In 2020 we hosted Lessons from Lockdown, a series of national conversations with people working in public services: mental health, social care, substance use, homelessness and housing – about how lockdown impacted how we worked with people.
This is the report that reveals the themes and brings the conversations of this series of events together. It exposes the barriers to people working in a more person-led way and the silos of dehumanised public services/systems that often perpetuate the trauma of the individuals going through tough times by denying authentic human connection.
As what we do and how we do it changed, an irony emerged: despite the physical distance, interactions were more emotionally charged and led more by feelings and relationships than before.
In many ways this new way of working felt like a huge stride towards living the Platfform values and putting ideas around ‘system change’ into practice. This began a curiosity: what else had changed in the direction we were wanting to travel? And what had other people, in different sectors to ours experienced? And so Lessons from Lockdown was launched as a listening exercise.
We heard of unexpected digital warmth but also strain, a surge of activity towards doing what matters, and cutting through red tape and bureaucracy with a shared mission.
The report also demonstrates how people have come up with creative and courageous ways of overturning barriers during lockdown, and that there are shared opportunities to change things in future. It’s clear that more resources and services are not the answer; but instead reflective, healing focussed organisational cultures with the right leadership can be transformative, brave and do what matters.
And once you take away some of those structural things that are just holding us back, and treat each other as people and think about how we share that common sort of humanity – that’s what I think has been really kind of life changing. And it just proves that we can do it — Lessons from Lockdown participant
Above all, Lessons from Lockdown calls for an honest conversation about what we need to do next so that the lessons from this unique period in our collective experience are not lost forever.
Thanks to everyone who attended The Honest Conversation in early 2021, building upon the report’s conclusions and exploring ways forward. Huge thanks, too, to our partners at the ACE Support Hub, and to The Mayday Trust for inspiration from their Wisdoms series (Wisdom from the System: It’s Good To Talk.)