Celebrating our team spirit

Our system administrator, Denise Fail recalls how culinary delights served up by colleagues gave us a real appetite to fight the pandemic.

 As I reflect on 2020, all I can say is, what a year!

As the clock struck midnight on December 31 2019, nobody could have predicted that within months we would be in the midst of a global pandemic.

It has been a tough year for us as a team and a new way of working and living has been enforced on us all and it’s safe to say it has been a very turbulent ride.

I am sure we will all be pleased when we can sit near one another, enjoy a few after-work drinks together and even share a hug.

We have all rallied round to boost morale and that started back in March when we quickly adapted and ensured the correct safety measures were in place to allow us to remain in the workplace.

I think we can all agree that sales ledger clerk, Penny Owen, played a huge part in ensuring team morale remained high and the admin team rallied behind her when she suggesting we all needed a good feed!

I was tasked with beef sandwiches, Penny cooked a delicious chicken curry, our accounts team leader, Tarnya Henderson had everyone’s eyes watering with her spicy chili and we had birthday celebrations for office manager, Marie Errington.

Business development manager, Gary Brannigan and SHEQ manager James Rolt brought in cookies and cake, administrator, Emily Stevenson supplied us with bacon and egg sandwiches and our finance manager, Mike Wade, volunteered to make spaghetti bolognaise. We have all been well fed!

We really enjoyed the cooking treats from our socially distanced kitchen. We took it in turns if we needed to enter the kitchen and tables were separated and other meeting rooms also utilised.

It was my 60th birthday this year and I was humbled to receive a homemade birthday cake cooked by Emily Stephenson’s mum as well as an outpouring of gifts. So, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made the day very memorable.

As we progressed through the year, we reintroduced team members from the furlough scheme, providing them with the support needed for the transition into the working environment.

Our stores department now operates to a strict schedule, only opening early morning and later in the day and all project work is planned well in advance, which is reinforced by SHEQ manager, James Rolt, to reduce any risks.

The cooking has come to an end, which is probably a good thing for our waistlines but it demonstrates the spirit of our team. We have now switched to a Friday treat – breakfast buns from the local café, which ends the week, nicely.

As we look to the year ahead, nothing is certain. However, what we do know is that there is stability amongst the team and in our new way of working, which offers us reassurance. Let’s all look forward to the day when we can have a big team celebration!