I love magic! Like really love magic! I am fascinated at its ability to make me question how it happened and yet at the same time, I love the mystery of the ‘not knowing’! If Dynamo is on the TV, I avidly watch his creations and want to look for more! David Blaine is a genius and Derren Brown, well, he blows my mind!

This is all illusion though, tricks to deceive us and make us believe in something that is not real. The State of Mind project is real magic and I have witnessed it several times for myself and I can tell you, it never ceases to amaze me;

A student who was painfully shy and feeling overwhelmed, slowly gaining in confidence, making friends and contributing to our group conversations.

A 17 year old revealing he was potentially homeless and his group listening to him, letting him voice his worries and then helping him navigate his next steps.

A group writing to others in their community when the bad weather had impacted them.

An illustration student creating a mood tracker for others in his group to share and some art students making a check in and out board for our sessions!

A girl feeling able to share her devastating new news of loss and the group holding her, being with her, whilst she cried freely.

A newcomer asking for help and advice because she felt guilty for needing some time out from her young son and the others reassuring her that it was important she took time for herself.

All of these real life examples I have witnessed are the magic of young people lifting others and it never fails to make my heart swell!

I have had a varied work life though I have worked with young people for over 20 years and am continuously impressed with your courage, your hopefulness, your potential. Coming to work for Platfform, their values of being connected, compassionate, brave and curious reflect my core values and the State of Mind project enables us to share it with you.

The magic happens in the groups, you come together, you share, you listen, you help each other, you reach out. It really is magical to observe and I feel privileged to be a part of it.

Even now at this time when all our futures are unpredictable, you show your courage and positivity by reaching out to others; making masks for frontline workers, staying connected with us and dressing up as a superhero to deliver Easter eggs (he bought himself) to kids because the Easter bunny can’t reach them, I feel honoured to have met you!

And now as lockdown continues, over 30 of you will train online as peer mentors with our team so when this is over, we can keeping sprinkling the State of Mind magic across Wales and for that I am humbled and I salute you!