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  • Writer's pictureThe British Polio Fellowship

Coping With Covid-19

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

Working From home

The team all have been working from home during the lockdown and I am proud to say we have all rallied together to make it work for the Fellowship and our members. Dawn (our amazing office and Finance manager) has been going into the office since April and she has been our glue that has helped us to stick together. All the phones initially were being directed to a mobile I had at home and I was passing on messages to the team, but for the last few weeks Dawn has been taking most of the calls from the office. Many members I have been speaking to tell me how happy they are that we still here for them and working to meet their needs.

We carry out weekly “zoom” Staff meetings (I think its amazing what we can do with Zoom) which has meant we have been able to get sometime “facetime” with each other. Its not the same as meeting face to face but a good way of keeping the team spirit alive.

We all have our challenges; I personally have been home schooling (which is has been an eyeopener – lets never take our teachers for granted). Each team member has had their own challenges and we have all worked together to help each other meet these challenges. The Key has been to communicate a lot – you can never communicate to much.

It amazing how much we take face to face contact for granted, a quick shout out across the office, ends up being a 20-30 email exchange, but I must thank everyone in the team for doing all they can to make things as smooth as possible.

I thank David Mitchell (Chairman) and the Board for supporting us during this time as well.

The Membership Angle

Many of our Branches/Regions have found different ways to stay in touch. They have been using Zoom , Facebook Groups, Phone a friend schemes and WhatsApp. This has meant that although the branches are not still actually meeting, the Fellowship aspect of our wonderful organisation has remained alive and kicking.

Many of the members have told me how much more busy they have been with busy daily schedules going from one online call to another.

Lets also spare a thought for all those who were battling with loneliness outside of lock down and now feel even more so. I hope they will continue to reach out to us, and we can continue to help them feel less isolated.

We have continued to help members with all the usual problems they face, but also things like getting on the shielding list, getting help form their council, help with getting shopping delivery slots amongst many other issues.

Many members also have re-counted tales of the Polio outbreaks in the last century, and many parallels have been drawn between the current crisis and those dark days.

But the resilience and forbearance of Polio survivors always seems to shine in the most difficult times.

Who know what the new “normal” will look like, but we will face it together and continue tackle whatever is thrown at us the true spirit of Fellowship?

Kripen Dhrona - Operations Director at the British Polio Fellowship.

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