Coronavirus: changing the way we work?

This 'Wellbeing at Work' blog for our corporate supporters focusses on encouraging creativity and self-care.

Children 1st, Scotland’s national children’s charity, are using our 135 years of experience of protecting children from harm and helping people recover from trauma to share some suggestions for our corporate partners of ways to help your team to cope through coronavirus.

Like many of our corporate partners, we’ve had to make big changes to the way we work. Today’s blog post will reflect on some of the positives to be found from this.

Today’s tips will look at:

  1. Creativity in a crisis
  2. A SPARK of self-care
  3. A shortcut to connection

1. Creativity in a crisis

Our Chief Executive Mary Glasgow was joined by three frontline service colleagues last week for Children 1st’s first ever virtual Q&A with staff. Leana, Marion and Lisa described the services they deliver and talked about the work their teams have been doing alongside families during lockdown. They also discussed the future challenges families are facing.

This was a brand-new way for Children 1st to reach out to our audience and we’re delighted that it’s had a great reaction so far, being viewed over 2,400 times!

Now seems like an ideal time to try things in a different way and let your creative ideas flow, whether that’s around adapting your service so you can still deliver your aims, addressing your audience in new ways, or thinking up ways to keep kids at home entertained and engaged with school work. Things at work might never return to ‘normal’ and that is scary, but it also opens up new opportunities to reassess the former status quo.

2. A SPARK of self-care

‘Self-care’ may seem like a buzzword but it’s basically a term to remind us to look after ourselves! It isn’t always easy to know where to start, so we would like to introduce you to one tool that may help. 

The SPARK tool was created by the IDEA project, University College Cork, Ireland, as a tool for practitioners working in community and social services, and it is a really helpful tool that we can all use, regardless of our role, to improve our wellbeing. In essence, self-care helps to keep the 'spark' alive, or rekindles it when energies run low.

The SPARK tool is designed to encourage you to reflect on distinct areas in both your personal and professional life and to look at any changes you could make to improve your wellbeing, as well as identifying areas where you might need more support.

If using this in your organisation, you could invite colleagues to use this as a basis for conversations with their team about how they are managing at the moment, as well as potentially identifying general themes across your organisation. You could also use it to identify additional support that can be put in place for colleagues as we move out of the current lockdown restrictions.

3. A shortcut to connection

We know that in all shapes and sizes of organisations, connection is key. This is true with our families, and true with our corporate partners. One positive our fundraising team at Children 1st have found is that the current situation has provided an opportunity to develop deeper connections in a short time.

Since we all have the shared experience of lockdown (though different for each of us), we now have a touchstone with which to form authentic connections even more quickly. Everyone likes to connect on a human level, and whether that’s a greater level of discourse around mental health, or simply better understanding colleagues’ home lives (and getting to know their pets!), this time has given us a unique opportunity to get to know each other a little better and form an even stronger team.

We’ve seen this translate to our corporate connections too and are so grateful for the level of understanding and empathy we’ve seen from our supporters who have gone above and beyond to stay connected and supportive. We look forward to building and strengthening these connections as we continue to support families through the easing of lockdown restrictions and the journey to recovery. 


Thank you for your continued support. We hope you found these tips useful and enjoy sharing them with your teams. Please do share the video of our Q&A with your networks and let us know if this is a helpful way to share information on our work. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Take care and stay safe,

Team Children 1st