Looking back to early 2020 can seem like peering in on another life.
Days were busy, work was hectic. No sooner had one week started than it was over as we, like many others, were caught up in the minutiae of our day-to-day routines.
And then, of course, BAM. Lockdown. It all stopped.
Except it didn’t really, it couldn’t. We just had to quickly adapt – overnight in fact – to a new way of looking after our family law clients.
So, while we’ve always prided ourselves on being flexible and happy to meet clients wherever they feel most comfortable, face-to-face meetings were now out.
Thankfully we had seen the way the wind was blowing with Covid and were set up for remote working. Our electronic security was up to scratch, wi-fi speeds were good and, so long as we could find a space to put a laptop and phone, our work could continue.
Of course, back in those days, we had no idea just how long lockdown would continue – and still continues in some form for those in Greater Manchester and elsewhere.
Contacting divorcing clients and ensuring them we were able to keep on top of their affairs was paramount. Ensuring the team could talk and update on their stresses and strains was obviously also crucially important.
Pretty soon we realised we would be ok and with that bit of security our thoughts turned outwards again. Lots of people weren’t alright. Lockdown had created a new hell for those suffering in silence in abusive relationships.
We followed the lead of some of the great charities in this field and set up our own free phoneline. We made it as visible as we could online and on social media in the belief that if just one person in need used it and got some professional advice that would help them, then it would be worthwhile.
In the event, there were many more calls than one.
Thanks to some of our generous professional friends and colleagues we were able to make their services available as well. Lots of people wanted to do right by those who needed help in these strangest of times.
And that’s the main positive we’ve taken from the last six months. That willingness of people to do something for others. We all saw the sacrifices the NHS and other frontline workers were making, and it felt important to also play our part.
Unfortunately, all these months later and coronavirus is still with us and will be for some time.
Our city centre office has now re-opened but it currently makes sense to remain home-working as much as possible. But if clients prefer a face-to-face meeting we have a Covid-safe environment in our meeting room at The Lightwell.
And the freephone helpline – 0800 285 1413 – remains open. So please, if you know anyone who might need it, pass it on.