18 / 55

Dr Tessa Hartmann CBE

Joint Managing Director, Hartmann House

Who would have thought that this time last year we would be at this place in 2020? It wasn’t as if the world was in a particularly good place back then either. People felt that capitalism was rigged against them; a reality TV star was president of the United States; the UK had voted to leave Europe; China was asserting itself as a superpower; and society was being sucked into the virtual landscape of social media. Reality confused with perception. What is real, do we know any more?

We do know that this global pandemic has left many businesses, people and societies in a state of disrepair and unimaginable debt. Will we ever find a vaccine? Will it be safe? Is this part of nature’s ‘re- set’? With climate change ravaging our beautiful planet and a global pandemic, we have been forced to stop and reconsider everything. We do not need to travel. We can work from home. We can muster on with a ‘virtual’ globalisation. Materialism has become secondary; family and communities everything.

As we watch political posturing and self-confident autocrats, we cry at the loss of touch between our friends and neighbours. Our hearts ache for the people whose lives have been affected. We are addicted to the constant news cycles, repeating the desperate and depressing reality of it all. What will become of travel, hospitality, retail and socialising?

No one really knows, but I know that in a crisis there are moments of opportunity. We need to grasp them; retain our revived appreciation for life’s simple pleasures; and our new kind of patriotism – for our local community, making sure everyone is okay. We have become more serious again, which isn’t a bad thing in my view. People are finding new ways to connect and support each other in adversity. My small contribution to this was to help Jersey Hospice Care.

How would the charity cope as its shops shut and its fundraising events were cancelled? Well they coped because the people of Jersey came together. As an agency, working on their Million Pound Lottery campaign and their strategic branding, we helped the charity ride this wave of uncertainty. I must say, to see their fundraising continue with such verve has been beyond rewarding and we are committed to supporting the Hospice for a long time.

The rules we have lived with up until this point, no longer apply. This is our opportunity not just to hit the pause button, but to permanently change the rules so that people, communities and charitable institutions aren’t so vulnerable to begin with.

It’s up to us now.