Many of the people we speak to in small charities and social enterprises are struggling. Having been in full battle mode through lockdown, delivering services above and beyond what they normally do for vulnerable clients… there’s no end in sight – its not getting easier now but more difficult in many ways.
Suddenly, there’s a need for a ‘getting back to normal’ service and a ‘still locked down’ service at the same time. Everywhere you look, there’s information about moving forwards and surviving beyond the pandemic. Calls to action and a sense that you need to be doing more, being more strategic, changing things, providing services with extensive risk and health and safety needs… and on top of that, lots of warnings about how much harder it’s going to be to get funding, and how the need for support services is going to increase further.
No-one is saying “are you OK?”. When did you last take a break?
I know that I feel tired now… that the enthusiasm I felt at the beginning of lockdown has been flattened rather through having three teenagers constantly at home.
During full lockdown people were much better at asking “how are you” and meaning it. Let’s not lose that. Let’s make sure that we, our volunteers, staff and board members all have the space still to be ‘not OK’, and provide opportunities for our own self-care and encourage it in others. How can you support your clients if you are burnt out? To provide quality services, you need to be rested and full of energy. Let’s make the summer a time to refresh.