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Keeping Up With Kerry

Part 1 - Life in Lockdown and the Road to Recovery

"The world is a little scary today - and might be for a while to come as we are all venturing back to a new kind of ‘normality’ not a phrase I really like and I’m not even sure what it really means. I thought I would share my lockdown journey with you from the joys of home schooling, to spending 14 weeks ‘locked up’ with the same 3 humans and a Chocolate Labrador, to the joys of trying to run a business from home in a turbulent sector at the best of times.

Since lockdown, things have been full-on in our house. Being the boss people assume that I can be as flexible as I want, but, I'm still doing full time hours, working really hard to run the business and making decisions/plans on a daily basis that have to be scrapped the next day and planned again due to CoVid-19.

So starting with the home schooling, I can honestly say I have a new found respect for teachers and never in my career have I prayed for an Ofsted Inspector to come and terminate all learning with immediate effect. Trying to juggle the daily Microsoft Teams calls and teach 2 boys all about fractions and grammar was not fun. Those who know me well will know I have limited patience and cannot spell – not a great combination. To be fair I think I would rather read the ESFA funding rules. In all honesty more tears were shed over home schooling than any other part of lockdown. The feeling of letting your kids down, to then logging onto social media and seeing very organised parents with planned daily schooling, taking part in PE with Joe Wickes and making the most of the sunny days was sometimes really tough. I never thought I would say this but thank goodness for Play Stations. This whole home schooling experience has demonstrated the importance of teaching and training professionals, their value and the impact they have on young people and adults and how this sector can play an important role in the road to recovery.

24/7 with the same 3 humans and a Chocolate lab called Chewie in the beginning was great! Spending quality time with my little family, we taught the boys how to play poker, played lots of pool, built fires, baked cakes and buns, walked plenty, and eat plenty I’m sure many can relate to how much your weekly shopping bill increased, not to mention the purchasing of extra Gin! However the novelty wore off very quickly and tempers flared. For me the hardest part and still is, is not being able to hug my mum as she is shielding.

Running a business in lockdown has, to say the least, been challenging. It’s like juggling glass balls and waiting to see which one cracks first. As a team we made changes to how we work and transitioned to remote working fairly quickly. From trying to navigate the different business support mechanisms, to some days wondering if you would have a business post Covid-19 has been a real rollercoaster ride. One I’m hoping to not to ride on again anytime soon. The positives to come from lockdown are the great team spirt and camaraderie. It really did feel like ‘we were all in this together’. It’s great what you can achieve when you are up against it.

The importance of communication has been reinforced during the lockdown, with many businesses realising the value of good communication between their teams. The pandemic has definitely been a huge learning curve for many businesses and has been a great time to reflect. Communication has always been an integral part of effectively running a business, and that has never been truer than right now".

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