The Year In Our Eyes

3 December 2020

2020. How do we even begin to describe a year like this? Stressful, unforgiving, traumatic? All of these and more spring to mind. But after finally getting to December and spotting light at the end of the tunnel, we believe recognition would be the best way to describe our version of this ordeal.

2020 had started strong. A whole year had passed since we had moved into our new High Street location and we were feeling like we could take on the world. However, much like everyone, the COVID news arrived and our hopes and dreams fell to the ground like a lead balloon. What should we do, what CAN we do, and will Family Wise survive? Questions arriving like planes to an airport, the only problem being that these planes never really departed, leaving questions piling up and no simple resolution in sight.

Meetings were held, discussions were had, and decisions were made. The inevitable leap into the digital world was taken shortly after. It would be simple to say that those months that followed were easy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. As all small businesses are still feeling to this day, this whole process feels less like a walk in the park and more a marathon up Everest!

Methods constantly changing and processes adapted, the uphill battle had truly begun, but the most important thing was that the FWL family was still intact.

Time went by and our digital capabilities were going from strength to strength, the art of Zoom calls mastered, and emails being sent at the speed of light. The only thing that could get in the way was a dodgy Wi-Fi signal here and there and an archaic computer system or two!

Fast forward to the very cold month of December, and instead of sitting in front of Family Wise Office Signa computer screen at home, it is now Perspex dividers to keep us distanced from each other. But over anything, the team is all back together again. It is often hard to look back into the past with a positive outlook, especially when you are looking back on the year of so many negatives. Whilst we certainly aren’t grateful for the pandemic and all of the destruction it has dealt; we are full of recognition of the positives that have been brought along for the ride too.

This year we have paid out around £1.5 million in 6 continents and 30 plus countries. This is a massive amount of work done in a time of utter uncertainty which just shows how such a strong team of people can overcome anything. We are so grateful for every single person that makes up the Family Wise Ltd family and we wouldn’t have been able to get through such a difficult and trying time without them.

One of the biggest things we have recognised however is our impact and how important our genie community is to us. We have always appreciated the support that you have all given us but this year we have never appreciated it more. Your continued support and encouragement have pushed us through this difficult time and is a very strong reason as to why we stand before you today, having emerged from the other side of all of this.

To thank you all for being so amazing, we are determined to make 2021 our biggest and most successful year to date, and nobody is more ready to get this all started than our Managing Director, Kirsty Gray, and the amazing management team. No matter what brick walls big or small are put in our way, we will go above and beyond to knock them down, all whilst delivering the best family history research in the country!

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