of the pandemic on young people and the statistics and stories we hear daily have not been pretty. Hope is not about denial.  Yet during the darkest of times we have seen young people resiliently rising up to adapt to their new context. We know that young people have an incredible ability to bounce back if they are given the right context to thrive. Perhaps now is the time for us all to work together to create that environment for students to thrive again. In this words of this student’s poem:

I hope to see my friends again

The laughs and jokes we had

The times running through the park

Oh I miss those times

I hope to go to school again

Seeing people face to face

And learning in the classrooms

And eating the amazing food

At Grace Foundation we believe young people will show courage and bravery in this next season because we believe in them wholeheartedly. We also want to make sure that those students who have had a really tough time will find hope through a renewed engagement with pastoral people, programmes and practical support.

2. I am hopeful that School communities are stronger than we realised

Years ago, I heard an assembly from a School leader who talked about what it was like to work in dozens of different schools over his career. This leader told us how most schools looked the same from the outside; They all had assembly halls, staff rooms, science labs, school canteens, corridors, and classrooms. Yet only when you looked beneath the surface, could you really understood the what the distinctive culture of a school was really like. Under the surface we discover the strength of the relationships, the care of the staff, and the storm proof systems and structures built to foster community.

The pandemic has seen schools rise with a tenacity to see students succeed no matter what. It has been amazing to see how our school communities have worked together to keep hope alive. Teachers have worked tirelessly to move lessons online and navigate a crazy amount of change in a short space of time. Pastoral staff have worked relentlessly to make sure students are looked after and that they don’t get lost in the chaos. Our Ethos Teams have been on the frontline of supporting the wellbeing of all young people and their families no matter what barriers they have faced. Seeing the way that communities have rallied selflessly together to meet the needs of the next generation has brought me great hope and sets us up for a brighter future.

3. I am hopeful that Easter offers us more than we can imagine

This half term our Ethos Teams have been spending time exploring Easter using a creative interactive multimedia lesson called Who is This Man? It is a modern-day retelling of the story of Easter told through the eyes of the people that Jesus encountered. What’s interesting about this focus on the real Easter story is the poignant reminder how much Jesus was someone who was a carrier of Hope everywhere he went. The need for hope reminds us there is more to our lives than just meeting our physical or practical needs. We are deeply spiritual individuals who yearn for a sense of security, identity, and purpose. It has been encouraging to hear of young people inspired by this message of Jesus even if they don’t follow Christianity for themselves. Perhaps as we all remember that Easter story again, full of second chances, fresh starts and the hope of resurrection, we too will become carriers of hope to others.

The future is not set in stone

Or written in a book

The future is what I make it

So I need to take a look…

Winning Poem – Darlaston Academy

Why not check out our other blog: how to improve your wellbeing during lockdown life?