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Insight: Keeping hold of honesty and respect as the world turns upside down

In this week’s blog our Head of Engagement & Learning, Simon Massey, discusses how Children in Scotland has ‘pivoted’ while keeping our values at the core – and why we need to keep hearing how we can help you.

These last few weeks have seen life as we all know it change in ways we could never have predicted.

When this started, we knew Children in Scotland had to reach a balance of delivering the services and activities so many people rely on while also looking after our staff.  What we didn’t know was how quickly this change would happen and how much work that would take.

As Jacqueline Cassidy said in her piece last week, the third sector is used to dealing with a crisis. It does so every day. We rose to the challenge and quickly set up WFH (as of today, an officially recognised term) systems, tweaked our internal comms processes and began the new everyday challenge of balancing work commitments with all our different home situations.

I have witnessed this being done with professionalism and commitment but also a hefty dose of humour – desperately needed when facing Zoom glitches, the fact we can’t access our database remotely and various other technical ‘issues’… (note: always the equipment, never the user!).

I have also seen some wonderful examples of our values still being at the forefront of discussions and decisions. For anyone who’s read previous things I’ve written, including my contribution to our 25 Calls campaign or a blog about our LGBT Charter work, values are so important to me both professionally and personally.

My department includes the Comms team, Learning & Events team and the Membership Service. We have had to work through rapid change. I have been blown away by how the teams have come together to quickly identify solutions to the problems and deliver things that will help support you, the children sector workforce.

Some creative thinking and fast learning has meant:

  • Converting as much of our Learning Programme as possible to a series of online learning opportunities, keeping costs as low as we can
  • Reshaping our Member communications to offer priority access and insight
  • Hosting our latest Children's Sector Strategic Forum online
  • Delivering the next Children in Scotland Magazine digitally
  • Working closely with our colleagues, trainers, suppliers, advertisers and supporters to ensure partnership remains at the core of what we do.

This has all been done in a matter of weeks and not without challenges. We know we’ve not got it all right and there is much more to do.

I want to hear from anyone within or without our expanding Children in Scotland network, about things we can do over the coming weeks to support you.  I am going to pull together a very short survey which will be coming soon on our social media.  I promise it’ll be short so please keep an eye out for it and please complete it!

I also want to say thank you to everyone who continues to support Children in Scotland during these difficult times. Your ongoing support means that we can continue to deliver these types of services.

I have no doubt that we will continue experiencing uncertainly and change over the coming weeks and months. The best way we can get through it is by supporting each other, being patient and communicating with each other in open, honest and respectful ways.  It sounds like I’m talking about values again…

Simon
smassey@childreninscotland.org.uk

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