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FeRFA Increases Member Support During COVID-19 Crisis

Mark Spowage, FeRFA Chief Executive Officer

FeRFA has stepped up to provide a high level of support for its members during the coronavirus pandemic. This support is continuing as member companies come out of lockdown and everyone in the resin flooring sector gets used to working in a new way.

With secretariat staff working remotely, FeRFA has been able to maintain its head office function throughout lockdown, providing advice and member support over the phone and by email. Meanwhile the FeRFA website has become a crucial hub for companies in the resin flooring sector who are seeking the latest government guidance and how to access financial support. This dedicated COVID-19 hub received many hundreds of views during April and May, totalling over 8,000 sessions since the start of the year. It has been a source of general information about the crisis, as well as specific information and guidance targeted at the resin flooring sector.

In order to get the key information out to members as rapidly as possible, during the fast-moving situation that has evolved over the last three months, FeRFA has also sent out email bulletins to its members several times a week. These have contained important guidance, such as links to the Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedures or how to apply for support from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. These email bulletins have had a high open rate so FeRFA is confident that key information is getting out to the industry.

The Association team has also stepped up its social media activity during the crisis, posting key highlights from the emailed bulletins on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As a result LinkedIn followers have increased by 15%, while Facebook followers have increased by 30%.

Mark Spowage, Chief Executive Officer said: “During this period, I think our members have come to recognise the real value of having a proactive trade association. It has been a very difficult and worrying time for everyone in the flooring industry – and we’re not out of it yet. We have seen our role as providing critical support for our members. This has also led to an increase in membership applications, which is very gratifying.

“It should also be noted that we have managed to keep our regular work on behalf of the industry going as well. For instance we are about to launch a new FeRFA Technical Guidance Note on the Specification and Application of Screeds and we have also posted on our website two new publications in digital page-turner format – Resin Bound Systems for External Applications and the Guide to Cleaning Resin Floors. We have also kept our regular monthly E-news going, which contains a wealth of information beyond the current crisis, such as our new apprenticeship schemes, member news and details of the latest member benefits.”

FeRFA was on track to recognise its 150th NVQ Level 2 Graduate at its annual Awards, which were due to be held in November this year. However the FeRFA Council has recently taken the decision to postpone the 2020 Apprentice Graduation and Awards Ceremony until 11 June 2021.

“We are sure that members and the whole industry will understand and support the decision which we have taken,” said Mark Spowage. “There is simply too much uncertainty around the original November date to enable us to proceed. Our principal concern is for the safety of everyone attending the Awards and all those involved in the event in any way, so we feel this is the best option – and we now look forward to seeing everyone next summer, when our Awards can take place with the same quality, style and success that we have enjoyed over many years, with the added bonus of some warmer weather. We hope that all our members, friends and family stay safe and well and we thank you for your continued support.”

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