St Margaret’s Hope
Last Wednesday evening 25 people braved the sub zero arctic conditions to attend a screening of the documentary film Resilience in Cromarty Hall in St Margaret’s Hope. The film introduced the audience to the research and science behind Adverse Childhood Experiences commonly known now as ACEs. Following the film there was an opportunity for reaction and discussion supported by Councillor Steve Sankey and Chief Social Work Officer (Children and Families, criminal justice) Scott Hunter. An interesting discussion developed as people tried to understand the issues around ACEs locally and nationally and what can be done to reduce the impact and prevalence.
Early comments from the audience included statements like – Hopeful – remember there is always a bigger picture – the connection to adult health from things that happened in childhood mind blowing, but obvious when you know – People are unaware of subcultures in their own communities – very interesting – enlightening, inspiring – thought provoking and interesting – educate people, medically trained people – its huge, where do we start – and even we’ve left God out of the equation.
Using a rating scale of 0-10 the audience were invited to grade how much influence they felt they had over the occurrence of ACEs. Most people rated this below 5 out of 10. As discussion teased out the protective factors and buffers children exposed to high stress might need a shift towards what can be done started to emerge. A second short TED talk film was then shown titled – The Power of Everyday Heroes by Jaz Ampaw-Farr. As the evening drew to a close the audience again were asked to rate their perceived scale of influence. This time everyone’s score increased with over a third lodging 10:10 as the realisation that everyday kindnesses like caring and noticing other people can make such a difference. Some of the encouraging and positive ideas that people offered now included – be more confident to know I can change the system, make a bit more time to really listen, challenge the ideas of others, recognise I can help one person and they may help many, don’t underestimate the impact of an act of kindness and keep trying to give our young people our best.
Thanks go to Councillor Steve Sankey, Scott Hunter and The Cromarty Hall, particularly Helen Butcher, for their kind assistance in making this evening possible.
Thanks again for your support. The next showing will be in Thurso on 17th March.
By Kevin Denvir