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A message from Executive Director, Jane Parfrement

21 May 2020

Has it really only been a few short weeks since we went into lockdown? In that time the way we live, work, shop and socialise has changed almost beyond recognition and I feel incredibly proud and humbled when I see how you have all adapted.

Being part of a team of executive directors which is collectively responsible for leading the council, I know how challenging that has been for us as an authority. I also understand how difficult it can be for you personally. Like you, I've had to adapt to working in new ways and while many of us get to grips with home working for the first time, we're also having to juggle added pressures of childcare, home schooling and not being able to see relatives and friends.

But we have all risen to the challenge and have continued to provide vital services to the people of Derbyshire during this pandemic through our resilience, doings things differently and team working across departments. I have spoken to a number of front line staff over the last few weeks and have been really struck by how positive people are being and how determined you are to do the best for Derbyshire people.

However, we're acutely aware that these huge changes can also negatively affect people's well-being which is why we've launched our employee assistance programme to support you through these difficult times. 

It's okay not to be okay, every one of us will have those days when it all feels hard and we've put together lots of useful information on the support that's available to you.

It's also important to recognise that some families may struggle being together at home more and that home isn't always safe for everyone.

We all have a duty to look out for one another which is why we're backing the national 'Say something if you see something' campaign.

Although we are working in different ways – you may even be doing a different role temporarily – there are still opportunities to spot signs.

You can find out more about helping to keep vulnerable people safe including mental health support, domestic abuse support and how to protect children plus how to report your concerns if you're worried about an adult or child.

We're also launching a drive to recruit more foster carers to help keep Derbyshire children safe. Do you know anyone who can offer a home from home – if so we'd love to hear from you.