Better to have tried and failed…

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about taking risks.

The reason this has been in my mind is that someone who came to Leuchie House for their first respite break this week decided after a day with us that Leuchie wasn’t right for them and went home earlier than planned.

This happens so rarely that it caused quite a stir amongst our team and an instant reaction of ‘what did we do wrong?’, ‘what could we have done differently?’ After speaking to our guest, we were able to reassure staff that the reasons were instead very personal to her.

She had taken a chance in coming to Leuchie for the first time. It just proved to be too much of a leap at this point. When you are at the early stages of a long term progressive medical condition, it can be difficult to come into an environment where many people are at much more advanced stages.

I always tell my team that for every ten roads you go down in the risks and chances you take in life, probably only one of those will be the right one. However, this should never put you off taking a risk in the first place. It’s exactly the same in this situation. On every break at Leuchie, we have around 20 people who will have taken a chance on coming here at some point and for them it has been the right decision.

There are risks in just about every decision we take in life. Whether it’s joining a gym, or changing job, or, in our case, setting up as an independent charity.  I think it’s a vital part of life to keep pushing and challenging ourselves. We see that on a daily basis with our guests. Even if something doesn’t work the way we’d hoped, we’ll learn from it and it may be right for us at another time, which we hope will be the case with our guest.

Of course, all of this has started me thinking about my own next risks and challenges. But that’s for another column in another week…!

Mairi O'Keefe, Chief Executive, Leuchie House. Published in the East Lothian Courier, 30 August 2018