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Taking An Unexpected Turn

Updated: May 11, 2020

First off, I hope you and your families are safe and well, and thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

The title of this post has a few meanings, the first one is that, this blog post and the previous one

have taken a slightly different tangent to what I have normally been posting about. Saying that, there are some common themes, I am trying to include the Power Platform in everything I am doing.

Examples have been the weekly quiz I do for the Berkhamsted COVID19 Mutual Aid Facebook group that I started with a lady called Lisa Hartley, which now has over 2,600 members. As I said in my previous post (see link above), we have on-boarded over ~250 employees to become street volunteers for ~320 streets in Berkhamsted.

I am running a weekly Saturday night quiz for the group and on average get 200 people playing, connected remotely to each other via zoom and then broadcast live on the Facebook page. We have had the "Carve my face into a potato round", Scavenger hunt round and "Jon sings, guess the tune" (well that is tonight !!) and much more fun besides. I have been given amazing feedback from people who are in families, on their own, in flats etc who are all on lockdown and they have said how it is the highlight of the week.

Sarabjit from the group said “.....I hope you do know the impact you have had on all of us especially my family, we love our Saturday night lockdown quiz night - it truly is our highlight of our week and my kids always ask me the same question ...’have you joined the quiz this week mum ...did you click on Jon’s Facebook link...“ Thank you Jon... the singing round was fun... I think you are winning at life... putting a smile on lots of peoples faces... My Daughter who I have sadly not seen properly since lock down face timed me to join in . She is 11 it means a lot that we got the time together that we did. Thank you.”

- Anonymous

Hayley Hobley said.. “You’re doing a really great thing. It’s not just the questions, it’s so much more. It’s the social interaction with our local community in a fun way. It’s exactly what we all need. A positive from all this.“

I am truly honoured to be able to do this. I have used Forms and Flow to get the team names and send out an email welcoming them to the quiz. It's a basic setup compared to some of the stuff that I have done in the past, but to run that manually every week would be a logistical/admin nightmare.

I see a counsellor once a month now (was more regular) and the second to last time we spoke I explained how I was feeling slightly lonely in Berkhamsted. That's hard to admit to because I have a lovely family here. Now that this is all in motion I feel more connected to my home than I have ever before. So much so, that on my birthday - last Tuesday, 16 of the regular quiz teams came and social distanced dropped off cards and presents for me.

Another example, was getting people to sign up so that I could take photos of their decorations for VE day (8th May). That was easier to do because of this product set.

Cross Oak Road, Berkhamsted

I'll never forget that kindness shown by strangers that I am now connected with by the power of these tools.

Saying the word tool is wrong, they are much more than that to me. They have IMPROVED my mental state of mind. I am able to reach out to people that I would never have been able to do as easily before my walk into the Office 365 suite.

It is more than technology, it's hard to explain, it is my way of life now.

I was then honoured to be asked to be part of the Microsoft Business Application Summit 2020 by Jon Levesque. This was a massive deal for me, to be able to explain how I feel about these products and what they have done for me to improve my mental state of mind. To be given that platform to explain that is something I will never forget, thank you Jon.

This is the unexpected turn and why I have titled this post such, its unexpected as I have been able to bring together all of these different facets of my life and it is explained in this video:

I feel more connected, happier, content and have the knowledge that I am able to provide help to others are all massive themes and they have all culminated in this point right here, right now.

Thank you again for reading.

If I can help you with anything please get in touch -

Or if you are in Berkhamsted and need support email us -


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