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Lorna Baldry

Lorna Baldry

Founder & CEO, Brightlink Learning

As a remotely working organisation and worldwide distance learning community, for Brightlink, it’s business as usual when it comes to our core business.

While the situation develops as a result of COVID – 19 we are monitoring and adhering to advice from government and their advisory bodies to protect our team and everyone we work with.

We’ve also realised we are in a unique position to help and advise other individuals and businesses so we’ve applied ourselves to the task of helping people to understand how it’s possible to adapt and protect their people and their businesses, particularly in the legal sector.

The once ‘poor relation’ is now our saving grace

Our social media presence, great relationships with our learners and free Home Working Network weekly check ins and check outs, are helping us to stay connected and giving us an insight into what is happening and what is needed.

Twelve years ago when I began the first 100% online Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) learning available anywhere in the world, many people said it would be too impersonal and the ‘second best’ option for learning.

Even five years ago, when I founded Brightlink Learning, many saw online learning as the ‘poor relation’ in learning. I admit at times, in the beginning, I bought into that and thought perhaps I should tell people that face to face learning was always better if possible and if not possible then online learning was there as a second best. What we were all failing to do was to embrace the true potential and extent of the possibilities in online connection.

Younger generations have shown us how wrong we were and now, we at Brightlink are all in for worldwide connection with positive, fulfilled and strong professional relationships. We’re making it work by growing our online learning business 100% a year and our learning community are part showing us the way.

Our market of online professional services is fast becoming flooded, by those who need to take their great work online to adapt, those we want to help and encourage. Sadly it’s also subject to those who seek to profit from this disaster. Whatever the motives, everyone is certainly becoming aware now that online services are not second best after all. For many it’s a situation they’re forced into but they are quickly appreciating the convenience and power of being together yet apart.

Checking-in: what’s happening out there

Our team members who are still practising lawyers, our learners, our clients who are sponsoring learners and those who are attending our check ins and check outs are giving us the privilege of a unique insight into both their private and home lives, which are now merging as we all settle into a new normal.

They are telling us that most employers are supportive and have met all the requirements on them to provide hardware and software for their teams, or most members of their teams to work from home. They’re thinking of GDPR and client care.

Some are also thinking of the practical circumstances of their teams, who may now be individuals at risk in extreme isolation or those who are continuously surrounded by family and needing to find time to homeschool as well as home work. Loneliness and overwhelm are problems in equal measure.

Many wonderful firms are still bravely but carefully continuing to help their especially vulnerable clients, for example those who are victims of abuse. For these members of society staying at home and social distancing are dreadful, sometimes even fatal. Thousands more are ensuring that justice continues in the criminal courts of England and Wales.

We are enjoying working with individuals and organisations to show them how we work restoratively to keep everyone physically and mentally well, using technology and a relationships focused values based. It’s been a particular joy to meet all the little co-workers people have and if I’m honest an adjustment in the definition of professionalism and the refocus on kindness and care has been very welcome.

Those employers working with us to build a package of distance supervision and mentally healthy working for their teams are to be applauded and emulated. We’re seeing the best of human nature and the most exciting of innovation and if we keep being kind and planning for unusual we can see greater wellness and greater productivity in all our legal teams and organisations.

In coming days and weeks, we’ll be sharing more about how we make this work for us and we’re looking forward to learning more from others.

Above all else, stay well, and stay connected.

You can find details of the Brightlink Learning’s free check in / check out events on our events page.

Lorna Baldry

Lorna Baldry

Founder & CEO, Brightlink Learning

Lorna is Chief Executive of Brightlink Learning and is also a Director of the social enterprise and co-operative Restorative Change. Brightlink offers accredited online learning for lawyers and bespoke packages for whole organisations to support CILEx lawyer qualifications,  mental health and wellbeing, domestic abuse awareness and team line management, group, peer and self-supervision.