As this issue of QMJ lands on your desk, we mark another step in our journey through the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month we were preparing ourselves for the early effects of the virus; now we are seeing the full extent of its short-term impact.
The measures put in place by governments across the globe have aimed to mitigate the spread of the virus. This has meant dramatic changes to our home and working lives, including for many, a temporary pause to our role. The scale of the pandemic has been devastating socially and economically but we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that so many have lost their lives. Our sympathies are with anyone who has been personally affected by the tragedy.
What is heartening is that our industry has played its part in continuing to keep key areas of the economy going, supporting the national effort in maintaining core supply lines.
There have also been countless stories of our members and companies helping the voluntary efforts providing PPE to the NHS in their local areas. These are a great example of the inspirational people we have within our industry. We should all be proud of them.
As I prepare this column there are tentative signs that we may be beginning to see a way to the end of the first phase of measures. It is clear there will be a long way back to what we consider normal over the next few months and possibly into next year.
The Institute has been operating for over 100 years and through its lifetime has seen numerous challenges faced by our industry and our wider society. The strengths of the Institute include its support for members and their professional development, but also supporting them and their families in times of need.
As President of the IQ, I have the pleasure of being a trustee for the Institute of Quarrying Benevolent Fund (IQBF). The fund has been in existence since 1925 and is supported through a proportion of each member’s annual fees, as well as generous donations from IQ branches.
The Trustees are committed to ensuring that the fund supports those members and their dependents when they need it most. You may have recently seen notifications from the fund highlighting that we have recruited a welfare officer. This is to help raise the profile of the fund, supporting potential and existing beneficiaries.
Given the unprecedented scale of the current situation and recognising the impact it is and will potentially have on some members and their dependents, the trustees of the IQBF have established an emergency fund specifically for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enquiries about the IQBF should be directed to Wanda Zablocki, IQBF Welfare Officer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0115 855 6500 for further information.
As ever let us keep following the official advice; stay safe and healthy.