In our latest series of leadership quotations, we hear from Dr Andrew Pollard on the Oxford vaccine, Gillian Higgs on the resettlement of refugees, David Hirst on invisible disabilities, Chris Parker on mental health, Leon Ashworth on the importance of reassurance, and Professor Shai Efrati on reversing the ageing process.
Dr Andrew Pollard
‘I think we're getting close, and it's definitely going to be before Christmas based on the progress. The reason that we're so delighted is the we're seeing the immune responses look exactly the same, even in those who are over 70 years of age.’ (The Oxford University key researcher on the Phase III vaccine trials).
‘We are dealing with a disappointingly low resettlement ceiling to begin with – a quota of less than 50,000 for the entire year – and this was further impacted by Covid-19 delaying departures and pausing some states’ resettlement programmes.’ (The UNHCR’s assistant high commissioner for protection responds to news that the world is set to hit a record low for resettling refugees this year).
‘What is particularly important to note at this stage is the fact that disabilities are not always visible or obvious – after all, only 10 per cent of officially disabled people are in wheelchairs. Nor are the solutions for more recognisable disabilities intuitive or widely understood. For example, many people assume that wheelchair accessibility is synonymous with disability awareness, whereas in fact you do not need to be wheelchair accessible to be enormously helpful to disabled people.’ (The Driver Periodic Training managing director on the importance of educating people about disabilities).
‘Another person’s grief can impact your own mental health in very negative ways, as can working in a highly time-sensitive profession. I have been greatly encouraged to see the increase in mental health awareness, not just in the UK but across the globe, and have had support in place for my staff for many years. It may be a simple chat over a coffee following a difficult case, a critical debriefing or professional counselling for anyone who may be struggling.’ (The Abbey Funeral Services managing director on the vital issue of mental health)
'With the announcement of the second lockdown, a number of our colleagues were concerned that the volume of work would drop and there may be more periods of furlough for some. We dealt with this by immediately getting messages out there that we were busy and we had enough work to last through the four week lockdown. We also had direct conversations with those that were particularly concerned and reassured them.' (The 1st Contracts managing director on the importance of keeping staff well informed).
Professor Shai Efrati
‘The significant improvement of telomere length shown during and after these unique protocols provides the scientific community with a new foundation of understanding that ageing can indeed be targeted and reversed at the basic cellular-biological level.’ (The Tel Aviv University neuroscientist after a clinical trial by his university achieved a world first by biologically reversing the human ageing process).