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Thu, 20th August, 2020

All Change - Mind the Gap!

All Change - Mind the Gap!

As Jersey moves gradually back to a new normal, it’s time to take stock of just how different everything was during the height of the pandemic crisis, and how we all had to change our habits and interactions.

I am amazed at how quickly charities and islanders adapted to the lockdown.

Essential service providers surpassed themselves, despite losing armies of volunteers, adapting their services as required.

Greetings and meetings moved to different forms of communication.

Charities collaborated together to make the most of resources available.

Fundraising dried up as events were cancelled but funders dug deep, meeting weekly (now fortnightly) to deal with emergency funding needs. In turn, charities utilised their reserves and applied only as needed.

Many volunteers found themselves categorised as ‘vulnerable’ and were unable to continue, even if they wanted to, but Islanders volunteered in their thousands  to step up and help, although bringing new volunteers on board in these circumstances is obviously much more difficult.

The needs of Islanders also changed over this period, and continue to change. As food banks and delivering meals become less of a priority, the needs of vulnerable children, and those suffering the side and after effects of lockdown become more critical.

As we move to meet today’s needs it’s worth taking stock of the skills we each drew upon and found most useful in dealing with recent changes. 

How can we put those to good use in the future? How did your organisation deal with the changes it faced? What ‘sacred cows’ had to be abandoned?   Rather than go back to the way things were, what changes could be for the better in future?

 They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and this is our opportunity to learn from this experience and make changes for the better.

We at the AJC have some online training which may be of help, in recruiting and retaining volunteers, and also on fundraising. We are adding to this as we can.

If you have any experiences or ideas you would like to share please get in touch.