The COVID-19 lockdown has brought many challenges to the City, the livery companies and the wider city organisations. Of primary concern has been the safety of members and staff whilst continuing to meet objectives, many of which are focused on meeting face-to-face with others encouraging fellowship and sharing ideas and best practices across the Livery family. The livery ethics of charitable giving have been magnificent with a number of initiatives involved with education, support for hospitals and local charities, often involving multiple livery companies working together.
The Digital City Team has carried out several pro-bono Digital Health Checks for Livery Companies and has recognised some common themes that are challenges across each Company, issues that can be alleviated if the Livery Companies had some way of regularly sharing their knowledge and challenges. It has been wonderful to see the number of livery companies that have risen to the challenge of online events, quizzes, magic shows, lectures and formal dinners too. We know this has been a huge challenge for many companies and we’ve been delighted to help promote digital inclusion. The City also has risen to the occasion with the online Freedom ceremonies, starting with Captain Sir Tom Moore in May 2020, and now moving into ‘business as usual’ with many new Freeman over the past weeks attending their ceremony online.
One of the benefits of digital meetings has been the inclusion of those who are remote to the City, maybe in another country or having moved away on retirement. We have seen these members able to join in with events from the comfort and convenience of their own home and we know several companies are intending to continue with a digital programme.
Being inclusive across distance and a range of digital abilities brings additional challenges and the Digital City Team can work with you to provide a solution that would not only enable you to increase the reach of your events but also to participate in pan-livery initiatives, working within a secured space and sharing knowledge. We are able to provide a secured area within each Livery Company which contains a central storage area for Court documents, archives and committee activities whilst also giving each member access to only the areas assigned to them. For pan-livery activities, secure shared areas can be made available to those involved and these will be managed by your own administrators to ensure the security of information. Information could also be centrally managed with relevant data being shared with other members of pan-livery initiatives. This solution is offered at ‘low-bono’ rates and full guidance on its use, or on-going management can be provided.