“Love is the light, scaring darkness away”
You may remember these lines from their original release by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Not meant to be a Christmas hit but yet it’s been held in the same ranks as songs by WHAM!, Mariah Carey and Slade that are instantly recognisable as festive favourites. The song is so well loved around the holidays in fact that it was covered by Gabrielle Aplin for the John Lewis Christmas advert.
There are many reasons it has kept a top spot in this realm, of course, but I think it’s great that a song about love being powerful is one that we have collectively held on to. Here at Love Squared we talk a lot about Love, it’s what we are all about! If you have seen the amazing seasonal video Proctor and Stevenson kindly created for us (watch below) you’ll know it’s the centre of what we do, it’s so important to us that we use the transformative power of love in every aspect of our work.
To us this looks like listening to children and young people, empowering them, being kind, and understanding their story. As professionals and as a society it is essential that we recognise what a profound impact this care can have, but what are some of the key benefits of choosing to work in this way?
Love can be a catalyst for establishing a safe, supportive environment where people feel respected, valued and heard. It’s a true joy to see children and young people freely express themselves, ask questions, share their ideas without being worried about judgement or jokes. A nurturing atmosphere promotes engagement, builds trust and encourages healthy relationships with practitioners. Moreover, bringing kindness into all elements of our work fosters creativity amongst the team, enhances wellbeing across the board, and grows stronger relationships with the organisations we work with. This ensures a high quality service throughout our work which in turn enhances outcomes for all.
Bringing love into our work encourages inclusivity and celebrates diversity, encouraging people to appreciate the uniqueness of every individual regardless of their background, ability or identity. By embracing diversity we can create inclusive work that represents a wide range of perspectives and experiences. This approach is vital in today’s world, where many young people still live in a society that does not seem to understand them.
A recent young minds research project  found that young people who are trans, black, or have health conditions or learning differences were much more likely to wait for supportive services than their peers. When we model love in our day to day with the people we work with, we are encouraging others to grow in empathy, respect and tolerance so that they can contribute to their communities. These skills are lifelong, the ability to empathise, communicate effectively, collaborate and show compassion are invaluable qualities to have that extend the educational journey. Above this we are listening to and lifting up the voices of the young people we work with, modelling understanding and empathy, encouraging each other to listen and learn.
Learning plays a key role in wellbeing and the way children and young people develop, and once young people feel safe and well then education can enter the frame. Incorporating a loving pedagogy not only fosters a positive and inclusive environment to learn but also equips young people with valuable skills for life. Time and again evidence has shown that learning can only happen when core wellbeing needs are met. We see the huge value in this and believe it can transform children’s services for the better.
You only need to look at the rates at which exclusions and suspensions have increased nationally to see that there is a huge need for a fresh approach. We know and understand that behaviour is communication, but there is a huge level of communication that is being missed due to undiagnosed speech and language and communication needs (SLCN) or Special educational needs (SEN.) For example, in recent research it was found that 319,757 children and young people in England were identified as having SLCN as their primary type of special educational need in 2022. This represents 3.6% of all pupils on roll, compared with the 7.6% of children who have Developmental Language Delay according to research. This shows a huge gap of young people who have no diagnoses or recognition of need.
By treating children and young people with love we acknowledge the unique challenges students face and provide them with the necessary emotional support. By fostering emotional wellbeing, practitioners help to develop resilience, self-confidence and empathy – qualities that weave into all aspects of life. Furthermore, education isn’t limited to a classroom experience, both formal and informal education, when done right, involves nurturing emotional wellbeing.
So when we talk about love, it’s not merely a gesture, it’s a transformative force which has the power to support young people to build a better future. By treating everyone we work with in the Love Squared way we can create safe and supportive environments, foster emotional wellbeing, promote inclusivity and diversity, instil values, enhance learning outcomes and equip children and young people with lifelong skills. So let’s embrace love as a cornerstone of children’s services and watch as our young people thrive and flourish in a world where they are put at the centre.
When Holly Johnson, Lead singer of the band, was asked about this signature song, he spoke of it’s special place in his heart, saying “love is the only thing that matters in the end.”
Something we could all do well to remember, around the holidays, and throughout the year.
3a: Department for Education (2022). Special educational needs in England: Academic Year 2021/22. Online:
3b: Norbury, C. F., Gooch, D., Wray, C., Baird, G., Charman, T., Simonoff, E., Vamvakas, G. & Pickles, A. (2016). The impact of nonverbal ability on prevalence and clinical presentation of language disorder: evidence from a population study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57(11), 1247–1257