UNLOCKED – FREEING SPACE
Our Unlocked programme offers, free of charge, rooms in the Abbey Centre or one of our island cottages to those who are marginalised in society, and/or have been particularly adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic (e.g. exacerbated mental illness, isolation, poverty, abuse, whether families, individuals, carers, church or health professionals).
The ‘Unlocked’ programme offers an opportunity for individuals or families who have been disadvantaged to experience time and space on Iona with the Iona Community.
In 2021 we were delighted to welcome 63, and in 2022 over 90 people under the Unlocked programme, all supported by our Partners.
Participants and Partners confirmed that:
- Unlocked gave those living on the margins an experience of being welcomed unconditionally, “without obligations” or stigma marking them out as ‘different.’
- Unlocked provided space for burnt out key workers to recuperate, take stock, find new energy to return to support others. The programme offered “a time of great rest and a time of healing.” One key worker returned to work “with a renewed sense of energy.”
- Unlocked offered space for families to have a holiday “like anyone else” where children could play freely, “find peace looking out at the sea”, find freedom “for a short while in the midst of financial worries.”
- Those coping with mental health and physical challenges “found the experience transformational.”
- Unlocked provided free holiday space for families and individuals living in poverty who could otherwise “never have afforded a holiday.”
- Unlocked offered space to the bereaved “to grieve”, to “come to terms with loss.”
Wahida reflects on her visit to Iona as part of the Unlocked programme.