2020 has been a strange time for everybody and the team at Magenta are no exception

As well as all of the changes going on in the world, we have had a couple of changes of our own. Our team looks slightly different to the one we started with this year – we’ve waved goodbye to some and welcomed others to the fold!

We thought this would be a good time to introduce you to our new team members, Allyson, Clare and Isabel, and also to find out what the whole team have all been doing since the start of the Pandemic and some of the life lessons we will remember from this strange time!

Gretchen Betts, Director

Wow what a year so far! The new word ‘Coronacoaster’ certainly is the best way to describe my time since March. Proud moments I have experienced in the team pulling together, amazing meetings with all our resilient clients – through sad times and illness – but all adapting to the new normal….  High times have been being reunited with loved ones after long periods of time and special weekends away, developing new skills, enjoying rediscovering my painting and craft skills in lockdown. The pandemic has made me realise how much I love learning, exploring new places and not to put off special family time or trips until tomorrow – just do it today, if you can!

Julie Lords, Executive consultant

Unlike a lot of people sadly, I think I have been very fortunate during lockdown, in that I have had a major project to keep me busy. Like everyone I have missed socialising with friends and family, missed going out for dinner and to the cinema or theatre, but at least I have been able to get outside and spend time on building my new house and designing the garden. Here is a photo of me in my overalls! The one big thing that I have learned from this whole pandemic experience, is just how much we took for granted in our previous lives. When things get back to normal, I will be much more appreciative of my freedom and be mindful of using the precious resource of time more wisely.

Allyson Hopkins, Business Manager

I started with Magenta at the end of February and by March we were working from home. It was strange having to get to know my new work colleges through zoom. I spent lockdown home schooling my 15-year-old daughter (full respect to teachers) and “Hinching” my home (aka Mrs Hinch). I have organised every drawer, cupboard, and surface. I found clearing out my home helped keep me occupied but more importantly gave me a sense of control in a world I felt I had none.  Covid has made me realise I need to slow down, to be grateful and appreciative.

Mandy Whitburn, Client Liaison Manager  

I have been working most of the time from home, living a long way from the office it has given me more time at home. I do miss my team-mates though and did enjoy the few weeks I was back with them before returning to working from home.  I have been crocheting and enjoying the garden with my husband Dennis. I managed to go on a staycation to a cottage in North Wales with my granddaughters. I have learnt it’s not things that I am grateful for, but the love I have from my family and friends.

Val Binding, Business Support  

Not being the crafty type, during lockdown I spent a lot of time doing jigsaws and going for walks.  As we were unable to go on our planned holiday, we had our garden re vamped and we choose plants with plenty of colour for us to enjoy.  Lockdown has made us appreciate the time we spend with our family and friends, to not put off what we can do today until tomorrow as you never know what is round the corner.

Carly Kenny, Technical Assistant

I spent the first few of months of lockdown juggling working from home and home schooling 3 kids. I set up an outdoor classroom in my garden so family could help out with home schooling. Since my family holiday was cancelled, I bought a hot tub as a substitute swimming pool, played lots of outdoor games and enjoyed BBQs. I most recently got a French Bulldog called Walter to go on family walks. I have enjoyed spending more time with my children.

Jess Geere, Trainee Financial Planner

When lockdown started, I was just starting my  3rd exam to become a qualified financial planner and so I focused on that (I have now passed and am looking forward to exam number 4!) I also began running, achieving my first ever 10k and my partner has become my home hairdresser! At the start of the year I had booked the trip of a lifetime to the Amalfi coast in Italy for my partners 30th in September – as you can imagine it got cancelled. Luckily, I was given the offer to stay in my parents’ house in Cyprus – and we just got away before local lockdown happened again – which was amazing!

Clare Hopkins, Technical Specialist

I attended the office for my interviews in August and the office Covid health and safety procedures were embedded by that time. Covid has been a turbulent affair for me as prior to joining Magenta, I was furloughed from my job and then made redundant. I have been home schooling my teenage son too – which has been a challenge! On the plus side I’ve had plenty of time to paint my house and managed to celebrate my 50th birthday, when the strict rules relaxed for a short while in August.

Isabel Viggers, Junior Planning Administrator

I came for my interview in the office in August with Covid measures in place and joined Magenta in September. I have never worked in financial services before and have a lot to learn. Training was and is still, socially distanced; it is a strange experience, but the team has worked to make this as easy as possible for me. The only way the pandemic has affected me is that I cannot go to my Gran’s farm – which I really miss. I am still able to do a lot of the things I always do – albeit, within rules!

Stay safe everyone and please do not hesitate to contact us if you need to talk.