Dear PPMA friends
We have seen incredible efforts from all parts of public services this week in these very challenging times. Our President Karen reflects on the difference an invisible killer has made.
“As this invisible killer continues its journey around the world, we are forever changed.
Nothing will be the same again.
And that is a very good thing if the acts of sacrifice, dedication and generosity of spirit we have seen over the last week in particular continue long into the future.
The Nation stopped at 8pm on Thursday night to #clapforourcarers. It was a deeply emotional time as so many of us stopped to reflect on the work they are doing. Although many say they are only doing the job they were trained for, you cannot help but fear for their safety. In truth they are risking their lives for ours. So we pray for theirs.
In reflecting on our NHS colleagues, we must also remember colleagues right the way across public services. For years we have cautioned on the impact of budget cuts in Local Government. And as we see our ever stretched social care workforce put their own lives at risk too, we can only wonder at the continued dedication of our colleagues.
If there is anything good that has come out of this it is the realisation that public servants of all roles are in the spotlight. Magically the echoes of the opinionated celebrity and commentator are no longer as loud. Magically society seems to rejoice in the comfort of an army of public servants who, otherwise are often at the mercy of Politicians, Special Advisors, Media Commentators, Think Tanks and fellow citizens who understand little of the work we do.
The diligence, dedication, compassion and public spiritedness of everyone, whatever their grade and their role has been beyond inspiring. In truth it needs a better writer than me to express what society owes to our public servants.
Crisis can be a great teacher. It respects little so it is an important leveller too. In a very short time public servants have overhauled policy, ways of working, refocused our workforces, made decisions that we could never have envisaged making without working parties and committees and commissions.
We have innovated beyond imagining. We have ruthlessly discarded the unnecessary. We have redesigned, we have built partnerships not previously possible, we have engaged our communities. We have broken barriers across public service workforces. And we have across society – for the most part – rediscovered the bonds that unite us. All for the purpose of helping others, the most vulnerable and the neediest.
Sadly, more people will be vulnerable and in need across society. Too many people have lost jobs, some will lose businesses and homes. Too many people are frightened for the safety of their families and friends. Too many fear the immediate future.
Fear can help us rediscover what really matters, what we value and what our purpose is. We will discover ourselves, our friends, our families and our communities in ways that we may never have expected.
Like the mycelial network of Star Trek Discovery fame, an invisible killer has helped us remember that we are all connected. Over these last weeks we have seen in stark relief that we are connected by the often invisible bonds of love, care, compassion and mutual dependence. And a searing recognition that life is profoundly precious.
We should be grateful for that. And we should use that gratitude to transmute our fear. To relentlessly focus on our efforts on protecting the vulnerable, protecting each other, supporting everyone who is risking their lives for us and to think about what we need to do in future to ensure that we build a society that is fairer, more generous, more compassionate, more loving and more authentic in its values.
If we nurture these bonds, they will help us overcome this terrible killer. And leave a society stronger than we thought possible.
We owe that to the souls who have already gone and those who are yet to leave us.
I leave you with this beautiful poem. And as always with love and admiration for everything that you do.”