Week three (w/b 30 March 2020) felt like a long time. Time is doing strange things to me at the moment.


We’ve steadied the ship at Renaisi and made sure that all of our team are safe and well. That has meant that the single biggest challenge has become one of communications. How do we get the right information in the right format, to do the range of things that are needed in times of such change and uncertainty? At Renaisi we’re prioritising three key things:

  1. Any direction-based information comes via email and is spelt out as clearly and simply as possible.
  2. Any communication that is about adaptation, policy, or sense-making for the new normal is done through our middle managers and is mainly one to one or team-based.
  3. And finally, anything a bit more about a sense of direction, support and empathy, I’m trying to do via a weekly email (which we turned into a video this week) and then a range of slack channels.

We’re also currently running a survey to get feedback on our comms approach. I’m determined to get this right so that people know what is going on and feel heard and supported.

Food security

A big part of our service team’s work at the moment is looking at food. How do the people we work with and support get the food that they need safely and when they need it? We’re doing this in partnership with others, through informal networks and the dedication of our advisors. Like everyone else at the moment, we’re adapting, but it underlines just how much supporting people towards employment is not about the job, but about people’s whole lives.

This is a list of available support and services we’ve collated so far. It’s a Google doc and we invite you to add to it.

New ideas

What we’re starting to see is customers and partners come to us with new problems, different manifestations of old problems, and whole new needs. It’s inspiring to see how so many sectors and organisations are rising to the challenges of the moment.

Work-life balance

Everyone is finding the balance hard. I was particularly struck by it this week as I took a day off for my daughter’s fourth birthday. Doing everything, from work to rest to play to birthday parties and phone calls, to the rest of life in one small flat takes its toll on all of us. But I was particularly sad for my daughter, who just wanted to see her friends.

In my daily walk, I have felt very lucky to have some beautiful green spaces nearby. And people doing their best to observe all the social distancing.

Reading, listening and watching

I enjoyed the Memory Palace podcast’s 20-second stories, for those who want a different thing to listen to whilst washing your hands.

I’ve also been reading lots and lots of fairytales with my daughter, which feels strangely appropriate.