09 Oct


It’s been a really frustrating week!

Like many of you, our family is trying to juggle the massive demands relating to work, home and school whilst being guided by the local rules and regulations.

Last weekend exemplified some of the challenges that I personally face – I’d like to bet that they are similar to many of yours.

Our youngest son plays for a local U15s football team.  I also help with the coaching and managing.  Last Saturday we played away at Middleton.  One of our families asked on Friday evening if I could pick up their son.  Both his parents work for the NHS and had just completed a night shift.  Middleton FC play very near the David Lloyd centre where many of our post 16 students are on their work experience or on Bridging the Gap.  It’s about a 20 minutes’ drive from our home.

For note it was a brilliant game between two evenly-matched teams – we managed to run out 2-0 winners with a penalty and scrabbled goal.  We dropped our elated passenger back at home after the match.  What’s all this got to do with the price of fish, I hear you say?

Well, on Monday evening, on my return from the Learning Centre I was informed by my son that our passenger hadn’t been in school and had started showing symptoms of Coronavirus, on Sunday.  He’d been for a test and was awaiting a result.  On Tuesday, we got the news we’d been dreading, that he had tested positive so both my son and myself, along with a number of both football teams, coaches and spectators were being advised to self-isolate for 2 weeks.  Thankfully his symptoms had started to disappear, and he was feeling much better!

Throughout the period of the pandemic, myself and my wife have been caring for my elderly parents – doing their shopping, making their meals and generally making sure they are ok.

I’ve two reasons for sharing this story with you.

First of all, it’s about sharing many of my frustrations. Home educating my son (!), the indiscriminate way (and ease) with which the virus can spread, me being confined to home working (yet again), the challenges of organising support for my own parents, trying to understand the track and trace system and living within the limitations of self-isolation.

The second reason I share this story is to emphasise that all of our staff, in all our organisations, are facing similar challenges on a daily basis.  They are all juggling their responsibilities.  Quite rightly, the government is prioritising keeping schools open.  However, we all have to remember that the demands on us all in this period are enormous.  Our children, young people, staff and families are facing massive stresses.  When our schools and organisations are having to send children and young people home, you are all being so supportive.  Thank you for your support and understanding.  We really could do with some positive news in the next few days and weeks.

So, to brighten the mood here’s Lauren’s joke of the week:

hello my main man, I was in Oldham today and saw a man in fancy dress, he had a women on his back. I said,

“what have you come dressed as?”

“he said a tortoise”

So,  I said

“who’s that on you back then?”

he says “that’s mi shell”

put your money away mr quinn you can have that one for free.

Stay safe everyone – take care


You can find all Graham’s previous updates and blog entries here