Sense Chief Executive, Richard Kramer, reflects on collaboration in the sector.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Chief Executives across the sector have been spending more time together, courtesy of video conferencing. We are much more curious about our fellow CEO’s leadership and how other organisations are responding to the challenges of Covid-19. We are more willing to talk openly and freely, share ideas and learn from each other. It is clear that we need each other more than ever, and I wonder whether Covid-19 permanently shifted the way we engage, collaborate and relate with one another?
Through our Forgotten Families campaign we’ve been highlighting the experience of Jane’s family, who’ve been struggling to support their 20-year-old daughter Faith throughout the pandemic without support. But we know Jane and Faith aren’t the only family dealing with the devastating impact of having their support withdrawn overnight. Our recent research, showed that 75% of those who had support withdrawn didn’t receive any warning before this happened, and a third of families are still waiting for any support to be reinstated.
We knew that Coronavirus, and the ways it has restricted all our lives, would also have a major impact on the people we support at Sense. It would be difficult for some of the people we support to understand why they were no longer able to see their friends, attend their usual centres, or go about life in their usual way.
During my time at Sense I have had the opportunity to attend lots of events and meetings to represent my community and speak on behalf of other Deafblind people. None quite so nerve wracking as a live streamed, virtual, parliamentary committee meeting though!
Every Thursday, we rally together and clap for our carers. During this time, key workers all over the UK have been doing an incredible job, not only by supporting the nation but by giving us all hope. Kate Wright, the manager of Sense TouchBase Cymru, is incredibly proud of her entire team and the way that they have responded to the lockdown.
Across the world, we are taking extraordinary measures to stop the spread of Covid-19. This crisis has a profound impact on every aspect of our lives. Those that watch the news have spent the last two months acquiring a deeper understanding of the inequalities facing different communities. People are much more emotionally engaged and want to see change. They care more about the welfare of others and what it takes to improve people’s lives – many want a better society to emerge from this crisis.
Over the past few weeks we have all had our lives turned
upside down. Whether directly or indirectly affected by Covid-19, we have had
to change how we work, see friends and family or go about previously simple
tasks like doing our food shopping or exercising. At Sense we know that this has been truer
than ever for the people who we support and their families. We have had to adapt how we deliver our
services, and know that changes to routine have been difficult.
Relections on the huge impact Covid-19 has had on our charity
“What keeps you awake at night?” This is a question that is often asked of CEOs. Coronavirus has turned this question on its head. The world has reshaped itself faster than we can reshape ourselves: since Covid-19, no-one can predict the world with any certainty now.