We are a bit over-excited at the moment about offering the first internships at The Grange – especially since applications have started coming in (there is still time to apply – go here for more information - http://thegrangenorfolk.org.uk/index.php/get-involved/internships).
Over the last few days I have been speaking to people who have applied, or are thinking of applying for the internship, and I have also been preparing a welcome pack for interns which includes details of how we will support them during their time here.
Our conversations – and a conversation with Beverley from the wonderful Mothertongue last week – have got me thinking a lot about burnout. Burnout is a phrase that I think is often misused by people feeling a bit tired or run down – but when people are really burned out it is completely debilitating and even life-threatening. Sophie and I both have personal experience of burnout and it is something we take really seriously for ourselves, for anyone else visiting The Grange, and also through courses that happen here including the upcoming Mindfulness and Social Change course and the Permaculture Design Course (see the events listings page for more details).
We are very fortunate to have support from some fantastic psychotherapists, including those on our Elders group and also from a clinical supervisor who me meet with once a month. We are now shocked at how little support there is for people working in highly stressful situations such as in hospitals and humanitarian emergencies where the attitude of many organisations seems to be that people should just get on with it.
After four years living at The Grange, Sophie and I realise that we need to do more to take care of our own resilience as living with so many different people who visit The Grange, whilst hugely rewarding and a real privilege, has also presented a lot of challenges to each of us personally, and to us as a family unit. We have therefore taken the huge decision to apply to build a house for our family to live in on site. Welcoming interns, volunteers and others is therefore going to be an even more important part of maintaining the feel of a family and a community at The Grange and we are committed to ensuring that everyone who stays here is given all the support they need to flourish and grow, and to avoid burnout.
We will keep you posted on how it goes!