A year like no other

ended 14. March 2021

Tomorrow (Monday) morning @ 9:30am, the Government is publishing a detailed report entitled The Covid-19 Pandemic: a year like no other. It will cover all aspects of how the pandemic has affected people's personal and business lives.

If you'd like the chance to have your thoughts published in the local and national media, send them over and we'll do our best to get them published, along with a mention of your company or charity. A few sentences is all we need. Short and punchy works best!

5 responses from the Newspage community

Little did my husband and I know that most of the year would be spent recovering from Covid: my husband went blind and had a severe urinary tract infection, while I got the cognitive stuff that makes you wonder if you've gone prematurely senile. It was a blessing in disguise that the Amethyst Centre, my complementary therapy centre, had to close because it meant that I could not only recover myself, but look after my husband when all he could see was light and shade. I'm saying this because Covid doesn't just take your breath away. It took my husband's sight and it took my intelligence, which isn't good for a business owner who's also a teacher. I feel for those who get Covid this year because, if Boris sticks to his plan of "no more lockdowns", they're going to be forced back to work too early, or lose their jobs. If there hadn't been lockdown in March, my business would have had to close.

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Buildabundle Ltd

We run a small online second-hand childrenswear company (Buildabundle Ltd - www.Buildabundle.co.uk). We saw our turnover double between March and April 2020, as lockdown hit and people had to shop online for their growing kids, and sales continued to rise during the pandemic. While this was amazing for the business, as parents of young children we were hit with the sudden realisation that all the childcare networks which usually allow us to work had fallen apart overnight. It’s been a challenging 12 months as we juggled a growing business with 24-7 childcare and home-schooling, with a lot of late nights, tiredness, guilt and anxiety that we weren’t doing a good enough job of either parenting/home-schooling or working. The struggles of parents juggling work and childcare have been forgotten in all of this, and it has definitely had an impact on the mental well-being of many mums and dads. 

These past twelve months have been the most challenging but also rewarding period in our life. As a mum of three older birth children and a foster parent to two younger teenagers we find our life is very full already. Add into the mix that we own a family run radiator manufacturing import and distribution business and there is no room to move in our brain space or physical time.

We have developed some incredible resilience during this time and our ability to plan and multi-task has been stretched to the absolute limit. Thankfully our family and social circle have not had Covid-19 but this does not mean that its affect on our family and business hasn't been far reaching. It will take a really long time for us to recover emotionally.

There have been many days when our business has had no phone calls, no orders, all our customers had to close. We've had tears and frustrations around working from home and home schooling. We've had to support young adults as they navigate through college and into university at a time which is unprecedented. 

As we start the journey to some normality we are grateful for the vaccine so our parents have some protection. We are grateful for the ability for our younger children to return to high school. We are looking forward positively with some real confidence that we have not only grown as people but also as a family and will emerge stronger and ready for what lies ahead.

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Trainmaster

I own Trainmaster and we run train themed events and private parties for children nationwide. We had no idea when we ran our final party last March that it would be the last for over a year. A large part of the business is parties and it has had an enormous financial impact on us.

Our events have been able to run for some of the year but with a massively reduced capacity and an altered layout.

I think one of the most didifficulparts for us is having confused parents try to book a party or multiple tickets to an event to be told the rule of 6 or household rules apply. The reason for the confusion is that the children can go to school or nursery and mix with a bubble of children without having to be socially distant but the same group of children couldn't attend an event or have a party together. It is completely illogical that children are safe within the school gates but must not mix outside them. We have turned away lots of parties for "bubbles" and at times been at the receiving end of angry parents who feel we are stopping their child from celebrating their birthday with children they mix with at school.

Our business will rebuild but this year has been unlike any before and sadly we are excluded from nearly all government support. Once we began to expand we went limited in June 2019, a decision that would impact our ability to qualify for financial help as we were seen as a new business. 

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DJ Mark Green

It’s been a year of pure emotion. From fear and despair to hope and excitement, I’ve felt everything over the past 12 months. Every day has been a true test and because of this, I’m now fitter, stronger, wiser and better equipped to take on our changed world both personally and professionally.