This is a worldwide Pandemic that we are facing and the greatest challenge to our industry in over 40 years.

We are all experiencing the unique difficulties that Covid-19 brings to our industry and our way of life. The challenges we face each day far exceed those just within our industry but impact on our loved ones and our daily lives. Our collective approach, more than ever, will be fundamental to how we overcome Covid-19 in our industry and our communities.

We will all be impacted by Covid-19, both personally and professionally, and what we do now will have a direct impact on our futures. My own Business was decimated overnight on the 16th March with many Clients postponing work until after lockdown. Due to my heart condition, I immediately went into self-isolation on the morning of the 17th March working from home for my remaining clients. The business will suffer as I still have financial commitments not least to my supply chain and HMRC and prompt outstanding payments will be essential.

I will not lie, I have been very angry and disappointed by some Politicians, Broadcasters, Personalities, Celebrities, Journalists, Organisations and Individuals with their behaviour and attitudes. Trying to create headlines, pointing the finger of blame, looking to create controversy, making assumptions, comparing apples with pears based on no evidence, just conjecture. Compare that to the many inspirational people like Captain Tom and Harmonie-Rose – not world leaders or captains of industry – but they inspire and motivate us all to the greater good. The army of people on the front line, putting their lives at risk for us all: the NHS, Emergency Services, Army, Care Workers and Key Workers all over the country demonstrating the very best of people.

We are all going to face economic pressures throughout the Covid-19 crisis and will need support. Advice will come from all areas to respond positively to these pressures. Our Mental Health and Wellbeing will also be critical as we move from day to day, week to week and month to month throughout this journey, it will leave an impact on us all. It will impact us all in different ways and there is not one fix for all, we will all need support in different ways from our friends and family but in our work environment most definitely. Covid-19 will leave us knowing someone who has died or someone who has survived, we may not have the symptoms ourselves but the effects will impact on us all emotionally not just economically.

Having suffered with depression and poor mental health since the age of 13, I know too well the impacts on my daily life and how debilitating it can be, please look after each other. We may think we are indestructible but we are very fragile. My heart attack back in 2012 brought that home to me when the NHS brought me back to life, now Covid-19 will be life changing for us all. Help and support each other every step of the way, keep contact with people, try to engage with your people and understand their needs now and in the future – this is a long process of support. Aim for small, achievable steps to support each other. We are all different as people, we all respond differently, there is no one simple fix but together we can all proactively support each other in our own way.

This is not a time for recriminations, there will be plenty of time in the future to have constructive talking, but we must stop playing politics and have genuine collaboration for the greater good. It’s a time for us all to take stock on how we do business and interact with our fellow human beings and ask ourselves some serious questions on how we move forward together to benefit us all. Life will not be the same again and I fear we could be in the position where for the next 12-18 months we are working towards a new way of thinking and working in the world, not just our industry.

We must learn from this, take stock, and ask ourselves what is really important, what will our priorities be in the future? Our future is in the hands of our people just has it is now, OUR PEOPLE. Let’s put our best foot forward, learn the lessons life teaches us every day, open our eyes, ears, minds and deliver a better future for us all, with no self-interest but the interest of our people first.