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Andi smiling with Pride flags in the background
June 29, 2020
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The long days and fine weather really made last week as good as it could be. Lots of light flooding into the home office and the privilege of having to move the cat off my office chair so that I could get to work.

Raindrops on a red rose
Moments of beauty

What a busy week it was too. The mornings full of supervision and thoughts about exit strategies, the afternoons full of learning about Microsoft Office 365 at #ShiftHappens.

Running a small charity after working for a university meant a significant shift in gears when it came to the software that we used. Those who were around back in the dim and distant past of 2017 will remember my horror at having to use a paper diary! I genuinely can’t remember ever using a paper diary for more than the optimistic few weeks in January when I thought I could be Adrian Mole and yet here I was trying to turn a charity on it’s head, travel across the counties and keep my expenses in order, all with the assistance of bits of paper! Truly the biggest culture shock of them all and so the long road to Microsoft Office 365 and the cloud began. I remember the amazement on everyone’s faces when we first installed Office 365 and our diaries could synchronise, Dawn could book appointments and by a miracle of technology I knew about them immediately. The linkage of email instructions with places I needed to be was nothing short of revolutionary.

Fast forward to now and we are nearly there. Being familiar with Teams certainly helped our transition to working remotely and brought Chrysalis together. I feel more connected now with our volunteers than ever before. The regular coffee mornings have been a great social space that got us through those weeks of isolation and now it’s time to move forward. My head is full of what we can do next, how we can complete the Sharepoint project and get all our files into the right spaces in the cloud, making Chrysalis truly accessible to all the teams, and today we take the next big step into the 21st century with stage two of the implementation of the Client Relationship Management system. It is odd how no matter how much we think we have left part of our life behind together it is still there within us. I started my adult life in tech, software and the excitement of building connections and new system implementation and here I go again. All I can say is thank you to all of the team who have worked with this period of transition, who have stuck at it and learnt new systems, who have helped us with IT and lived in the chaos that is systemic change. The light is there at the end of the tunnel, we are indeed nearly there and look at how much better we are. Chrysalis’ transition continues apace and every step forward is true growth and development.

My article this week is about our transition, how we have moved on line and what the future might look like, these few months have brought so many challenges and changes but Chrysalis, as always, comes out stronger and better. Transition and transformation, exactly what you’d expect from us.

Enough about software, you’ll have noticed I’m feeling pretty inspired though. Burning to get going with phase III of the IT strategy.

What else happened last week? The first ever Chrysalis Pride. Thank you so much to Maximillian for organising it and to the group for inviting me to speak. My Facebook memories this month have been full of Pride photos, for many at the group this was their first Pride. In this upside down world we still manage to celebrate, we still can create that feeling of inclusion,  visibility and inspiration that is Pride. A place where we know that change is possible, where we are validated and seen as our real selves.

Andi with genderqueer and trans flags behind them, images of others to right, Jitsi screen shot
Speaking at the first ever Chrysalis virtual Pride

So what’s on for this week, a pretty full diary for sure.

Monday I’ve got a few more supervision sessions, as the world starts to get back to the new normal people’s schedules are changing at a moments notice so thank goodness for online diaries which mean we can move things around easily! There’s also the advantage of not having to drive to meetings and so I can meet with some software specialists for an hour without Tiny Car needing to leave the drive.

Tour de Trans LogoTuesday is a chat about #TourdeTrans, did you know that our incredible cyclists are coming through Southampton? We may not be able to have our Pride event but here’s a good reason to get the flags out and cheer on Paeton and the crew on Sunday 16th August. Watch this space for more information and then I’m meeting with a lovely new LinkedIn connection to talk about getting out there into the small business communities across Hampshire. If you haven’t already done so connect with me and  ChrysalisGIM on LinkedIn?


On Wednesday I get to see the wonderful Julie at a socially distanced garden party for two! I’m so glad that it’s looking more presentable now. Maximillian and I are off to the Southampton Hate Crime Network Meeting in the afternoon, a chance to catch up with some incredible organisations across the city who are working together to support our community in recognising, reporting and reducing hate crime. Chrysalis is a Third Party Hate Crime Reporting Centre, if you have experienced hate crime and want some support in reporting it, or if you want to check out whether what has happened to you is hate crime, or you would like some support dealing with the aftermath then get in touch. Our advisors are available Monday to Friday 9:30 -3 on 03448 468 545

Thursday is about strategy – looking at our Exit from Lockdown strategy with the office team in the morning and then finance with our trustee Jon in the afternoon. Which reminds me, if you’re interested in becoming a Chrysalis trustee then drop me a message. In the evening I’m speaking with Tally from Portsmouth Pride  going live at 7pm from my Pride Cave and talking about what reform of the Gender Recognition Act really means, and why it’s long overdue. Tune in to cut through the hyperbole to the reality. If you want to do some homework in advance then check out Portsmouth North’s MP Penny Mordant’s introduction to the consultation carried out last year here.

And last but not least it is Friday and a chance to go to the SVS Friday Forum, all without having to leave my Pride cave.

Andi smiling with Pride flags in the background
Andi in The Pride Cave
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