Keeping going

CEO Carly Brookfield looks back at 2020 and is impressed with the fortitude of our DIA members

I want to finish out this year by paying tribute to our members. The impact of COVID has been felt in every industry, and in every corner of the world. The combination of fearing for your own health, that of your loved ones, fearing for your livelihood and fearing for your finances has been a devastating one for all trainers – whether your business has been on the road for decades or you’ve just joined the industry.

While understandably there has been worry, frustration and anger, the DIA team and I have been blown away by the fortitude, professionalism and composure our members have shown. While staff on our helpdesk have experienced the occasional outburst from trainers at the end of the phone (and at end of their tether), and received the occasional email which is more letting off steam than anything else, the majority of members have been amazing – even when we’re delivering not the best of news, or apologising yet again for not being able to deliver more news. 

So a big thank you to all of our members for their continuing support, their patience, and their feedback, ideas and suggestions, which have enabled us to regularly relay to DVSA the challenges being experienced on the ground and potential solutions to them, as well as develop solutions or new services to help more trainers, and their pupils.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the DIA team who have continued to not only deliver nearly all of our services uninterrupted since this crisis began but have also innovated new services and initiatives in response to the crisis. From the helpdesk team answering thousands of emails and calls, to the training team creating and delivering a webinar nearly every week since March. These have helped members keep up-to-date with developments, learn more about delivering training safely in the context of COVID-19 and brush up on other skills and knowledge in lockdown. 

The marketing team has kept our communications and news rolling, while the membership services team has been the backbone of the organisation – keeping the office running and mail order dispatched. They’ve also managed the key worker register which DIA set up in the early days of the pandemic to support members training key workers, aiding the effort to keep the frontline mobile. 

In many ways, I’m sure we’ll all be happy to say goodbye to 2020 on New Year’s Eve. However, while we would rather not have had to go through a global pandemic to realise it, this year has taught us how strong we can be as an industry and how adaptable we are. 2021 will be a tough year to start but with the prospect of a vaccine being available to more and more people from early next year, there is optimism that the profession can start to look towards recovery. 

It won’t be easy, but if the same resilience and sheer determination to just keep going we’ve seen from members throughout this crisis is anything to go by, I’m convinced we’ll see the industry start motoring again next year.

In the meantime, thank you all again for your support in 2020.

DIA CEO Carly Brookfield has over 18 years‘ experience in senior management helping to develop and promote both private and public sector bodies including professional membership and industry bodies in the medical, education and financial services arena. She is also an experienced campaigner and lobbyist on road safety issues and a member of the DfT’s Road Safety Delivery Group and a board member of the research and knowledge hub The Road Safety Observatory.

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