It’s been a funny old month…
at Your Own Place. The team has been furloughed, I’ve had some time off and things have gone quiet. So of course that sounds like an easier month than usual – fewer interruptions, time to strategise, no personal crises and time to focus. Whether it’s the perversity of the ‘grass always being greener’ or the seemingly endless array of challenges, it’s been far from an easy month.
Among my leadership network, the same feelings are echoed loudly. I think I’m ok in a crisis. I think I’m rational and fairly calm. Routine bores me and new ideas excite me. As such, as we entered the extraordinary time of lockdown, my brain went into overdrive with ideas and opportunities. Naturally I felt guilty and opportunist about this. But it wasn’t about me – rather about meeting a heartbreaking and overwhelming need in new ways for the new world.
We did well in the first few weeks and months We secured income, friends old and new, ideas and opportunities appeared varied. Potential partners, supporting the same people we strive to support, needed our ideas, our capacity and our positivity. Filled with optimism for things moving quickly, so did we.
Some of those opportunities rumble on, some have stalled and some are simply no longer relevant. As things return to a very odd normal, I feel vindicated in moving quickly and securing a modest amount of income. That income (not including proportionate reserves) runs out at the start of August. I feel vindicated because, as we enter what I regard as phase two of this crisis, the urgency may be less, but the challenges greater. Money is drying up and businesses, local authorities, housing associations and others appear to be turning inward. Turning inward to save their own skins, find their own new normal – and survive.
I can’t possibly know if we will survive. Our prolific social media sometimes gives people the false impression that we’re bigger and more resilient than we are. The fact is we’re a team of fewer than six full-time staff pushed to the limit with our own bills and mortgages to pay and personal challenges.
We are still looking for those new opportunities and for us to be here in twelve months time, they have to be realised.
So I can’t wait for the team to return tomorrow, to resume our work and be reminded of the incredible impact we have, even when it feels like not everyone else values it quite as much as me.