2020 has been a year like no other. Few of us could have imagined, at the start of this year, the extent to which our lives would change. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought tragedy and suffering, but also a chance to ask some deep questions about the way our society works and who for. On an individual level Covid-19 and the UK lockdown gave many of us pause for thought and an opportunity to reflect on whether what's happening in our personal and professional lives is really what we want.
For me, working full time from home as well as trying to home educate my daughter was an impossible challenge but it forced me to think about my priorities, as a parent, a professional and a human being. After a great deal of soul-searching I took the decision to leave the job I had been doing for the past three years, as Director of the Holocaust Exhibition & Learning Centre based at the University of Huddersfield, in order to re-establish my freelance business. I'm working on a new business plan, revamping my website, and plan to re-launch my consultancy later this year.
The thinking behind this is twofold: I want to work on a broader range of projects in order to explore new challenges, partnership and collaborations, and I need to create greater work/life balance so that I can give priority to my family, friends and my own wellbeing. I'm aiming to do more creative projects focusing on interpretation, writing and editing and project management. I'd like to develop work that enables me to explore social justice and bring out the hidden stories in museums, sites and collections to connect and resonate with audiences in new ways.
These are difficult times for the heritage and cultural sectors and I am not naive about how difficult this is going to be, but I'm excited about the future. I learned a huge amount in my time working for the HSFA and it was an absolute privilege establishing the north of England's first and only dedicated Centre to the history and memory of the Holocaust. I look forward to taking that experience and knowledge with me into my future work.