The pandemic has been a difficult time for the Council with ensuring we are supporting the community in the very best way and also ensuring we are supporting our own families. 

I am the mother of 3 children: ages 3, 5 and 8 and home has been intense.  I am also the Assistant Clerk and HR Officer to the Council and work load has been a challenge with getting to grips with the new way of working and having the right contingencies in place to best support our residents who have come to rely on our community support services. 

As an organisation I am proud to say that we are supportive to people with their work life balance during the pandemic by ensuring flexibility with working hours and support with their work priorities.  For me, this means I am having the time to dedicate to both home and work.  When my husband is at work as a Key Worker, this often means that I am “mum” during much of the day as much as possible, dipping in and out of work, and “worker” in the evening once the kids have gone to bed.

Working and home schooling at the same time has been a challenge, but we are all currently safe and healthy and that is the important thing.  We’ve done so much together as a family, and even though I’m knackered most days, I wouldn’t change it for the world.  They are what I live and work for after all.

My little ones are on the SSMPC Facebook Page with their lockdown drawings, along with Zoes daughter, they are famous now!

My little garden has been a godsend, we have been planting – lettuces, tomatoes and herbs.  We are also having a sunflower race!  The amount of baking we’ve done and cake I’ve eaten I fear my co workers will not recognise me when we return to the workplace!

Our work team has proven to be much stronger that I could imagine, we have been tested with working remotely and we are being creative with how we communicate – and we have been able to communicate every single day.  

There were initial challenges with ironing out how to best support everyone in their job roles remotely, this was new to everyone.  In our weekly Zoom staff meeting we have a different theme, such as wear a hat or design a tie, which keeps spirits up while we hear important updates.

Also, identifying our core services and complying with legislation has been a challenge, and supporting those of our workforce who are Key Workers such as the Open Spaces Team, who have been keeping our green areas wonderful for people to enjoy on their daily walk.

It shows what a good and resilient workforce we have, we are doing so much under difficult circumstances and I am very proud of all of them. 

Assistant Clerk and HR Officer, Stratton St Margaret Parish Council