The year 2020: The Leap Year not short of drama and perseverance

When asked to sum up 2020 in one word, what would you use?

‘Pandemic’ would spring to mind immediately followed by ‘lockdown’ or ‘bubble’. I’d guess that you would expect many to use negative words to sum up their experiences of the year that has passed, rightly so as I’d guess no one has been left untouched by the virus in some form or another.

My choice is not a negative one, it is a defiant word. One that sums up how we have had to roll up our sleeves and change, one that defines our spirit, and one that defines how we have coped with the strains of Covid; it is ‘resilience’.

The definition, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is ‘[they] showed great courage and resilience in fighting back from a losing position to win the game’.

Whilst we know that this has not been a game, for local authorities the pandemic would have been prepared for. Emergency plans were rolled out and staff threw themselves into action. Overnight staff had to be dispersed from working in large offices to working from their homes. The challenges for IT teams will have been tremendous and the strain on already overstretched resources would have led to many sleepless nights for staff struggling to ensure services continued whilst keeping staff safe.

Similarly, for Finders International, we changed from an office-based service to one that could be run remotely overnight. Logistically, it was easier for a company the size of Finders to diverge operations given the smaller scale of staff – saying that, it was no mean feat to have to undertake.

The online resources we use to trace people remained available however the physical resources closed, which presented a few issues although nothing we couldn’t cope with.

For me it’s meant a change in the way I work. Over the past two and a half years prior to lockdown I’d had the privilege of meeting many of you in person, either in your offices or at one of the many events we’ve successfully run across the country. I’ve been lucky to have seen more of Britain than most from the comfort of a rail seat, travelling all directions.

Back in late February it was starting to look like things would need to change and quickly. We had planned our first physical conference of the year in Manchester. The venue and speakers were all booked, invitations to the event had been sent. We were ready to go. More or less overnight we had to postpone and take the conference online. Thanks to the fantastic work of our team we managed to pull a package together and our first online Deputyship Development Day went live in March. Subsequently we have produced three more online events aimed at local authority deputyship teams. On top of this we have had separate events for Public Health Funerals, private client solicitors, hospitals and coroners, all producing excellent feedback from our viewers and further transpiring into donations towards charities working hard to support those who require it most across UK.

Whilst we have no idea when or if things will ever return to normal, we have still been able to support teams, provide quality material and engage via video conferencing. In the face of adversity, I think we have all shown great resilience.

Have a peaceful and relaxing festive season, but of overwhelmingly more importance, keep well and keep safe.

We look forward to seeing you in 2021.

David Lockwood – Finders International


The PADSN is an organisation which has been specifically created to help provide key assistance to public authority deputies across the UK. If you would like to learn more about THE PADSN, watch past events or require assistance, you can further explore our website here. Alternatively, you can telephone: +44(0) 20 7490 4935 or email: [email protected].