As per every business across the land, British Blind Sport has been hugely affected by the Covid-19 crisis. We were hearing stories about what was happening in other countries and, whilst we were shaking our heads in disbelief, did we truly know the size of the invisible tsunami that was about to be unleashed on us?
Three weeks ago could only be explained as a 'Crime in Action'. A 'Crime in Action' is defined as realising that there is a genuine threat but not knowing what is around the corner and how many casualties will have fallen by its end.
We went from sitting around the board room table as a team, all looking scared whilst we reviewed working at home measures for some, and revised policies to accommodate this, to everyone in lockdown within a matter of 2 days. The practicalities of 'Do we have the right equipment and IT resources?' and 'How do we use Zoom?' so we can work effectively became our initial aim until the slow realisation that for now, and a while at least, we will not be seeing our work family members face to face for quite some time. This brought about an initial sense of panic followed by an undefined grief that we are all missing something that is meaningful to our way of life.
Then the strangest thing happened. After our initial panic, we picked ourselves up; thought beyond our personal needs and turned back to think about our service users; people who are considered some of the most isolated in society at the best of times who, now more than ever, needed our help. Let me be clear, we are not front line workers who are tirelessly providing essential services such as food delivery or medical support. However we know that our services help people to feel part of something, a member of the wider society and above all ‘included’. As such, using innovation, enthusiasm and sheer will, the team at British Blind Sport have turned our delivery model around in less than two weeks so that we can still provide online accessible services to those that look to us for support. Physical health is intrinsically linked to mental wellbeing – and we never forget that.
As the virus continues to take its hold, we don’t know what the future holds for the charity or for the wider sport sector as a whole, however I do know that, if the past few weeks are anything to go by, the staff at BBS will give it their best shot to support, recover and survive. For that, I will be forever grateful.
Thanks to all the team at BBS.
Alaina MacGregor, CEO