2020 – The year named twice

31st Dec 2020

2020 the year named twice ….twice as bad as any other year or an opportunity to think about the year with two perspectives?

This year has been a hugely challenging year for most of us in some way. We have perhaps seen friends or loved ones fall ill or even leave us. We have perhaps struggled with working or owning a business in desperately challenging times. Our relationships could have been strained with family and friends. We have felt restricted and isolated. Times have been tough.

On the face of it 2020 has been an absolute nightmare however I have taken the time to look at 2020 with a different perspective to look at some positives from the year.

For me personally it has been the greatest year of my life, my beautiful baby daughter was born in September which trumps all other things that have ever happened to me. She brings me so much joy and happiness each day. The pregnancy for my wife during lockdown and labour itself was challenging due to the restrictions around masks and distancing. I did miss scans myself due to national restrictions but I understood the reasons and all at Wythenshawe Hospital were absolutely outstanding. My wife was in hospital for 4 days and the nurses and doctors were truly inspiring in terms of their attitudes and regard for others. I took something away from their attitudes which I will never forget and seek to live by now.

The appreciation of the NHS has now got to a point it should always have been at. I have many family and friends who work in the NHS who are such hard workers and are very caring. Each day working long shifts without complaint, just getting on with their jobs. The claps went a little way to help us remind us of their superhero powers but I hope and think that people will respect and thank the people serving in the NHS that little bit more now for the rest of all of our lives.

Captain Tom inspired the nation with fundraising motivated by raising money for NHS charities. We all thought if a 100 year old man can do something then we all can. I took something from Captain Tom’s motivation and many other people who I saw step up and do their own personal challenges and local lad Rashford has inspired us all to think of others and help where we can.

At McHale and Co we continue to support numerous charities but my personal highlight of our fundraising was when we completed 5 days of challenges with 12 of us taking part in 5 days of challenges set by ourselves to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Manchester. We raised £1247 for a great charity but also the 12 of us really enjoyed supporting each other and offering motivation and praise for our colleagues and friends. I have also set myself tasks to help others and charities more in my personal life which I will strive to improve on year on year.

This year we started our Cycle of Life Project where we collected unwanted bikes, clean and repair them if required, all at our cost and then deliver them to worthy nominees. We have so far donated over 40 bikes to people. We donated 12 bikes to a childrens’ shelter before Christmas for children in temporary accommodation who may not have received a present on Christmas day otherwise. We have donated to families where mums have reached out to us to say they were struggling to afford a Christmas present for their children this year, we have donated to a carer at a nursing home who had had her bike stolen, we have so many more great stories. We have been overwhelmed by the support from local people donating their unwanted bikes, we thank you! We will be continuing this in 2021.

Supporting each other has come to the forefront of my mind and I can see this with many other people and businesses. The shop local message is a powerful one. I personally try to support local businesses and friends’ businesses wherever possible which I get joy from.  We have had a great website designed by David Bellin at the Design Studio, we have used Holts regularly and Agency Creative as well as buying presents for colleagues from the Bottle Shop, Bier Cell and Reserve Wines and takeaways for team meetings from Wow Yau Chow, Pix Pizzas, Herb and Spice, Phantong, Yara and Con Club amongst others and regular coffees from Gran T’s and California Wine. We have had social media training from Altrincham HQ from Alex who I know is also passionate about supporting local.

I have also tried supporting friends personally wherever I can as I myself have been overwhelmed personally by friends and family who have used McHale and Co to support me which I am truly thankful for. Dozens if not hundreds of my friends have used us and or recommended us for buying and selling homes or leasing, making wills and lasting powers of attorney, if they have been in an accident, setting up a business or requiring family law help. Thank you to all of our clients in 2020 for supporting us and for all clients previously who have supported us.

The year of Zoom and other video outlets has allowed us to keep in touch somewhat although it can not replace physical meet ups, it can help go a little to keeping in touch with family and friends and they are also helpful for business meetings. So, keep scheduling those catch ups and checking in on each other.

My message from 2020 is keep supporting each other personally as we enter Tier 4, keep supporting each other locally, keep supporting friends’ businesses and equally as important, support yourself. Find time each day for some self-improvement and reflection. Whether that be Yoga, meditation, Pilates, other exercise, reading or other nourishment of the mind and body make the time and thank yourself for keeping going and reward yourself with things to enhance your own life. Make 2021 a year to remember.

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