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Reflections on 2021 - Relate Cross Pennine

Much has happened over the last year, which has set the foundation for our future. This, however, has been against the backdrop of a continuing pandemic, where our normal freedoms have been curtailed. In many ways it has felt like life has stood still. Many of us have been working from home sat in front of our screens. Furlough kept many families in a state of uncertainty and the schools were in a constant state of flux. Relationships have been strained at work, at home and for our children.

However, we have begun to see some rays of light.

Relate Cross Pennine has made positive progress during 2021 despite all the uncertainties. We returned a strong financial outcome enabling us to invest for our future. This could not have been achieved without us working in harmony and showing good teamwork. Our counsellors adapted and saw clients using Zoom whilst working from home. Our admin staff ensured business processes were maintained despite the working remote conditions, and our managers provided support where it was needed and managed the charities' costs. I am very thankful to all my team.

The Board took a decision some time ago to close two centres and open a new one

between Huddersfield and Halifax. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced us to close Huddersfield and Halifax without securing a new centre. However, this worked out fruitful for us and managing our overheads. The home-working conditions which kept our team out of the offices meant that we didn't need to pay as high costs for renting and powering the two centres. The money we saved enabled us to put more investment into our new site and helped our financial position in 2021. We have now been able to open our new centre in

Brighouse in October this year. We will be fully operational in Brighouse in January 2022.

The biggest change in 2021 has seen us deliver Relate services for the whole of Lancashire

excluding Liverpool and Greater Manchester. This is one time where the pandemic has made it easier for us because we haven’t been able to set up centres in the county and everything has been delivered remotely using Zoom. We plan to have centres or the use of shared space within the charity sector in the coming year so we can deliver face-to-face services within Lancashire. We have helped people already in areas like, Blackburn, Burnley, Preston and even wider. In the coming twelve months we will be giving more people in Lancashire, the help and support they need.

All our trustees and every single member of our team have done remarkable things during the past year. We all look forward to helping even more people during this coming year

All the best,

Ken Sanderson

Chief Executive Officer

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