Rising to the coronavirus challenge
The venue of my last blog in autumn 2019, a holiday barn conversion in Kent, now of course seems an age away. Like the rest of the country, my family are in lockdown, trying to keep our routine as normal as possible.
At LionHeart, the team are also continuing business as usual as far as possible. Davina and the senior leadership team instigated one of our contingency plans some weeks ago, with the whole operation moving relatively seamlessly to home working. I doubt any of our users noticed any gap in service.
‘Unprecedented times’ is a hackneyed phrase, perhaps too often used in the last week or so, but we are truly in uncharted waters. But, I hope, at LionHeart have been ahead of the curve. An emergency board meeting was rapidly convened for last Monday, by Skype, naturally, in which the Trustees agreed some changes to governance to allow the staff team maximum flexibility in the way they respond to requests for help. With the senior leadership team also contributing fully, this was the Board at its best - mindful at all times of our charitable objectives; working collaboratively with each other and the staff; involved but not trespassing from a non-executive to an operational role.
We simply don’t know what the next few months will bring, but one thing is certain: the staff team at LionHeart will rise to the challenge and are all acutely aware that the assistance that they can offer, be it financial, tangible, or equally as valuable being on the end of the phone to provide moral support, will be vital during what for some chartered surveyors and their families might be dark days ahead.
Despite the current climate, the Board is continuing business as usual, albeit remotely: our recruitment process for new trustees is on schedule and continuing, but we might need to conduct interviews remotely; we continue to implement our five-year plan for expansion of service; and we continue to oversee the charity’s finances and healthy governance.
I’ll finish by thanking my colleagues around the board table for their steadfast support, but most importantly our fabulous staff team. In future years, I have no doubt that the rest of 2020 will be seen as their finest hour.
Keep safe and well.
Peter McCrea FRICS is chair of the LionHeart board of trustees.