Review of 2019

Review of 2019: by Sandra Collins

Ah yes, Christmas. That time when you sit down to write a review of the year and face the ever-present danger of it turning into the business equivalent of one of those annoying round robin letters, packed with endless boasts about Jessica’s grade 2 cello exam and thinly-veiled brags about exotic holiday destinations.

Well, I say, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em – starting with a shameless list of all the countries we’ve visited in 2019: China, India, Nepal, Jamaica, Estonia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Rwanda and finally Bangladesh. Yes, it’s been tough. But when a real crisis hits a country where we’ve held an exercise, and we see all the preparatory work bearing fruit, it really brings it home how important our work is, and why it matters.

But it’s not all been about jetting off to foreign locations. Here in the UK we launched a new course this year, coaching delegates to film and edit effective short films on their smart phones. They say (not sure who ‘they’ are, but they certainly have a lot of opinions) that the best camera is the one you have with you and, with a few neat tricks, it’s possible to create something really special, quickly and cheaply. We’ve been getting some great feedback from delegates about how hands-on and practical the training is, and we’re planning on rolling out our advanced course early in 2020. Follow us on Twitter for updates.

A personal highlight for me in 2019 was being invited to speak at the Stagecoach women’s network dinner. Aside from some eye-opening stories about working in a male-dominated industry in the 1970s, it was heartening to see how a traditionally masculine industry is changing and adapting as more women make it to the senior ranks. There was a lot of discussion about presenting yourself with confidence – even when you don’t feel it.

Another highlight that meant a lot to us was announcing our partnership with JDRF – a charity which funds research into type 1 diabetes, hoping to one day eradicate the condition for good. We’re providing training and coaching to help the organisation spread the word about the great work they do, and you can read about why it means so much to us in this recent blog post by our associate Stuart Baird, whose son suffers from the condition.

So having bragged about our travels, our achievements and our good deeds for 2019, all there is left to do is to wish our amazing team and all our lovely and much-valued clients a very merry Christmas and all the best for the year ahead.