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Thinking Forward


It’s hard to believe that back in Jan 2020 I was visiting family in Australia, attending the Australian Open – and Covid-19 was something we were only beginning to read about. In March 2020, daily life as we knew it changed – almost unrecognisably. Since then, as a society we have adapted to frequent changes in guidance, and numerous challenges as we are getting used to doing life in a new way. Of course, this is all against a backdrop of personal loss, grief, and sadness – whether for our loved ones, events which could not take place or plans put on hold. I have the privilege of leading Services For Education and the amazing team which has faced each challenge the pandemic has thrown at us head on. Thinking forward to a future period in years to come when Covid is hopefully a distant memory, there will be some powerful professional and personal stories from these times.


As over 150 of us gathered virtually this week to kick off 2022 (our in-person plans amended due to Omicron) we reflected on the fact that in the early days of Covid-19, we were reminded that this was a marathon not a sprint – then the image became more of a tough mudder or iron-man challenge. I am now thinking in terms of a mountain range to be navigated, given that the more we know about the virus, the more likely it is that we will be living with it in some way for some time to come.


It’s easy for 2020 and 2021 to morph together as the ‘pandemic times’ when our lives were put on hold – and we felt like we couldn't make plans. However, as a team, as we cast our minds back even just to the Autumn term and all that had been achieved it was an extensive list. Working in education we know that the Spring and Summer terms have a habit of going by in a flash – so by thinking forward to July 2022, we identified some of the specifics that we each wanted to have achieved or progressed. We are going to be busy - and importantly continuing to make a difference to our customers both in Birmingham and further afield.


Personally, I see the dawn of a new year as an opportunity to pause and reflect – and to ‘intentionally’ step into the new year. With 2020/21 merging together in some ways, and the challenges of a new lockdown this time last year, that process got slightly derailed. Instead, this Jan I am trying to set aside some time for personal reflection – so watch this space. The first output of that is attending a pottery workshop next weekend – what could possibly go wrong!

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