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An Open Letter: A New Hope

Author: Mathew Webb

Published March 2020

I write this blog on the 21st March 2020, the day after pubs, clubs, restaurants, gyms and other social establishments were closed to the public because of COVID-19. I have colleagues, friends and members in my own household that have already been affected by the very difficult times we are facing over the coming weeks and months. So why is the title of my blog A New Hope? Let me explain.



We are currently at the end of the first week of social distancing which means most of our society is being asked to stay apart, work from home and not visit family members. My father is in a care home and I will visit him this morning knowing that before long, the policy will change, and I will no longer be able to do this for some weeks and months. My office-based colleagues at Mentor Group have been thrown into a world of remote working, something which is new to most of them.



I have been inspired by the many acts of humanity I have already observed and been a part of this week. Just this morning as I was standing talking to a lady in the local supermarket, we were able to find humour in the situation and more importantly a resolve that this will pass and a determination that we will be ok. This is the kind of spirit that I have witnessed dozens of times this week.



In our small community, there have been Facebook support groups, volunteers supporting those in self isolation with shopping, trips to the post office and walking dogs. More people are offering a good morning or hello whilst on a walk to get some much-needed exercise and fresh air. The community spirit is in abundance.



At work this week I have been inspired and enthused by the can-do attitude of colleagues, customers and friends. The outpouring of what we can do for each other to provide support, advice and some simple hints and tips for carrying on. For those of you who I have talked to and engaged with this week, thank you. You are incredible in each and every case.



My final observation is one of communication. Not all communication is good and, in a world where we get 24/7 streams of the latest position on the COVID-19 virus, it can sometimes increase fear, uncertainty and doubt. However, the way our communities are talking more often, talking for longer and using technologies such as Skype, Microsoft Teams and Zoom to stay in touch and let each other know we are in this together, is outstanding.



So, my new hope is that we can take some of what we have witnessed over the last weeks, the sheer brilliance of humanity and take this forward and make it last. The humour, the support, the sense of community, the resolve and, the determination to look after each other, that at some point, in the weeks and months ahead we will emerge from this current situation stronger, more compassionate and more together.



Look after yourself, your loved ones and those around you.




Mathew Webb


Mentor Group are running a series of free webinars to help you cope with the change in working environment. Join us by registering to the webinars below:

25th March 2020

Being highly productive whilst working remotely

Most of us have been launched into a world of working remotely. This changes the dynamics of our normal working day and routines. In this webinar we will discuss the mindset, skillset and toolset to achieve discipline and productivity in a virtual working environment.



30th March 2020

Keeping your team engaged in difficult times

In these challenging times many of us are suddenly managing teams who have become remote and isolated. Most have never experienced a challenge on this scale and have no experience to draw upon. In this webinar we will focus on the vital actions managers must be taking to ensure their teams remain engaged, positive and productive during this difficult time.



31st March 2020

Driving productive virtual meetings

In these challenging times, we are been thrown into a world where virtual meetings are the go to approach. In this webinar we will discuss how you make these meetings productive, engaging and outcome focused through preparation, collaboration and clear outcomes.