Businesses in Peterborough and across the UK are going through a really uncertain time with the coronavirus outbreak. The lock down announced in the UK then left businesses in even more uncertain times.

Here at Creative Content Company we know that our clients have concerns, we know the business community have concerns too. As a small business in Peterborough ourselves we have just as many concerns. While we can’t make these worries go away, we can do our best to help these people in business that have worries.

We interviewed some of our clients to see how they were managing through the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lock down. In this blog post we talk to Susan at Riverside Training to see how things that changes within her business.

Susan at Riverside Training

What is your name and job role?

Susan Bulbeck, I am the Managing Director.

What is the business name and what does your business do normally?

Riverside Training (Spalding) Ltd is an Independent Training Provider offering apprenticeships, traineeships and accredited qualifications from the awarding bodies of NCFE CACHE and FUTUREQUALS.  We offer support to all employers ranging from assistance with recruitment, updates of legislation re qualifications for the accountancy, bookkeeping, business, early years and care sectors. Furthermore we offer a range of CPD courses which are available via our e-learning platform.

What services do you use Creative Content Company for?

We use Creative Content Company for assistance with our social media uploads and posting.

How has CV-19 affected your business?

An awful lot as the Training Centre has closed to ensure the health and safety of all our staff, students and employers. For example;

  • Not being able to have face-to-face classroom delivery.
  • We have had to deal with the cancellation of visits to our employers to support apprentices and students.
  • Set up systems remotely to ensure all have our continued support throughout these difficult times.
  • Starts for apprentices are down as businesses not requiring recruitment of new staff.

Have you changed your service offering to go online / digitally – if so, how?

We always had an e-learning platform but have further developed ways to support our apprentices/students. However, in addition to this we have done the following;

  • Developed different methods of delivery using Skype, FaceTime, etc.
  • Developed new resources to support.
  • Laptop loans to apprentices where necessary.
  • Extra email text and telephone support.

What have you struggled most with during this time?

We have struggled keeping moral as so many apprentices have been laid off due to businesses closures. We have found that meeting as a team harder to do online as having to set timings while in the office we are all there to continually support each other. Meanwhile, trying to support our employers as mainly only SME business especially nurseries and childcare settings etc has been tricky too. This is because they have to close and this reflects on us as obviously cannot start new apprentices, etc. 

Have there been any positive outcomes?

Not yet, it is so heart breaking to see so many nurseries closing and not knowing if they will survive. However, it is good to see continued support with all staff assisting each other.

How are you finding working from home?

I am finding it stressful. It is hard when you are trying to support and motivate people from a distance. People are also not replying so there is a ‘not knowing’ if they are ok, etc. 

What is keeping you going every day?

The determination to keep everyone employed. I also want to ensure all apprentices are receiving as much support as possible to achieve their qualifications in these surreal circumstances.

What are you finding hardest during this time?

I am finding it hard to coordinate everything we are very much paper based due to ESFA requirements for our funding.

What are your top tips for other business owners?

  • Stay positive there is an end to this.
  • Keep in contact with colleagues. 
  • Give extra support to your colleagues.
  • Take time to listen!!!

Can you say anything positive about CV-19?

People being able to take time to be with household family, also the enjoyment of looking out the window across the river and countryside inside of office buildings!!!

Do you have a positive quote to keep others going?

“Whatever life plants you bloom with grace”.

So, that is how Susan at Riverside Training is managing to cope with coronavirus. If you would like to know more about Susan at Riverside Training and the services they provide, check out their website.