Time is relative, so they say. Over the past hundred days we have stretched and contracted time variously spending, wasting, investing and managing it. Some days have flown past in hours, anxious minutes seem to last for ages and some weeks have gone on for months at a time.

The perception of time changes at different stages in our lives. 102 days of lockdown represents over 2% of some of our young people’s lives. That’s a substantial amount of time and for me as a…fifty something… it’s the equivalent of over a year spent in lockdown. Each day can feel like a lifetime for young people, but as days end and start over with little change, our brains bypass the long-term memory and time weirdly seems to speed up. Living in the moment is a way for young people to avoid thinking about the time, experiences and living that they’ve lost and think positively about their future. 

As we try to live in the moment we spend a lot of time thinking about the past or the future. For young people, whose past is full of decisions made and paths defined through parents and school routines they perhaps spend a lot more time thinking about the future than adults may credit them with. This is different for young people who have experienced trauma, giving them a difficult or challenging past to process and being unable to think forward into the future.

Trauma-Informed Care asks us to make a shift in our thinking; changing from asking “What is wrong with this person?” to “What has happened to this person?” putting negative attitudes, challenging behaviour and perceptions to one side to listen and to understand. The five principles of Trauma-informed care Safety, Choice, Collaboration, Trustworthiness and Empowerment define our work with vulnerable young people and help us to help them move forward with their lives in their time.

Only time will tell how much trauma the past hundred days has impacted on the lives of young people both now and into a more insecure future. Lockdown has many impacts on young people, from the relatively short term isolating and sedentary impacts into a future that looks quite suddenly to be less full of potential and opportunity than it did only a short time ago.

As an unsure future starts to open up again, we will use safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness and empowerment to support our young people and together we will continue to make time for them so they can have the time of their lives….

Moving On relies heavily from support from the community to do what we do to help vulnerable and homeless young people in County Durham, this is best received in donations, fundraising and partnership work. If you want to find out more about us or how you can help us please do get in touch.