Dear WIJ members,

Hello to you all – wherever you are we hope you are keeping safe and keeping cheerful. We know that is not easy, we are all in uncharted territory and for many of us that comes with anxieties both health related and financial. We are all going to have to deal with life being very different for quite a while and all of us here at WIJ are thinking about you and how the organisation might help its members during this time of need.

The most precious thing we have is each other and the committee have been thinking about how best to allow all of you to draw on the collective resources of our WIJ community.

We know that many of you live alone – and whether you are working from home for your organisation or at home because you are a freelancer – trying to follow government advice on safe distancing can be lonely and isolating. But you are not alone. There are lots of us and this a moment when we can band together using new online tools to connect with and come to the aid of each other.

We want to propose a regular WIJ webinar – we’d like to hear your views on what would be the best timing and platform for this. Maybe we should have an open WIJ chat where you can drop in if you want to chat to some like-minded souls once a day. If you aren’t clear how to use such apps (I’ve been getting a lightning tour of HouseParty from my teenagers who are on it constantly) Hilly has commissioned a piece about which are the best online video meet-up tools and how to use them which will be on the website in the next few days. Let us know what you think and we will get it going.

We also know that many of you are very worried about money given the collapse of much freelance work and the difficulties in moving around to report anything. Luckily at WIJ we have a network of brilliant personal finance journalists who we are reaching out to to help the rest of you claim what you can from the government income-replenishment schemes. Hopefully they will be able to simplify what needs doing and what you might be able to claim. Watch this space for more information – we’re hoping our WiJ web can really support each other in this way.

We also think we might keep each other amused with how we are all passing the time – we’ve done four Harry Potter movies in four days in my house (Eleanor) and lots of cooking; all tips for handling teens, overseeing homework or just passing the time gratefully received.

Hang in there and we will be in touch again soon.


Best Wishes

Eleanor Mills and Alison Phillips