Lockdown virtual visit with Dignity's general manager Anika Speedy

Lockdown virtual visit with Dignity's general manager Anika Speedy

As we all respond to the current health situation here in Aotearoa we thought we would take you behind the scenes and show you a little of the world of our co-founders and general manager during this Level 4 , and Level 3 period of lockdown. 

First up is our wonderful General Manager Anika Speedy!

Read on to find out what Anika’s lockdown rituals are, who makes up her ‘bubble’ and what she has been working on and thinking about during lockdown.

Q - Who is in your bubble this lockdown? and who would you love to have in your bubble if you could choose one more person and have them appear by magic?

Our family bubble is my husband Nigel, our 12 year old son George and Flash our dog. On Sunday night we had a bubble quiz night via zoom with extended family all over Aotearoa which was a fun way to stay connected. Our days revolve around what we are eating next so I would love to have Yotam Ottelenghi come to our house and cook for us and inspire us to be more creative and not keep rolling out the same tried and true recipes!

Q - Do you have a dedicated work space or does it shift throughout the house? Describe for us your surroundings when WFH and what you like to have on your desk or at hand.

Our house is a big open space and last lock down I had to work on a small kitchen table in the middle of everyone’s space, so over Christmas Nigel made us a fabulous new kitchen table and matching desk for me to make it easier to work from home. My desk is tucked out of the way and next to sliding glass doors so lots of natural light and a view down Long Gully where we live, although It’s become a bit of a dumping ground for everything that we can’t find a place for!

Q - What are your concerns regarding the community of Give Partners that Dignity supports during this time?

I was listening to a webinar this morning and Murray Edridge from The Wellington City Mission spoke about how during the last lockdown they experienced a 400% increase in demand for food delivery - this equated to the usual year's demand in 11 weeks.  The current lockdown combined with the increased pressure born about by the unaffordability of housing has a flow on effect to people’s ability to buy food. Food becomes a discretionary spend when there is no money left over. When you are struggling to buy food for yourself and your family then you are definitely not going to have any money left over for period products. Demand skyrockets for us and we are unable to meet the demand from all the community groups we support.

Q - Anika, through your contact with Dignity’s Impact Partners can you give us a little insight into how your work with them in providing period products within the workplace has been going since the L4 lockdown began?

Dignity is an essential service so we have been able to continue to send period products to businesses like Auckland Transport who are also essential services and have people who still need to go into work during Level 4. 

We sent out all our monthly orders just prior to lockdown so our Impact Partners have plenty of stock waiting for them when they return to work.  The challenge for us is when next month's orders are due and people are still working from home and not needing any period products for the workplace.

As Dignity is a Buy-one, Give-one initiative if businesses do not need their regular order and put it on hold we do not have the period products to give the community organisations we support.

Last lockdown we introduced a Give Two Boxes initiative where our Impact Partners could donate their total order for a month if they were not in the office and needing supplies. This meant a number of businesses donated both the Buy-one, and the Give-one boxes from their regular order.  We are very grateful for their continued support during this challenging time allowing us to continue to create Impact. 

Going forward we will be working with our Impact Partners to ensure we are able to maintain our Impact and meet the needs of people struggling to access period products.

Q - What routines, hacks or daily rituals have you adopted this lockdown? Do you enjoy any virtual ‘social’ events with friends or colleagues?

Just prior to lockdown I bought one months unlimited yoga from Now Yoga a fabulous new gallery and yoga studio on Ghuznee street. Luckily all classes are now online so I have been putting my pass to good use and doing yoga every day and also making sure I get my son off screens to go for a walk once a day with our dog Flash! 

I try to keep to my usual work routine around school hours as much as I can. Normally we are screen free after dinner however during lockdown this goes out the window and we  eat dinner (and dessert) in front of the TV each night as we blob out to some mindless family viewing!

Q - One day, when the borders open up again and it is safe to travel, where would you like to visit and what would be the first thing you would do there?

We had a family trip to Rarotonga booked last year which has now been postponed out again to next year!  I am looking forward to 10 days of nothing but sun and sea and lazy days.

Thank you Anika!

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Lockdown virtual visit with Dignity co-founder Miranda Hitching
Voices of Dignity: Arina Aizal

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