Like so many around our nation I now have Thursday evening at 8pm etched in my diary as a regular fixture, a time to come together as neighbours, villages, towns and cities for the ‘NHS Clap’ as it originated.  What started as a simple round of applause has had folk reaching for their saucepans, bagpipes (yes I promise you, I saw it on the news!) or even a quick round on the church bell in our village, so there really is no excuse to say you forgot all about it with that clanging away!

ClapForOurCarers - Marsha Miles ConsultancyNow known as the Clap for Our Carers, with its own website, social media groups and hashtags, this time of appreciation and gratitude toward the NHS has extended to include carers and key workers, those providing essential services to keep our country running, spanning everything from those keeping our supermarket shelves stocked to our postmen & women, delivery drivers to refuse collections.   A brave and selfless group of folk continuing to go out to work each day, serving on the front line as it were, in order to enable the majority to remain safely in their homes.

 

Business as usual (if there is such a thing!?)

As an organisation, the MMC team count ourselves incredibly fortunate that we can continue to work from home through the lockdown, there have been a few adjustments made for obvious reasons (particularly those of us with children, as I’m sure any home-working/home-schooling parent can testify to) and we very much miss being able to get together in person, but otherwise it has been business as usual in order to continue to respond to the needs of our amazing clients, offering support and raising much needed funds in this strange and challenging time.

We work with a wonderful array of organisations, charities and social enterprises, who have each created a unique way to serve their communities, meet a need or bridge a gap for often the most vulnerable or forgotten in our society.  In the first few days and weeks of Covid-19’s arrival in the UK we had lots of discussions and (virtual) meetings to establish the most pressing needs, recognising what they could and couldn’t continue to do for the immediate future and how that would impact their clients and their finances.  We are delighted to say that after the rapid response of both the heads of these organisations and our amazing bid writers, funds have already started to roll in, enabling the emergency response and support for these communities to continue.

But as the days and weeks have drawn on and we begin to discuss the next steps and dare I say it, talk about future plans, we have been blown away time and again by the resilience and selflessness of these unsung heroes.  When many of us were running for the hand sanitiser and stocking up on toilet rolls these guys were changing their business model minute by minute.  They had to adapt, develop and create new ways of doing pretty much everything!

 

Creative thinking…and new ways of working

Creative Thinking Marsha Miles ConsultancyAs we started to write the Impact Stories for many of these organisations, (if you’d like help doing this yourself register for our free upcoming webinars, more details below) these are just some of the examples we have learnt about…

Community hubs have been turned into distribution centres, both for the organisations own use and that of partner agencies in the area, counselling services have moved online, virtual recruiting of additional volunteers had to take place as many retirees moved into isolation, emergency food boxes were created and delivered to the most vulnerable in place of regular community meals, youth clubs moved online, a 24/7 emergency support line was created, rough sleepers offered accommodation…. the list goes on and on!

Of course these have not come without their challenges, technology has played a huge part, permissions had to be sought to changes in ways of working, practical arrangements and equipment had to be put in place to keep volunteers and staff safe, funds that were lost from regular business activities had to be found, larger transport was needed etc… etc.. but with a lot of hard work, fast thinking, collaboration and incredible goodwill these organisations have moved heaven and earth to be there for their clients.   Isn’t it amazing what can be achieved when everyone is pushing in the same direction with the same goal in mind…

Trumpet Marsha Miles ConsultancySo perhaps next Thursday, when you have chosen your noisiest instrument and are joining with neighbours to say thank you to the nation’s key workers and carers, you will stand with us and salute these unsung heroes.

Let’s raise a saucepan lid to all the amazing volunteers, charities and social enterprises putting others needs ahead of their own and being frankly, completely brilliant…. Thank you

 

Another helping hand…

If you would like some advice on how to begin to unpack your organisations Covid-19 journey register for our free Fundraising Soundbites with MMC…

Grab your sandwich and a cuppa and join Marsha for 30 minutes of reflection time along with free fundraising advice. As the charitable sector draws breath from the initial impact of Covid-19 we aim to share what have we learnt, what challenges were faced and what help was out there. Most importantly what is working for organisations operating on the front line and where do we go from here?

This is a two-part webinar for more details and to register please visit our website: