Jane gave me a tough act to follow when she asked if I would become “Guest Editor” of her weekly briefing.
If anyone has a Zoom meeting with Delyse Taylor, they may well notice a tally chart on the wall above her right shoulder. The keeps a count of how many weeks we have been in lockdown and today we enter week 14.
To our credit as the wider ESL family we rapidly adapted and developed new ways to deliver our services which Jane has outlined in her previous newsletters, with many of you going the extra mile to ensure we continue to work with the individuals and organisations who access our services.
There are many of you that may be juggling work with home education, living by yourselves, worrying about those we care for or just having that “Groundhog Day” feeling. I have been deeply touched by the way that we have come together to support each other through these challenging times.
In addition to our monthly ESL whole team meetings, the Adult and Community Learning Team have been celebrating birthdays on Zoom and sending electronic cards. They have also introduced Wellness Wednesdays where they have dressed in rainbow colours, playing scavenger hunts and quizzes. The Admin Team has also introduced a joint coffee break.
The Young Careers and Pathways Team now have two weekly meetings with their informal coffee/catch up on Fridays having high level discussions about the important debates whether a Jaffa Cake is a cake or a biscuit and the dunking power of a Hob Nob. They have also shared sunflower seeds near and as a team had a variety of successes in the ability to grow the “Helianthus uniflorius giganteus” the tallest!
The Apprenticeship Team have been flat out contacting students however they have managed to squeeze in a couple of quiz socials and the team have been mutually supporting each other throughout the last 13 weeks of lockdown.
The Employment Support / Future Bright Team have their Thursday Lunch meet up where they catch up with one another, have competitions and often wear fancy dress whilst doing it! Recently Becky, Hayden and Adam met at City Hall and cycled over to Congresbury for a socially distanced meet with Chris and Lucy for flapjacks – (courtesy of Mrs Mitchell I believe) and ice creams.
If you do find yourself struggling within these unprecedented times then reach out to your line manager, a colleague or a friend. We are all here to help. It is also OK to press the pause button once in a while if you just need some space to clear your head.
Please also remember that our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a confidential free service available to all staff offering support and guidance at all times.
As Delyse recently said to me, “we are not all about the work, we are about the team too”.
Have a great week!
Employment Support Manager