As we prepare to finish up for Christmas, we have been reflecting on the end of what has turned out to be a pretty challenging year for most people!

We held a team reflection session to think about our work over the past year- what was challenging? What was good? What did we learn? What will we take forward into next year? There was definitely a lot to think about and we thought we would share some of our reflections.

Our Highlights

Our team is based all across Scotland, from the Borders to up North. Using Zoom over lockdown we were able to meet regularly as a team and check in with one another and hear about the work we were doing- more so than we would have done when travel to our Glasgow office was required. We talked about how this allowed our relationship as a team to grow and get stronger in a challenging time.

We also got to see the importance of community development in times like these- seeing directly that our work is relevant, helpful and important to people, communities and has wider impacts gave us a renewed sense of purpose and confidence in our work.

2020 Challenges

2020 was a challenging year for everyone and the initial fear, uncertainty and chaos of the first few months of the pandemic were difficult to navigate. Our work largely involves being out and about in communities- not being able to meet people face to face and navigating digital inclusion was tricky at times. As one colleague said ‘how can I be a community worker when I can’t be in the community?’ Learning to adapt to a new way of working was a learning curve for all of us!

Another challenge that came up was how to manage a work/life balance when working from home full time. Many of our team were juggling home schooling, new babies and other responsibilities while also trying to work from home, and finding a balance that worked took some time. Having the support of the whole team and the option to work flexibly was invaluable while we found our feet.

What have we learned?

As with all challenges, there is always learning that comes along with them! While we learned the ins and outs of Zoom we also learned to not be too hard on ourselves while we adjust to a new way of working. As one colleague said

‘So many things are outside our control and things constantly change and evolve – but we can concentrate on the things we can do and the things we are good at’

2020 showed us that we are resilient and able to adapt to change. We learned new digital skills and ways to support people in our communities.

We are looking forward to the new year ahead, to continue learning and growing as an organisation and to hopefully be able to meet up in person for a cup of tea and a chat! We’re excited about continuing the work we’re doing in communities and new collaborations and partnerships. We wish you all a very Happy New Year when it comes and we look forward to seeing you in 2021!