I’ve spent the last few months heading weekly back and forth to Darlington, my home town where my parents still live. My lovely Mum is in the late stages of alzheimers.

It’s been almost 10 years to get us where we are now. I launched MD Communications a few days before Mum’s diagnosis. She has been unaware of what I do as a career in all that time and in the last few years my Mum has also been unaware of who I am altogether. Mum can no longer speak or communicate with us, except for eye contact, and as her heart weakens my heart breaks a little more. My heart is heavy and my priorities have shifted more towards family life and preserving the time I have with my Mum, my best friend.

In the last few months where I have seen my time in London, in the office and available for face-to-face meetings with clients shrink, I have worried about cashflow, staff retention, the future of the agency and all the usual anxieties that come with being ‘not in the room’.

I’ve been vulnerable with clients and my team and that openness has paid off.

Our clients have given me space, they have reassured me that our fantastic teams are doing a wonderful job and added to that they have made it very clear they care.

Our teams have supported me and each other in this period and of course I am not alone with having life throw some difficult challenges towards me at 100 mph. They too have their pain. So do our clients.

I like to think that because I have fostered an environment where we are open, vulnerable and we show we care and that we look to work with clients who share those values that we will all get through the tough periods in life feeling more supported and less anxious about the what ifs in our work life.

Mindfulness practice has also been my friend and I am so happy to see the movement picking up pace throughout the sector.

My Mum and Dad came from nothing and built businesses from the age of 19 after leaving school at 14. I know my Mum would be proud of what I have achieved in growing this business to what it is today but she would have been more proud of our values and that showing we care and surrounding ourselves with people who feel the same is the biggest indicator of success.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support us at this time and in the future.