Last night we had a truly amazing virtual event. I was buzzing from it waaay way into the night, and I really didn’t want it to end.
We were there to celebrate HeadsUp and share what it meant to us. I love the Wednesday evening support sessions; I also enjoy the Saturday morning ones and they have become part of my weekly routine. When there is a Hopes4Ed event I have attended those too.

However, last might was something different. Something special, exploring the very essence and being of HeadsUp as an entity. Not sure what if this is what Kate and James intended, but that is how it felt.

Someone said, ‘it is great just knowing that is it there, going on, existing, even when they are not attending in person’. Someone said, ‘it supported them to change the inner critic to an inner coach.’ Everyone talked about it as a friend, as a group that had supported, saved, rescued, challenged, laughed with and, crucially, as a safe space to be at our most vulnerable authentic self. A place to explore, share and own our narrative, whatever that narrative may be.

‘Being heard by someone is the best feeling in the whole world, being heard is so close to being loved that, for an average person, they are almost indistinguishable’. David Augsburger

When in university in the USA I went along to the on-campus theatre to support a friend who had joined a gospel choir. I’d never heard a gospel choir ‘live’. It was amazing, awe inspiring, powerful and moving. I also got the privilege of attending a Native American (Mohawk nation from Akwesasne) peace circle where drumming, voice work and collaborative dancing was involved. This was also amazing, awe inspiring, powerful and moving.

So, what links a university gospel choir, a Native American peace circle and HeadsUp?

A collection of voices (or drums) in harmony, with each voice and drum in chorus bursting from a unique being with their own emotion, lived experience, thoughts and feelings. Then one voice can be heard as a solo, but backed up by the others, the focus on one, but that one voice knowing that the rest of the choir has their back, it always will be there and will be in congruity. There may be mash ups, there may be support from instruments, but always the choir is heard, is powerful and is loved. The gospel choir I heard was not ‘world renowned’ it WAS made up from diverse humans, in race, age, gender, experience and skill. And to me, that made it even more powerful. (And this is part of what makes HeadsUp so powerful too)
HeadsUp is not a network, it is not a support group, it is so much more, it is a living, breathing, growing, learning, caring, diverse choir and peace circle.

By Jenny Bowers, with much love, respect and appreciation.