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Hello everyone.

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful has always sought to play a leading role in developing civic pride and a belief in each other’s capacity to take small actions to do big things. As you know we are in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak. This virus has challenged many of the ways in which we have done things up until now. As an organisation we are not immune from the impacts that this virus has on our society. I want to use this opportunity to talk to you about some of things we are doing as an organisation to help.

Remote Working

Since the 18th March, we have instituted a working from home policy. This of course presents a challenge in terms of how we work. As a small team, we are used to being side by side in a shared office, but I am glad to say that so far our team has met these challenges with creativity and determination. Using online workstations, emails and video calls we have been able to keep working and make sure we are checking in with each other as a team. I recognise the value of us as an organisation still working together as one team and helping each other achieve our collective goals.

The future

We are working on plans for how we will go about our business over the next period of time. COVID-19 will be part of our lives for the next few weeks and this will mean us thinking differently and finding new ways to collaborate with our partners. Rest assured that while we are working differently, our goals of protecting and enhancing our environment remain the same. The uncertainty that all of us face, means that we will have to be creative and look at how we can champion our environment while also doing our bit to help the community tackle the virus.

Our Volunteers

To those who give up their time to help us make a big difference, I want to thank you for your continued support and patience as we work together in these difficult circumstances. We have already issued guidance to our groups relating to social distancing, washing your hands and links to the relevant government advice. As things progress, we will continue to work with you and will keep communicating as we move forward. Whilst there will inevitably some disruption and change in approach, I want to assure you that we are still working harder than ever to ensure that when this virus passes, we will be ready to once again give our full support to those of you who are so dedicated to the cause of our local environment. Of course in trying new ways of working, some of these may even prove to be better than the old ways, so there is an opportunity here to innovate too.

To close, I want to ask all of you to please keep in touch. Look after yourselves and those around you. Your values of pride in our local community and believing that we are part of a cause bigger than ourselves are what we need now. Times are tough right now, but with these key attributes we will make it through to the other side.

My continuing thanks to all of you.