Change that leads to better lives

Blog: Reconnecting

Next week marks a milestone for us all at NDTi, the first time in three years that the NDTi family, as a whole, has had the opportunity to gather in person. From all over the UK and beyond, our staff team, board, associates, and friends will be in one place, catching up, sharing experiences, generating new ideas and responses to the world we now live in.

Group of people looking into camera

Throughout these difficult times we’ve continued to deliver our work, creating and driving change across the UK, and there are so many great examples of the positive impact we’ve made and enabled. During the past two years, we’ve done this alone or as part of a small team, either virtually or, when circumstances have allowed, in person. These are the stories we will look to uncover and share at our away day.

We know the world has changed, we’ve seen a lessening of inclusion and rights. People and society work differently now and the support and services they need and connect with often bear little resemblance to those we knew. This is the environment we now live and work in and coming together gives us the opportunity to generate new ideas and approaches in response, ones that can build, drive and evidence inclusion.

While our focus will be creative, our theme after such a long time apart is reconnecting. Of course, we’ve managed to engage with each other during those times that lockdowns, personal circumstances, and commitments allowed, but that has been in small groups or as a couple of individuals. People have made the effort, meeting for socially distanced walks or coffees, enjoying each other’s company and the chance to catch up with colleagues, benefitting from seeing a friendly face. But there’s something special about being in a place with a larger number of people who share the same passion, hold the same values and who want to change the world.

Like everyone else we did the whole online thing, virtual team meetings, online coffee and chats, quizzes, raised a virtual glass, shared digital photos, celebrated birthdays and life events. They were great, helping us all feel connected, but they are not the same as being there in person and those passing casual conversations which spark creativity and innovation, a sense of belonging, those helpful visual cues and observations tell us how people are or prompt us to ask.

For each and every one of us who will be there, we’ve all experienced the past couple of years in very different ways; some have joined the NDTi family, some moved on, those who have loved being away from the hustle and bustle and those who have hated it, others who have lost loved ones and friends, people who have had to isolate from the outside world, and those who have welcomed new lives into it. It will be a time of experiencing the new, recollecting the old, re-engaging and re-connecting.

It’s this vital theme of reconnection that will frame our time together. We will do it in a safe way, the pandemic isn’t over and we're mindful that for some seeing people in person will feel like a release, others will be anxious and the rest will be somewhere in-between. There'll be a blend of excitement and nervousness, and that’s ok, we get it, after all we are all about inclusion, including and celebrating difference.

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