It always involves lots of adding up of numbers from registers, as a way to track how many people we are reaching and supporting. Whilst it was incredible to see that since we opened the doors to Bluebell Place in September, we have received 519 visitors, it made me think about how we measure success and what this really looks like?
Some of the most rewarding and inspiring results are nothing to do with numbers. We are rewarded every week by the one mum who hasn't been able to leave the house, making the most enormous and brave effort to come to Bluebell Place and watching the relief she feels on arriving to be met by our team, volunteers and other wonderful mums, to realise that she is not alone. Watching the mums at our drop-ins learning to knit, crochet, take part in life-coaching, yoga, baby massage, building their self-esteem and confidence and supporting each other, is worth so much more than a register full of names. Seeing a dad who has felt so alone, not knowing how to tell anyone how he's feeling, learn that lots of dads feel like this and that we have a dads' worker he can talk to, feels like a huge turning point.
To capture these moments, we feel, is more important than registers and so we ask parents to write, draw, send us quotes or express somehow the difference they feel and how Bluebell has helped. We treasure this feedback and proudly display some of these lovely pictures and words on the walls at Bluebell Place.
For us, to help just one mum or dad see the light at the end of the tunnel and feel hopeful again, feels like real success.