Communications | Celebrating BWC Spirit

Celebrating BWC Spirit

BWC Spirit Logo We are highlighting the amazing things our colleagues have done and achieved during the pandemic.

Our teams have bravely stood by the side of our patients, changed how they have worked to keep key and emergency services running and gone beyond the Trust to help colleagues in other parts of the NHS.

They have done so with an approach and spirit that is uniquely BWC and we want to celebrate that and what has been achieved.

From frontline clinical colleagues to our unseen and often unsung heroes in labs, offices and in our corridors - everyone has had a part to play and we’re sharing some of their stories over the next two weeks.

If you would like to thank individuals or teams either by sharing some kind words, pictures or a short video we would love to see them. You can submit your messages, pictures or videos by emailing


By Paul Whittaker, Assistant Director of Communications and Engagement, Communications 

Communications Team What was your experience of the pandemic? 

Like many others across our Trust the pandemic brought great challenges requiring everyone in our small team to pull together; working flexibly to ensure we played out part in keeping colleagues, patients, families and the public informed during periods of uncertainty.  

Before the first ‘lockdown’ was announced plans were in place; working closely with others at BWC to form a new Communications Cell. We introduced a daily internal news update delivered via email seven days a week, a dedicated COVID-19 hub on our intranet, shared the latest information on our websites and utilised our successful social media channels. 

Rotas were flipped and the team quickly shifted into a new way of working from home whilst we always maintained a safe on-site presence, which was important too. 

What was the hardest part? 

There was so much uncertainty, particularly during the first days and weeks. Things changed at an instant; during all times of the day and night. Making sure we communicated clear and timely messages, especially to staff, meant exceptionally long hours. It was draining. Our role is so wide-ranging and that variety and size of workload may not always be understood. 

All of the team worked for many days straight without much downtime at the beginning.   

It was extremely difficult but exciting too. Every member of the team went way above and beyond. Our has never been a team that watches the clock. Ensuring a job well done is the driver of the team and it was never more evident than during those first weeks of the pandemic. 

How did you cope? 

We are a hugely caring team. It sounds corny but we really are friends as well as colleagues. We’ve always been a team that looks out for each other and, as our world changed, that sense of unity grew even stronger. 

Every single member of our team and those involved in the Trust Communication Cell stepped up; shared the workload and, despite how amazingly busy it was at times when 24 hours in a day didn’t seem enough, we all kept an eye on each other, had time for a smile and, when needed, offered a listening ear. 

The catch-ups on Zoom (remember when they were quite novel) and those moments of ‘normality’ when we shared a joke were absolutely priceless for us all.   

It also meant a huge amount when we got emails from colleagues thanking us for our work. That really did give us all a boost. 

What did you learn? 

Teamwork is key to success. I already knew this but the COVID-19 pandemic absolutely cemented it. 

As a team we’ve always worked well but it kicked up a notch. Our regular daily meetings face to virtual face with so many other teams across the Trust made our jobs so much easier when it came to communication quickly with clear and agreed messages. Of course, there were times when every fine detail wasn’t confirmed but, when that happened, we told people to ‘watch this space’ and communicated facts when they were known. Making sure that colleagues had the latest info, even if not the whole picture, helped to manage anxiety and provide reassurance on a variety of fronts. 

I also learned that the years of hard work on developing a new website, intranet, internal channels, building social media following and working with our partners in the media all reaped huge benefits when they were needed most. Our newly launched intranet allowed those staff shielding or working from home to access information from any device that was convenient – they didn’t need to be on site any more. The pandemic pushed virtual communication into a new age. 

How do you think it changed the team? 

I think we’re all more conscious of our own health and wellbeing; the need to try and grab some time to rest. We all worked amazingly hard; doing what was necessary and, at times, that meant an unsustainable level of working time. News never stops and communications is a creative industry but, to be at our best, we need a little downtime to recharge. 

The working patterns of our team changed the minute they had to and, for the most part, those changes were almost seamless. Yes, there were teething problems but we all manged to successfully transfer our office space to wherever was needed – including the back of my car at times as some may remember during a Zoom call or two.  

Beyond your team, who has inspired you during the pandemic? 

The strength of our Trust comes from its unity and that really came to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Communications team touches on many parts of our organisation and it was fantastic to be able to work closely with so many teams. 

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