Whatever it takes.
In these unprecedented times, this is a phrase we’re all going to hear a lot more of in the coming days, weeks and months as we come to terms with a new reality. Its not underselling it to say that life for all of us is going to be very different in the coming months and will likely never be the same again afterwards.
Unlike other crises in the past, which have been political and financial in their way, this is a health crisis, and it impacts every one of us. Our health, it’s the single, most treasured paradigm above all else, and it is to be protected at all costs.
All over the world, and here in the UK, we’re being asked as a society to undergo extraordinary sacrifices in order to help preserve life and prevent health care systems from collapse. A genuine national effort. The by-product of which however is a national economy that is already under great strain, and looks set for a prolonged period of extreme uncertainty and difficulty.
Indeed, the UK fenestration industry is not immune to this disruption. Events and exhibitions have been postponed or cancelled, working from home is now the new norm for many of us. We had to take the very hard decision ourselves to postpone the NFA19 Winners Event, which was to be our marquee day of the year. Our industry has started out on a journey the likes of which we may all never see again.
Honesty and determination
Over the past few days, indeed the past couple of weeks, my good friend and colleague Lee Clarke and myself have been in discussions about the path our industry is now going down. I think its important to be honest in these times of crisis. Whilst we all must remain positive and work as hard and as creatively as we can, we must also be honest with the situation at hand.
We recognise that as businesses in our industry refocus to ensure their company continues to trade, attention on things like awards and industry events will be down the list of priorities now. An understandable position.
That is why we have taken the important decision to take a proactive lead across both the DGB and NFA networks to adapt our plans and indeed entire platforms to help the UK fenestration sector as best we can. In DGB and the NFAs, both of which have some of the most extensive and connected industry networks, through social media, newsletters, digital magazines and websites, are going to be put to work, cross-platform, as soon as possible to bring support, tools, ideas, news coverage, opinion, analysis and positivity to try and help our sector navigate this incredibly difficult period. We will also be working in partnership with Fenestration Digital to implement our ideas at the same time, so we can maximise the reach and effect of the measures we’re going to put in place.
We are determined to help. Right now we are in discussions about what ideas and tools we can implement immediately that we think are of benefit to UK fenestration. There will be tools and ideas for the short, medium and long term. Nothing is off the table at this point. We’re a resilient group of People, we’re creative and have learned to break through in this industry when walls were in our way. That same spirit is to be applied now.
It will mean some changes to our original plans for the 2020 National Fenestration Awards. We will announce more in due course, but we still fully intend on continuation of the 2020 campaign, even in an adapted form.
We are working on some immediate ideas to implement as quickly as we can. As soon as they are ready we will announce them to the industry and urge as many of you as possible to get involved.
We are all in this together. All there is left to do is to work hard, look after one another, be resilient and adhere to the advice being given by Government. We do not know what lies ahead in the coming hours, days and weeks. But what we do know is that when we pull together, our industry can not only survive, but thrive.
Be well, be calm and be kind.
Jason Grafton-Holt & Lee Clarke
DGB / National Fenestration Awards