Reflecting on a year like no other

Work has been a haven to escape to at times, and for that, I’d particularly like to thank clients, associates, coworkers and contacts. I’ve been fortunate that AJ Enterprises’ projects have been able to continue throughout 2020.

Informed Scotland subscribers have been kept up to date about learning & skills as usual. Since March, this has included the pandemic – its impact, the response and the support available across the landscape. In May I published a COVID-19 Response & Support Extra, available free to all.

The eighth annual Organisations & People Special was published as normal in September, now with links to almost 400 organisations, over twice as many as in the first edition in 2013.

Many thanks to our subscribers for your continued interest, feedback and for spreading the word about the benefits of being kept well informed. We were pleased to welcome some new subscribers, but sad to lose a few others in these tough times.

We’ve kept a wider audience regularly updated via social media – @InformedScot now has over 4,200 followers on Twitter and over 700 on Instagram. Thanks to all our engaged followers.

The Learning & Skills Events Calendar has been in limbo since the first lockdown, when all face-to-face events were cancelled or moved online. I’m considering when and how to restart it – either for major online events, or if and when face-to-face events can resume. In the meantime, thanks to Larisa at Media Bloom for updating it before lockdown and her maternity leave (and congratulations on the beautiful baby boy!).

In March, London-based associate Elaine Hendry and I were delighted that Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy chose to renew our contract to produce their quarterly Skills Research Digest for a further three years. Thanks to Nicola Laverty and colleagues for their continued faith in our work.

I’ve enjoyed providing research, copyediting and proofreading services to clients old and new. In March, the Society for Editors & Proofreaders became the Chartered Institute of Editing & Proofreading (CIEP), making me a proud Advanced Professional Member of CIEP. Thanks to Edinburgh group members, and coordinators Margaret and Sarah, for your support and connections online throughout the year.

Working from home after coworking for a number of years proved quite an adjustment. I miss my lovely Evergreen Studio desk and coworkers. Zoom, WhatsApp and occasional walks are keeping us connected until it’s safe to return. In the meantime, I’ve been hugely grateful to Isla McCrone for the online coworking sessions she’s been running since the spring. Thanks to Isla, her Pomodoro timer and the wonderful virtual coworkers for keeping me focused among all the distractions!

Finally, I’d like to pay personal tribute to the hard work, ingenuity, generosity of spirit and collaboration of individuals and organisations at this time of crisis, in addition to all those who are risking their own health and lives to support others – it is both awe-inspiring and heart-warming.

The annual Informed Scotland Hottest Topics in Scottish Learning & Skills will be shared here in January – see what made the list this year – no prizes for guessing what will be top…

Email [email protected] for more information about any of the above, to subscribe to Informed Scotland, or to discuss how we could support your work in 2021.

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