As we draw to the close of the most unprecedented year in living memory for the majority of us, I like so many am in a state of reflection.
How do we describe this year?
With words such as unprecedented, anger, fear, heartache, confusion, dismay, worry, and the like, the list is endless.
However, from my viewpoint, what has emerged amongst all the trials and tribulations is the clear resilience of the Mansfield & Ashfield communities. So, let us think more along the lines of camaraderie, peace, cheer, harmony and positivity. Tough but not impossible.
Yes, people have lost loved ones, businesses have been lost, and unfortunately, some have been made redundant too but we must all do our utmost to keep working hard together to support each other and to continue to be resilient, as positive as possible and as collaborative as we can.
The year has shown us that we know and care about our fellow members of the business and wider social communities. This has been highlighted so often with the clapping for NHS, the #PPE4NHS campaign, the massive amount of local food help campaigns such as the let’s all eat, the Christmas bauble initiative and many more done by many of our local businesses.
It is times of adversity that the best can be seen in so many and everyone in Mansfield & Ashfield should be proud of how the pandemic has been handled, how we have pulled together and how we will come back stronger in 2021.
M&A 2020 has been at the forefront of business support all year and latterly involved in supporting those in need with help for Ashfield District Council & Mansfield District Council food bank schemes, Portland College, Digital Poverty and local food hamper schemes like the one run by our very own Elizabeth Orridge.
We have and continue to signpost members and the wider community alike to relevant and up to date information in respect of funding, grants, loans, and other support.
We have held many networking events, peer group sessions, Q+A sessions, a panel session, our virtual breakfast meetings, the annual awards and much more.
To thank all the great people for the area would take me until early 2021 as the list is immense and continues to grow.
But I would like to say thank you to those members and visitors who have attended our events and contributed so well to support each, to the ADC & MDC staff who have worked with us to do our best to look after as many people as possible, to the general public for doing your best to comply with ever changing rules, to the Board members of M&A 2020 and to Ella McManus who joined us in January as Operations manager, never, would I suggest ever thinking this would be how her inaugural year would pan out.
We will be publishing some exciting changes to the way things are done at M&A 2020 in the new year, helping to build even closer relationships with current and prospective members, new offers, new ideas of how we can support you and how you can assist us with a number of projects that will hopefully benefit many.
As Chair, my role changed significantly too and having committed so much effort into doing what I can to promote the area I am as ready as so many of you to take a breather and to recharge my batteries ready for a new year with so much promise.
A vaccine, hopefully fewer restrictions and well-deserved cash coming in via the Future High Street and Towns fund applications for both Mansfield & Ashfield.
So much hard work went into those bids that will surely bring forward some great initiatives in which we can all be involved.
I conclude this message with a renewed ask for any assistance in the campaign #makingITpossible which is being led by “the three musketeers’” myself, Martin Rigley and Katie Cooper Lewis.
The links to our campaign are;
- Facebook – makingITpossiblenotts
- Twitter – @makingITposs
- LinkedIn – makingITpossible
And, by asking each and every one of you to consider that no matter the issue, no matter how bleak it seems, there are many who can listen, advise and hopefully help you.
Being a member gets you great access to some really good people, not being a member does not preclude you from help as I stated earlier, we must work collaboratively and together make 2021 the year Mansfield & Ashfield are recognised for special things.
Many thanks to all who have attended our programme of events during 2020, we look forward to seeing and engaging with you in January, when our programme will be kicking off with JUST Networking on Thursday 14thwhere everyone can get together to just catch up and get to know each other. It’s the ideal place to talk about some of the challenges businesses are facing or learn about how you may be able to help someone new.
Have the best Christmas possible, be sensible, be safe, see you in 2021.