As I was reading through the series of messages that I have shared with staff during the course of this unprecedented year, three words seemed to recur more than most: ‘dedication’, ‘commitment’ and ‘professionalism’.
It also struck me that at each stage of 2020 – and whatever phase of the Covid-19 pandemic we were experiencing – these words have rung strong and true, as we took things in our stride, put plans in place, then calmly revised them as the various restrictions changed and changed again.
Despite this stop-start uncertainty, our ability to be ‘dedicated’ and ‘professional’, to offer help and support to our partners, and to meet the needs of our communities across Ealing, Cheshire and Dorset, has stayed steady and strong.
We say in our charity strapline that we ‘make journeys possible’ and although some of these journeys involved food rather than people during part of the year, I am so proud at the way that we have kept services running. One thing I have learned as CEO of ECT Charity over the past 13 years is that if you give a seemingly impossible task to a team of committed and highly professional people, they will find a way to get it done. This has been demonstrated to a gold-standard many times already, of course, in the superb job we made delivering accessible transport for events such as the 2012 Olympics, Prince Harry’s Invictus Games 2014 and the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships.
But this year, we have gone further, and there are some other important words that have characterised the approach that has shone through across our remarkable charity during these recent challenges – words such as ‘resilience’, ‘bravery’ and ‘care’.
Not only have ECT’s staff been the very definition of professionalism but they have shown true bravery in the way that they have stepped up to deal with the challenges presented to us. Not only are they committed but they have maintained resilience – and supported each other to do so – during these turbulent times. And ECT staff are dedicated because they care deeply about our communities and how we can serve them.
I know that I speak for all of our Board of Trustees and my colleagues in the management team when I say: “thank you, you have been outstanding”.
ECT wishes our passengers and our partners a peaceful and happy Christmas, and a healthy new year.