Paraplanners build online support for each other

Paraplanners build online support for each other

The Paraplanners' Powwow has created support hubs to help paraplanners concerned about their business during the enforced lockdown against the spread of coronavirus.

Richard Allum, founder of the Paraplanners' Powwow community, said members moved quickly to take steps to support each other as the extent of the impact of Covid-19 became clearer.

As a result, over the past couple of weeks, two supporting initiatives have emerged on The Big Tent online forum for paraplanners.

The first was created by Claire Lindsay from MHA Henderson Loggie, who started a thread for paraplanners to check in with each other, as the current lockdown can be lonely and even frightening for many people.

She said: "I couldn’t sleep the other night and the idea of people checking in with each other was something that just popped into my head. I know it must be really hard for people just now that are feeling alone and just wanted to see if I could do something to help."

Also, Mr Allum has started a thread offering to organise a group for outsourced or freelance paraplanners who may be worried about their business.

He said there has already been a lot of interest in this, and any paraplanner or administrator can sign up to the Paraplanners Powwow Big Tent and join these groups. 

Mr Allum added: "These are just two examples of how paraplanners are already using the Powwow as a focal point for our professional community - gathering together to support one another.

"It's exactly what the Powwow is all about - spaces created by paraplanners for paraplanners to learn things, fix things and share things. In the days and weeks ahead, the ability to continue to gather via the Powwow could be invaluable for paraplanners, and their own businesses or the businesses that they work for."

Mr Allum was the first paraplanner elected to the board of the former Institute of Financial Planning in 2012 on a mandate to raise the profile of paraplanners and paraplanning. He went on to found the Paraplanners' Powwow in 2013.

The Paraplanners' Powwow is a community led organisation providing live and online events and support, helping paraplanners develop and share best practice. So far, Powwows have played host to more than 1,830 people.

Do you have any ideas on how to work remotely and support staff during this unprecedented period? If so, FTAdviser would love to hear from you.