Posted: Tuesday 5th May 2020
As we all start to think about Government announcements on Sunday about their restrictions “exit strategy”, and how we live our lives safely until we have a vaccine, I want to take a moment to talk about a few of the things I have learnt over these rather strange few weeks:
When rumours of a ‘lockdown’ started at the beginning of March, we witnessed people panic buying, which caused plenty of loo roll shortages! I was concerned that there was a real sense of looking out for number one. Fortunately, this mentality changed rather quickly and we have since seen acts of compassion, selflessness and altruism. From fundraising for charities and social distance dancing to clapping for the NHS every Thursday and shopping for your neighbours, local people have gone above and beyond to support others get through these challenging times.
- Technology has never been more important
For many organisations, the workplace has become unrecognisable. Instead of driving to work, sharing an office, having face to face meetings, everything about our working day has become virtual and, quite simply, this would not have been possible without the technology we have today. I have also been amazed at how victim support services have utilised technology in order to support local, vulnerable people who need it most. When the restrictions were announced, support services worked around the clock to ensure they had a range of different platforms to ensure those who need it most were able to get the help they deserve.
We’re used to having the freedom to see our loved ones when and where we want, and this was suddenly taken away from us when Government restrictions were put in place. During these uncertain times it has become clear how important it is to stay connected to friends and family. They are your champions who listen to you and who support you when you need it most. Don’t underestimate the importance of picking up the phone, dropping them a text or even writing a letter to check-in with those who matter most.
- We need to be kinder to ourselves
We’re all dealing with the current circumstances in our own way. One thing we can agree on is that the last few weeks have been different, scary and confusing. We’ve being supportive to others during this time and we need to ensure we are also being kinder to ourselves. We’re going to have our ups and downs, days when we do not feel productive and times when we feel uncertain about the future. Remember, you’re doing the best you can and everyone copes differently. If you feel you need some additional well-being support, please visit the Every Mind Matters website.
Speaking from personal experience, every single person in the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s team and Avon and Somerset Police have pulled together and delivered some outstanding work in difficult circumstances. I have been amazed at how quickly teams and individuals have adapted to new ways of working, how they have responded to rapidly changing situations and how they all continue to put local people first. I’m looking forward to seeing their friendly faces and having a cup of tea with them once all of this is over!