Sandbags, kites and the Tiny Changes vision

Published on 21.04.22

Wavemaker Rebekah reflects on her experience at the Tiny Changes strategic away days.

Back in November of last year some fellow Wavemakers and I were invited to join the Tiny Changes board and team at their strategic away days. The board and the team would be determining how the charity would be operating in the future and I was so happy to be asked to take part because the work that Tiny Changes does it so important.

Throughout the day, we took part in a variety of teamwork exercises, where we each reflected on what we could personally bring to the Tiny Changes table. We each have our own experiences with mental health, whether personal or work-based, and we need all these experiences to influence our decision making.

It was an absolute privilege to be surrounded by so many people who wanted to make a genuine change in young people’s mental health.

This really shined through when we took part in an exercise called ‘Sandbag or Kite’ – a funny name, but essentially the task was to decide whether we were a Sandbag (someone who is dedicated to policy and procedure) or a kite (someone full of ideas who goes ahead and runs with them).

We began to understand that any organisation or charity needs to have a mixture of both, so even though a lot of us thought of sandbag as a negative and boring term, sandbags are in fact just as essential and important as kites.

“It’s vital young people are involved when it comes to making the decisions that will help them with their own mental health.”

Rebekah, Wavemaker

Our personal decision wasn’t final, everyone else was asked to verify if that person was either a sandbag or a kite, and it was so warming to hear people build one another up, affirming their skills and what they bring to the table. There were so many other activities in which we took part in, all directing us to look at what we had and the resources we had around us, and how we could utilise this to really make Tiny Changes the best that it could be.

I remember coming home the next day feeling incredibly motivated and lucky to have taken part.

I’ve always had my own issues with my mental health, even as a little girl and so I found this experience very rewarding.

There were so many things that I was able to take home, but what especially stuck with me was just how dedicated Tiny Changes and its board members are to the mental health and wellbeing of young people.

Most importantly, it’s vital young people are involved when it comes to making the decisions that will help them with their own mental health. I just want to thank Tiny Changes again for inviting us along and for letting us take part in a beautiful and productive day.

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