11 July 2020
July 2020

Throughout the Coronavirus crisis, the UK200Group has ramped up support for member firms, individuals, and SMEs. This article outlines how we have responded to members’ and clients’ concerns, and it highlights the documents and resources we have produced to support these three main audiences.

1. Support for Members
In March, the UK200Group introduced our COVID-19 Resource Centre, a designated webpage filled with curated documents and packs to help members tackle issues arising as a result of the Government lockdown. The Resource Centre includes documents such as the Emergency Checklist to prepare for remote working, the Furlough Claim Support documentation, the Coronavirus Workplace Risk Assessment, and many more. Now with the Government relaxing the lockdown measures, we are continually updating the Resource Centre with new documentation to help members adapt to a new normal. To see our new materials, please see our Resource Centre

The UK200Group’s ethos is built on strong values which include the importance of good communication. We have been able to strengthen our members’ communications with regular drop-in calls. The purpose of these calls is for members to get together to air concerns, share advice and update peers on their professional experiences with COVID-19. We hold calls for all major UK200Group practice areas including HR, Marketing, The Lawyers Group, and leadership through Managing & Contact Partners drop-in calls. The amount of positive feedback we have received regarding these calls has been staggering. Toni Hunter, Property & Construction Chair, says ‘It’s easy for members to feel isolated right now and wonder if despite being very busy, we are doing everything we can for our clients. These drop-in calls reassure members that everyone has similar challenges. It is also a safe peer-to-peer environment to ask questions and to find out what the sector is doing beyond your own geographical reach.’ For more information on upcoming UK200Group Drop-In Calls, please contact Jo Hemson and or Laura Wiltshire.

Our face to face conferences have always provided members with sector specific insights, CPD level training and networking opportunities. We are still able to offer the same quality of content through live and recorded webinar sessions. We have a variety of pre-recorded webinars available ranging from Agriculture to HR. These include sessions on topics such as Pricing (by Andy Poole and Nigel Haddon) and Mental Health (by Natalie Pitt). See all of our upcoming webinars on the UK200Group’s Events Page.

2. Support for Individuals
Alongside our events on coaching for members, we also offer management training for individuals in the form of our Pathways Programme. This UK200Group and Mercia collaboration is a six-stage training programme to help develop individuals’ management, leadership and business development skills across all levels. We have been able to continue this highly successful event as an interactive webinar series, complete with breakout sessions. For more information on the Pathways Programme, and which stage is right for you, please contact Jan Hay. 

The UK200Group’s Groups and Panels (GaPs) provide sector specific content for individuals across multiple different platforms such as newsletters for print, electronic bulletins, and face to face conferences all year round. We are pleased that we have been able to continue producing content throughout the crisis through the medium of newsletters, which are available as PDFs, and our ever popular e-bulletins which continue to be published as usual. Conferences have been changed to webinar sessions, allowing us to provide individuals with up to date information on sectors such as Charities & Education, Property & Construction, Healthcare and more. To find out more about GaPs content, please contact Laura Wiltshire. For more information on upcoming GaPs events, please see our Events Page.

Feedback from our members tells us that trainee accountants and lawyers have been a group of individuals who have found this time particularly challenging. Many have spent an extended amount of the lockdown on furlough, and therefore unable to receive the experience they would normally gain in the workplace. The UK200Group Lawyers’ Group has supported members such as Mark Lello of Parker Bullen LLP who has created his own programme for trainees, including those who have been furloughed. Mark says ‘It is really important to support the next generation of lawyers. That is why we have created our Law, Leadership and Management course of the Parker Bullen Training Academy. We are delighted that ten individuals have recently graduated at an event where the Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Mrs Helen Birchenough, presented the awards. It’s great that other UK200Group firms have participated in our programme and we look forward to supporting all our graduates as they develop their careers.’ For more information on how the UK200Group can support you, please contact Laura Wiltshire.

3. Support for SMEs 
Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), owner operators and family businesses are the key client base of UK200Group members, in fact, we estimate that we represent over 150,000 of these. During the crisis, we have increased our support for SMEs by publishing frequent resources based on ‘real time issues’. This has allowed our members to demonstrate their support for their clients and our research indicates that SMEs are by far better positioned to weather the economic storm ahead because they are in the hands of UK200Group members. All materials are located in our Resource Centre.

Finally, we are delighted to be part of IAPA and we wish all of our colleagues across the Association the very best wishes. If you would like more information on any of matters mentioned in this article, please contact Laura Wiltshire and see www.uk200group.co.uk for upcoming events and resources to help benefit you and your firm.

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