This feels like a missed opportunity and disappointment, kind of blog this week. Did anyone else experience a curious moment of this? A moment of inspiration – an almost euphoric moment of possibility in amongst all the horror of the last three months?
In the last few weeks I’ve used the word ‘mandate’ a lot. It feels like the moment is now. It also feels like that moment is slipping away.
In the early days I grasped the nettle. I went out with a focus to secure income. With some success. The mix of responses from traditional sources was telling. Some that I had low expectations of simply excelled themselves and were generous, empathic and frankly amazing. I’ve never known anything like it.
Others, disappointing. People I thought we had good relationships with didn’t get back to me, obfuscated, tied themselves up in knots and seemed unable to grasp the magnitude of the situation. I suppose the good news is that there is still time – the sector is going to be in crisis for a while yet!
As a social enterprise I found myself having thrilling conversations with potential partners and customers, creating an offer that met their needs even when they couldn’t define them. Considerable time was taken to develop, cost and discuss new offers of help at a time when we had people to support who were in crisis.
Was I wrong to follow those leads? No. Dead ends and kissing frogs are part of the business. But was I naive? Yes. I now feel so. I thought key agencies had changed – would move quickly, would respond, would empathise with our knife-edge existence and would make an effort not to waste our precious time. Not so sadly.
The briefest of windows when there were new opportunities to work together has now almost passed. With many partners we are back to not just a new normal, but some of the bad old normal too. Back to ill defined ideas, months of communication only to change the goalposts and an inability to move with the speed that’s needed if this sector is going to survive and people are to be supported.
The time is still now, just. It’s not too late and we do all have a ‘mandate’ to be brave, be a bit different and do the right thing.