Header image for article 6704

Dear colleagues,

Little did we realise that when the first wave of the pandemic put our country into lockdown eight months ago that we’d still be facing restrictions. Life was meant to be easier by now; it isn’t. In many ways it’s harder than before. It often feels as if we are living in limbo and that takes its toll mentally, physically and emotionally.

I think it would be fair to say that we’ve all felt the dark clouds gather at some point during this crisis. For some, those clouds can be dispersed easily. For others, heightened levels of stress, anxiety, irritability, insecurity, and feeling a lack of control can feel overwhelming. That is understandable, especially as the line we once drew between work and our home life continues to be blurred.

A helping hand

No matter if you’re working on the frontline or working at home during this crisis, I urge you to prioritise your health and wellbeing - as safeguarding your mental and physical health is the number one priority of your leadership team.

If ever there was a time to support each other - and to reach out to those that we see struggling - it is now. No one should be suffering in silence or feel as if there is nowhere to turn. If the pressure feels too great, please use the free, confidential support available to you:

Looking after yourself

Believe me when I say, I do not think for one second that a message from your Chief Executive is a cure-all. I know it won’t reduce the stress or pressure you are under or make you feel any less tired. What I do hope it does is give you pause for thought so you can ask yourself ‘am I okay?’.

If you are not, please stop what you are doing and take a moment for yourself. We all have our own ways of coping – whether it’s exercise or meditation, reading or switching off all devices. Do whatever helps you feel better. Then reach out to your manager, colleagues, family and friends, and use the support available to you.

Remember, you are not alone. This crisis will pass. We will get through it together.

Stay safe.

Kenneth Lawrie, Chief Executive