An update following lockdown

By September 15, 2020covid19

Our last post of 20 January 2020 seems such a long time ago. When I shared the draft blog post with the team, it sparked a mini-debate about Megxit. We were also excitedly preparing to move back into our recently refurbished Enfield office. It had been a hard slog to get our office refurbished following the fire on 5 November 2018 so we could not wait to move back to our little Enfield HQ.

We moved back into the building alright but the excitement was short-lived because David who had been battling with his health since the fire decided that he would be retiring from the firm and on 10 February 2020 he was admitted to hospital. This threw the firm into disarray and we had quite a few meetings to discuss possible options. We had even planned to take on new staff but ultimately could not proceed with this.

I had personally first heard about a strange respiratory illness from a blogger in January 2020 and by February mainstream news agencies had begun reporting on the covid19 or the coronavirus pandemic. I took a decision on 16 March 2020 to stop staff coming into the office. The coronavirus seemed so infectious and I could not see how we could work safely. A week later on 23 March 2020, prime minister, Boris Johnson ordered the national lockdown.

Things went from bad to worse when it became apparent during the lockdown that the furlough scheme would not work for our firm.   To that end, we had to let go of our team including one longtime senior member of staff. David then, unfortunately also caught the coronavirus while in the hospital which prolonged his stay and put back his recovery. He was discharged in May but has still not been able to return to work. This means that I am the only person working in the firm.

It has been a really difficult time. Sadly, I am pretty sure that this has been the case with most businesses across the UK. Every time I make a plan to move forward, I have to remake it within a week. The only thing that has been certain during this period has been the constant uncertainty. To that end, I am really grateful to my family and friends for enveloping me with their love and kindness. I have also received amazing kindness from professional people that I would least expect to. I plan to talk about this in a future blog post but in this post, I want to thank our relationship manager, Roger Roe of NatWest bank. Roger has been an absolute rock throughout lockdown – cheerleading, encouraging and giving practical advice! Wow!

Thank you for all the messages and love and support wishing David a speedy recovery. I am passing all your messages on to David.  Our reception will remain closed for the time being but you can leave any urgent messages via voicemail and I will respond as soon as possible.

Please look after yourselves and stay safe and well.

With my very best wishes,

JULIE OBIAMIWE

15 September 2020

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