I can remember receiving the call from duty press officer around 10.45pm on 22 May. The words he spoke will never leave me. I remember the drive to work planning what we needed to do in my head. I remember the frustration at hitting nighttime roadworks on the way there.
I remember the first press conference around three o’clock in the morning. I remember trying to sleep in the middle of the day but knowing what was ahead and getting about two hours before starting another night shift.
Most of all I remember the names and faces of the people who lost their lives. I remember putting the tributes out from the families.
Tomorrow will be a difficult day for so many people and everyone will need to deal with it in their own way.
For me, I will be keeping myself away from social media and will be focused on the work I need to do, supporting the team and taking some time to reflect and remember.
During the last 12 months I have come to appreciate more than ever the help and support I have both from family and friends. I appreciate so much more now than I did then. I have also realised you have to take situations and find ways to help others.
I have been trying to share with all communicators the important message that people have to be at the heart of all crisis communication. It is also vital that we recognise the impact that dealing with difficult situations can have on communicators and make it ok to say you need help.
There is a lot to learn and share for the future and this work will continue.
Tomorrow I will be reflecting and remembering and when I can I will be telling those close to me how much I love them. Please take the time now when you can to do the same. Hug them and keep them close.