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Published on 21st December 2020

2020 Reflections


Hayley Monks – MD – Think Inspire and Create & WUN Founder

As I write, it’s the last day of November. We are about to start the first day of advent & I genuinely don’t know where the year has gone.

Often our year is peppered with highlights & events that we reflect on as we look back over the year that is ending. But this year less so. My year got off to a fantastic start with the celebration of my daughters 21st at the start of January. A Great Gatsby themed party seemed appropriate for the 2020’s. It’s the only landmark event of 2020! No graduations; 18ths, 50th celebrations could take place. I can’t even remember what I did on my birthstay, as it was in the middle of lockdown one.

And yet, whilst on reflection it feels uneventful in some strange way the year feels rewarding and rejuvenating.

We had time together as a family, time that we are unlikely to get again. We enjoyed getting out on foot and making the most of where we lived. We fell back in love with our home and our garden &  have tried more new recipes than ever before. Life was re-balanced.

I am looking forward to 2021 though. I have high expectations of being able to socialise more; to meet up with people  & feel the energy; wear something sparkly and put back a little vava voom 

2020-Reflections CEO Jo Butlin Energy Bridge & WUN Founder

2020 – what a strange year. It is one we will all remember, and one which is likely to have a more lasting impact than any other year in our lifetimes- whether in valuing what we have; changing how we work;  or still to come, the economic impact on our world. It has not all been bad. I have been positively inspired by the flourishing of community and care that has been shown in so many situations and has perhaps been more visible than ever before. Not having to travel as much has bought me many enjoyable and valued hours at home to spend at leisure with my family which previously I would not have had . Creativity has flourished both in the work environment and at home, finding different ways to achieve results. I have rediscovered my love of playing the piano, spending many hours lost in learning and practising new pieces and have spent many happy hours rowing on the River Deben. I have nothing to complain about.

However, not seeing people has been really hard and it has brought home how important human contact is. Zoom and such like are great in many respects- but it will be so nice real people again and interact naturally without having to put your hand up or wait your turn- something that does not come naturally to me! I mourn the lost opportunities, particularly for my daughters and their generation- University and new careers are times to learn from people around you and have fun together. Whilst fantastic resilience has been shown, it is a lot harder for this generation than for those of us who have had these times in the past. I am also incredibly grateful that my daughters are largely independent- my admiration for those parents who have home schooled, entertained bored children and juggled the additional challenges of full time careers holds no bounds.

Most of all, as the year draws to a strange and unfamiliar end, I am looking forward to 2021 and hoping that the prospect of vaccinations and mass testing enables us all to go back to some sense of new normality when we can, once again, meet together.

2020-Reflections Rebecca Sedler Director of Policy & Regulation  EDF & WUN Founder

2020 – where to start? I would prefer not to dwell on the dark days of lockdown and home-schooling three children during one of the busiest times in my career (shudder), but rather reflect on the wonder of how people pull together in tough times, deploying flexibility and commitment.

The biggest learning that I will take is about simplicity – free weekends and bored children, which both lead to discovering new activities or even re-living old ones – much more important than I ever realised. Leaving the year with a suite of commitments that the government is making to “build back greener” can also revitalise many of us working in the sector with both purpose and hope.

2020 Reflections @Sharon Sage Public Sector Manager at EDF & WUN advocate

Wow 2020 – what a year.

It all started out fabulous, full of optimism, career and life plans, holidays and goals – well, that didn’t work to plan did it.

I am a ‘hugger’ this is not a year to be a hugger . Working from home hasn’t really been a massive issue as I have been homebased for nearly 5 years now, but a lot of my time was spent travelling the country to visit customers, attend events and visit my local office. When the pandemic hit, EDF went from having a predominantly office and field based work force to home based within a matter of days. I I have really missed getting out and about to see people, zoom doesn’t always cut it for me.

However, spending more time at home has meant I have spent more time with the family, have a whole new level of appreciation for teachers, feel in love with exercise again and I will never take for granted those hugs I miss so much! I can also cook a mean sausage roll and banana bread.

Something positive to come out of the pandemic is the fact that it has made many employers see that its ok to be more flexible and many employees work more effectively in ‘the new normal’.

Being able to work in my leggings and slippers is a joy, but I will welcome the time when dry shampoo just won’t cut it and my working week will be a combination of both slipper and heels.

Here’s to 2021 and being able to hug again and get out and about and see my much missed customers and colleagues!

2020 Reflections from Sharna Matson, ACIPD Diversity & Inclusion Manager Cadent Gas Limited & WUN Advocate

Reflection: Definitely eventful!! Some highs, some lows but plenty of growth!!

I am really looking forward to a New Year and the new hope that this vaccine provides us all.

2020 Reflections Sam Proctor  Business Analyst Pandorica Limited  & WUN advocate

What a year! I am amazed at both the resilience and the adaption of working practices in response to some tough Covid challenges this year and I have to say the effort that has been put in by key workers across all of Utilities in particular makes me really proud – they truly are unsung heroes!

2020 Reflections Penny Randall EDF Marketing Executive & WUN Advocate

‘’2020 has been a challenging year for many and I am sure everyone is ready to see it out now. But on a positive note, it has also been a year of resilience and one where many people have come together to help one another in community spirit.

This year has seen rapid innovation through digital solutions and I’ve certainly embraced this both in my job role and my personal life. Being in an events role which primarily involves organising face to face client engagement, it was important to adapt to the change and find alternative ways to fill the gaps to continue to connect and interact productively. I am thankful to my employer EDF for allowing me to explore new and exciting approaches that have helped me to develop myself. This new virtual world has also brought me closer to the Women’s Utility Network. I really admire the approach they’ve taken with the WUN for All sessions and recognising the importance of brining networks together regularly, especially during what has been a tough year.

On a personal level, these digital tools have also meant that I can continue to see my family and friends around the UK and once everyone mastered the art of switching the mute button off and turning the camera on – it has been a great temporary replacement!

Despite the challenges, I’ve enjoyed the learnings. But I do hope we can get back together in person again in 2021!’’