On 20th December last year we locked the office doors and went out to celebrate Christmas, followed by a well-earned 2 week shutdown. Everyone in high spirits, our order book full, we looked forward to 2020 and to celebrating our 40th year of trading in style.
And all was very briefly going to plan! Then in late January stories of a new deadly virus discovered in China started to emerge. Soon these stories explained how it was being seen in more and more countries across the globe. And before we knew it, our Prime Minister was addressing a shell-shocked nation explaining that life as we knew it was suspended from 23rd March because to protect the NHS and save lives, we were all to stay home in isolation.
Since March, Coolair (like most other businesses up and down the country) have experienced a roller-coaster of highs and lows. We’ve dealt with unavoidable site closures, joined the chase to secure supplies of PPE, mastered the intricacies of the Job Retention Scheme and kept up with the constantly moving goalposts. We’ve become familiar with new ways of working and learnt a whole new language – “furlough” – “social distancing” – “new normal” – and everyone’s favourite “you’re on mute”!
Now, after 8 months of upheaval and uncertainty we approach the end of 2020. And whilst our 40th year has been far from what we envisaged it will definitely be memorable! Coolair have been fortunate to keep all our offices open and everyone working safely right the way through lockdown and now as we approach Christmas we feel very fortunate to be back to normal trading.
Neil Gibbard, Managing Director said “We have many people to thank for helping us through these challenging few months. Our key suppliers have ensured that despite their own COVID19 challenges they have maintained supply lines wherever possible to enable us to keep site works progressing to plan. Our customers have kept in close “virtual” contact with our sales teams across the country, and this continued smooth flow of information has been vital in ensuring that we could still deliver the quality of service we’re famous for”.
Helen Sharratt, Finance Director said “A special mention must go to the whole team at ACR IT Solutions Ltd who for many years have provided our IT and network support. They have been on-hand day and night to help get all our staff set up for remote working. The flexibility and peace of mind this has given us has been invaluable”.
Neil Gibbard continued “But the most special mention is saved for our nationwide team of employees and subcontractors who have without exception been simply amazing. The support and dedication we’ve received from the whole team, with everyone mucking in to do whatever’s been needed has been incredible, but from my 19 years working with everyone here this hasn’t come as a surprise. Whether in normal times or in the middle of a global pandemic, we feel very fortunate at Coolair to have such a loyal and close-knit team who consider each other friends rather than just colleagues. Our heart-felt thanks goes out to everyone, we couldn’t have got through this without you”.
We now turn our attention to 2021, with trepidation but optimism for what the new year will bring. Our priorities are to
- Stay Safe
- Be considerate
- Be adaptable
We wish everyone health and happiness in 2021 and beyond.