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SFHA forms COVID-19 Member Response Group

Blog by Gillian Duddy, SFHA Membership Co-ordinator

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SFHA has brought together the COVID-19 Member Response Group. The group has been formed to provide a space for the SFHA Executive Team to interact directly with a cross-section of our membership in order to help us to identify lobbying priorities, form our response to government policy and debate at a national level, and refine our key media messages and approach.   

I was tasked with setting up the group and began by identifying distinct areas of the membership, based on geography, size and service offering. Ten CEOs were invited to join the group for a weekly virtual meeting, and they took part in our first call on Friday 24 April. SFHA Chief Executive Sally Thomas opened the meeting with a brief overview of her own personal experience of living and working through the outbreak and the impact this has had on SFHA and our members. Each member of the group was then invited to share their experiences and highlight the key issues and challenges their organisation has faced.  

It was really interesting to hear accounts from each association, and I was struck by how raw this situation is for so many members. Each speaker shared their experience in a calm collected manner, and it wasn’t until I was reviewing notes at the end of the call that the gravity of some of the challenges really hit home. In some cases, this is a matter of life and death, and the level of responsibility and pressure on our sector leaders at this time is quite astounding.  

The call was very well received by everyone who joined, and although we didn’t have the chance to cover much detail, we had provided a space for CEOs to share their concerns and offer support to one another. I am glad to be a part of this group, humbled to share the space with such resilient leaders and look forward to supporting the group and all members throughout this period of unprecedented change. 

If you would like further information on the group, please email me gduddy@sfha.co.uk.

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