Festive update – HOS team looks to the future

2020 has been a difficult and stressful year for many of us. As the year slowly comes to an end, we asked the Housing Options Scotland staff team to spread some cheer by looking to the future with optimism and sharing their hopes for 2021.

Many of the things our staff are looking forward to in the new year weren’t possible for most of 2020, such as meeting (multiple) people in person. Although staff at HOS already worked remotely pre-pandemic, they would still regularly meet up face to face with colleagues and clients, something our Housing Broker Jil hopes will return in 2021. Similarly, Head of Casework Services Olivia is looking forward to “meeting as a team again at one of our favourite spots like The Studio”. Julia, who joined as the new Volunteer and Engagement Assistant in October 2020, has only heard of these legendary team meetings and “can’t wait to get to know everyone properly and meet up in the cafes I keep getting told about.”

Travelling (“without having to go into quarantine for two weeks”, as Housing Broker Susan points out) is also big on people’s agendas for 2021. Jil, Susan, and Gina are all hoping for a holiday abroad, while Ben, HOS’ Volunteer and Engagement Manager, is looking forward to getting out of Edinburgh to catch up with friends and family: “As much as I love living here, I have lots of friends and family over the border in England who I haven’t seen for over a year now.”

2020 was a shock for everyone working in or enjoying live arts as well. Pedro, who apart from being Customer Communications Manager at HOS is also a professional musician, can’t wait “to play gigs, and go to see them again.” Gina, who shares the same role, is also excited to see her favourite bands again: “The Pixies are touring next year!” Apart from live music, our staff team is also looking forward to the eventual reopening of theatres. CEO Moira is optimistic: “All our shows for 2020 have been rescheduled for 2021. Fingers crossed it’s going to be a busy year!” Military Matters broker Karen is hoping to attend a different kind of theatre – the shows put on by her daughter’s school. “Maybe an out of season nativity play”, she muses, “that would be fun!”

There are big, joyous occasions waiting on the horizon of 2021 for some our staff team, too: Jil and Heather are both getting married. “I am still not 100% sure what weddings will look like next year”, says Heather, “but after so many travel restrictions it’s exciting to look forward to an event where we’ll be able to see friends and family.” We’re already crossing our collective fingers for good weather on their respective big days!

For the most part, however, it is the simple, mundane things like having friends over for dinner, not keeping a mask in every bag and pocket, and queuing for a drink for 20 minutes at a concert, that our team has been missing and won’t take for granted anymore after 2020.

Onwards and upwards!