Willy Bach - working remotely
Remote working has come as a bit of a culture shock to me. Like many of you, my world was turned upside down on 23 March. My home became my office as the world shrunk dramatically. Anything further than a 30-minute cycle was off limits and I was thrown into a world of virtual briefings, Zoom meetings and WhatsApp calls (other platforms are available!). The COVID-19 lockdown forced a rapid rethink. My office prioritised efforts to support the most vulnerable in our community and my core role, which is holding the Police to account, became more important than ever.
My usual, admittedly old-school, forms of communication and community engagement are no longer possible, so my virtual adventure is now entering the blogosphere.
Necessity is the mother of invention. It says much for the human spirit that we can do this. Nonetheless, I ask you all to spare a thought for those who are struggling to cope - for whatever reason. They may be in isolation, but I will ensure that they can still access the help when they need it.
Community solidarity is crucial at times like these. The services that I commission offer a lifeline to thousands of vulnerable people, including victims of crime. That’s why I have supported local organisations like Age UK, which is distributing food parcels and providing a friendly voice to isolated older people in our city, towns and villages. That’s why I’ve expanded my Prevention Fund to support some fantastic community responses to the COVID-19 crisis; and that’s why I have approved emergency funding to protect those at risk from domestic abuse.
My four-year term has become five. The circumstances are unusual, but I am determined to stay connected with the community, with the police and with the police staff and with our many public and voluntary sector partners, all of whom are doing a fantastic job as they work to keep people safe.
For once, we are all in this together. We truly are. Everyone is affected in some way; and if you are finding the going tough, please seek out the help that is available. There are a host of useful links on this site.
This is my first foray into blogging. More will follow, but today, I just want to say thank you. Thank you to the emergency and health service workers, thank you to all the volunteers, and thank you to the overwhelming majority of good people out there who are heeding the restrictions, staying safe and saving lives.
Posted on Friday 1st May 2020