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The 'New' Normal
Social distancing has meant that we've moved all of our face to face meetings online. We're offering consultations and meetings through video or live stream. But to be fair, prior to the outbreak we were operating a largely e-business model and ecommerce to save on overheards and in turn pass those savings onto customers.
Our main concern was how the judiciary system would adapt to the changes to social norms brought on by COVID-19 because part of the services we offer (when we're not busy settling most of our cases out of court) is case preparation and representation through face to face hearings at the The First-tier Tribunal (for Special Educational Needs and Disability.)  Fortunately,  the judiciary system have quickly adapted their ways of working to deliver justice during the coronavirus pandemic through remote hearings via video technology or reaching decisions based on the papers. 

And just to add, these are very difficult times. I liked the analogy from Sofab Sports CIC in the post above,  ''We are all in the same storm but not all in the same boat''. There will be winners that emerge from this but there are also lot of people struggling with the challenges that this pandemic has caused and lot's of people will be looking for real solutions to some real problems from some real leaders. I don't think those leaders will be ordinary business owners or entrepreneurs. I think the entrepreneurs that will be catapulted out of this crisis with significant influence and impact will come from social enterprise.

Founder of the Disability Representation Unit
(05-13-2020, 06:41 PM)richardsw16 Wrote: As an organisation that provides hands-on events for autistic children in public buildings, there's really not much we can do. We expect to be one of the last activities to be un-locked. We're therefore looking at ways to bring the benefits of our organisation to families at home by becoming a purchasing and mailing house for relevant activities, books etc. Meanwhile, we have boxes and boxes of trains in storage and unusable. ;(


Richard Semmens
Engine Shed - South London
Hi Richard Just wanted to say that we recently recruited some crisis and change management Experts to the Human Lending Library if you wanted to discuss what you have in mind with one of them - it's totally free. You can find more information here: https://www.expertimpact.com/crisis-and-...available/ Or give me a shout if you'd like to know more (I'm Lee).

(05-16-2020, 08:39 AM)Sofab Sports CIC Wrote: The biggest obstacle for us is undoubtedly social distancing, we sell end of line sportswear and equipment through ebay. 2/3rds of our workforce has physical or mental disabilities, some are in the highly vulnerable category. Our 3000 sq ft warehouse is full and our packing lines are very compact. Our the majority of our staff are at home. We have not furloughed them but continue to pay them in full. We have been on a fast growth curve for the last 3 years with turnover nearly doubling each year. We added some new stock lines just prior to Coronavirus using SITR investment from Resonance and the last two months has seen the monthly sales at least double, which is great but despatching more than twice the product with a third of the staff brings other challenges. If social distancing in the workplace is required long term we will need a second warehouse close to our current one. We have even considered portable packing areas in the car parking area but this is unrealistic for a number of reasons, unpredictable weather, time to set up each day, etc. The problems we face are nicer to deal with than those faced by others and we will maintain our social impact by continuing to pay all our employees in full. 
There are many different perspectives to view life from at the moment and we should not be too quick to judge. We are all in the same storm but not all in the same boat. It looks like some of the new measures, social distancing in particular will be around for a long while, getting our guys safely back to work looks some way off.
If anyone needs sportswear for their exercise regime check out our stores
1) search Sofab Sports in google and follow the link to our main ebay store from there
2) if american sports are your thing search american sportswear uk in google and our ebay store is the one in all capitals
hope you all get through this safely and I meet some of you once its over
Hello Sofab (can't see a name sorry!). Just to say that if you wanted to discuss some of the changes you're considering we recently recruited a number of crisis and change management experts for the Human Lending Library. The service is totally free. THere is more info here: https://www.expertimpact.com/crisis-and-...available/ Best of luck, Lee
The social distancing requirements obviously add a complication for many social enterprises, especially those employing/supporting vulnerable people (especially those who are at greater risk from the virus). For this reason, we have been working with sector partners to call on the government to ensure there is flexibility in the winding down of the furlough scheme, to avoid the risk of redundancies for the most vulnerable people in society, many of whom are shielding due to Covid.

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