The year 2020 is one that none of us will ever forget. The Covid 19 pandemic changed all our lives in ways that none of us envisaged. Few will have ever experienced such a rapid and comprehensive change to the way they live. The rapidity and depth of change experienced caught out not only individuals and organisations, but the whole country which was unprepared for the impact.
Positive Steps as an organisation is blessed with staff that can rise to the challenge and are committed to meet the needs of those at most risk. Staff responded in a myriad of ways from ensuring those released early from prison had advice and support, those shielding received food and medicines, delivering “positivity packs” to boost morale and delivering outreach to those at risk from drug overdose. I was extremely proud of the commitment, team work and the positive can-do attitude displayed throughout the organisation. Everyone played a part and everyone deserved the round of applause each Thursday as frontline keyworkers.
As we begin to enter the next phase of the so- called “new normal” the focus needs to be on what we can achieve and not what we cannot. This includes focusing on the second order impacts of coronovirus on the sector including opportunities for growth and revenue impacts. We are very aware of the mental and physical health issues that the lockdown can produce and have already successfully obtained funding to implement our plans to provide enhanced support to individuals who have been adversely affected both physically and mentally during this period.
Looking to 2021 we are really excited about the investment from the Social and Sustainable Housing Fund (SASH), as it gives us the opportunity that we needed to expand and broaden our services to meet social demand and to acquire sustainable assets, without reducing our available resources. Providing good quality housing is central to helping vulnerable people to improve their prospects and move to independent living.
Covid-19 challenged our traditional working norms but importantly we met the challenge and can now look forward to reshaping what we do in the future.
Derek Sharkey, CEO. December 2020.