SRN blog: A Highland Hello!

30th May 2019

SRN’s latest blog from Holly Hendry, our Network Officer for the North of Scotland, outlines how a small group of people and a simple idea is making waves (Image result for waving hand emoji) across The Highlands.

Pitching the Hello project

Last May I was facilitating a table top conversation on Peer Support at the Highland tsi conference. The direction of the conversation led us to chat about community connections and social isolation and actions we believed were important to making change to the challenges that this presents.

At the conference there was the opportunity to pitch a project idea based on the table top conversation with the chance of winning a small amount of funding to make the idea a reality. Our idea was to try a connect people in the Highlands through the simple gesture of saying HELLO! It was really that simple. We won jointly with another group and each received £500.

Those involved in the development of this project were myself, Tiffany from HiMRA, Jane from Signpost, Revd James Currall and Gail, formerly of Signpost. All involved are living in Highlands and share a belief that simple gestures can support us to feel more connected within our communities.

With the funding we created packs of posters and stickers that were sent across the Highlands as well as t-shirts to support to the campaign.

Launching the Hello project

Fast forward nearly a year and we launched the project on the 10th of May at Ar n-Àite in Inverness. The launch brought people together to share what we have done and encourage folk to take away the concept and use it / develop it in their own communities. Following the launch we spent the day painting HELLO stones to hide across the Highlands (look out for one!) and decorating clay hearts with the Clay Studio. We co-ordinated this event with all the activities happening in the Highlands for the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival. Seeing as this year’s theme is ‘connected’ it felt like a good opportunity to share the Hello Project idea.

What we hope to achieve:

  • We hope to connect more people across the Highlands (and Scotland) through the simple act of saying ‘HELLO’.
  • For people to consider the power of saying ‘HELLO’? This is your opportunity to try it and think about what it could mean to someone.

Get involved

There are digital copies of posters in a range of languages as a resource and we would love people to use these. This is a very simple concept that could be developed in lots of wonderful ways. If you have an idea of how you could use it in your community, please go for it.

Download information pack and posters  (posters in a range of languages).

For more information contact tiffany.bottomley@birchwoodhighland.org.uk

Join the conversation on Twitter using #HELLO!