Updates from the ISSUP Virtual Staff Meeting

Over three days between Tuesday 29th September and Thursday 1st October 2020, the ISSUP team gathered for its first fully virtual staff meeting.

We originally planned to meet face-to-face for three days in Edinburgh, Scotland. However ongoing ripples of COVID-19 restrictions surrounding travel and in-person gatherings meant that this was not to be.

The three days of virtual meetings allowed us to reflect on the previous seven months and the changes and work adjustments required to deliver the ISSUP mission through national lockdowns and in the time after.

It was a great pleasure to be joined by Executive Coach Katy Kennedy for one of the days. Katy facilitated a fun, creative session that helped us explore life as a staff team working remotely from a range of countries. Staying connected was an important area of focus. The activity allowed us to acknowledge the struggles each of us has faced in our working lives throughout the pandemic, whilst also recognising the positives and sharing stories of inner and collective strength that we can build on together and carry forward as a team.

Staff presented updates from each area of work, capturing an impressive range of outputs and successes from across our key focal areas of digital engagement, National Chapter development, and events. The proposed workplan for 2021 was discussed with lessons learned and reflections from the past seven months informing the detail of our planning.

ISSUP members can look forward to the continuation of the online event programme as part of our commitment to learning and professional development. The next twelve months will see further development of both new and existing National Chapters with many more regional online events to be announced as details come in.

Our recent website user survey attracted more than 300 respondents and your feedback will guide us as we review and make enhancements to the ISSUP website. We also look forward to bringing you news of enhancements to online training and course provision.

Overall, it was great to spend the time together as a group. COVID-19 still poses major challenges for the ISSUP team, our members, and friends all over the world but the events of the last year give us an opportunity to reflect, regain strength and embrace change. We need to remain positive, be careful and look after each other, ensuring we can continue to deliver the ISSUP mission safely.