Bringing the industry back together

Sarah Spink:
Sarah Spink: "We cannot ignore the events of 2020 and how this has impacted our industry, yet we must try and focus on the positives and adapt to how we work, think and communicate"

Sarah Spink, chief executive officer of the Liquid Roofing and Waterproofing Association (LRWA), talks to RCI about how team spirit can help us stay positive through these trying times

The pressures and new challenges which have arisen following the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact of people’s health and wellbeing across the entire country.

According to newest research, more than one in five adults with no previous mental health issues now say their mental health is ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ following the pandemic, and 65% of adults with an existing mental health problem reported to be feeling worse*.

Looking positively towards the future
Despite these statistics offering less than optimistic reading, we must also relish the potential opportunities that lay ahead for roofing, and we remain positive about the strength of the liquids industry and its ability to withstand market challenges.

We are incredibly proud of our members’ work and the fact that many continued to supply and install liquid products for essential works throughout lockdown. This is another indication of the resilience of the liquid roofing and waterproofing sector, which is still very much open for business and ready to take advantage of new opportunities.

In an aim to bring us back closer together and raise the profile of the industry, the LRWA has launched a Virtual Dragon Team Challenge 2020, in place of the regatta which was due to take place in September this year and unfortunately had to be cancelled because of the pandemic.

Bringing the medal home
It was with great sadness that we took the difficult decision to cancel the LRWA Dragon Team Regatta 2020, but the LRWA Virtual Dragon Team Challenge 2020 promises to be a fun team-building exercise to lift our spirits and bring us back together again.

We may not be able to sit as a group of 11 in a boat and paddle to victory, but we can participate individually at a distance to contribute to a team result, celebrate our industry and enjoy some headspace away from the pandemic for just a short time.

The virtual challenge is open to anyone who can form a team of up to 11 people. The challenge requires each team to submit the top 11 distances completed in a 30-minute period by either running, walking, swimming or cycling. The distances need to be measured in kilometres (km).

The challenge will take place between 10-30 August 2020, and anyone can enter a team – members and non-members alike.

Correction factors will be applied to enable the modes of exercise to be comparable in km. For example, the actual run distance will be used, but for walking, the distance recorded will be multiplied by 1.5km. Evidence of distances achieved should be submitted as a team result using apps such as Strava.

Bonus km are also available for those teams who post on LinkedIn and Twitter, using the hashtag; #LRWAdragonchallenge. These include a photo or a video of a participant during their chosen activity wearing a team shirt – 1km bonus for a photo and 2km bonus for a video. The judge will also decide on the best photo submitted by an individual, completing their challenge in the most original place – which will earn an additional 5km onto the total distance for the team. This could be walking up Snowdon or swimming in open water.

We are also going to offer a 10km bonus for the team that raises the most money for the LRWA’s chosen charity for 2020, Mates in Mind. Although it is not mandatory to fundraise, all proceeds will go towards the Mates in Mind COVID-19 Relief Fund, which will allow the charity to continue to respond with vital, mental health support programmes. It is now expected that workplace mental health issues, already a pervasive challenge, will be heavily impacted by the economic fallout of COVID-19. For the construction industry, this is particularly critical, as it already has a suicide rate among workers that is three times the national average.

A donation page can be found on the LRWA website by visiting www.gofundme.com/f/raise-money-for-mates-in-mind. The team with the furthest distanced travelled overall, wins a medal.

How to enter
Teams can have up to 11 participants and can be of any age. The captain must register their team name and all participants details on the LRWA website by 14 August. The captain will select the 11 best distances achieved during the challenge, and submit these on a spreadsheet, with evidence from Strava, to the LRWA by 4 September.

The winners will be announced via a virtual video link on 11 September, and medals will be awarded to all members of the teams who place first, second and third.

A common goal
We cannot ignore the events of 2020 and how this has impacted our industry, yet we must try and focus on the positives and adapt to how we work, think and communicate.

The LRWA Virtual Dragon Team Challenge 2020 is a fantastic opportunity to have fun, work as a team for a common goal and raise the profile of our industry through physical exercise – which has been the lifeline for many of us during the lockdown period.  

*Source: MIND.org.uk https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/uk-government-must-urgently-plan-for-recovery-from-coronavirus-mental-health-crisis-says-mind/

 www.lrwa.org.uk