Lockdown has brought a challenge that none of us have ever experienced before, affecting us all differently. Here is the first in our are 'How our Alumni are Coping with the Lockdown' series:

Douggie Ward, Naval Commander (Class of 1994)

As a Commander in the Royal Navy, currently working as an operational legal advisor at UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters, life for me has continued as before without much change, although many personnel who can are now working from home with enhanced communications….

Top tips from a Submariner – ultimate lock down:

Take the time to read the books you have been meaning to read;

Write letters home – real letters in ink! (even if you don’t know when you will get to send them);

Exercise daily.

Greg Hands, Conservative MP (Class of 1984)

Challoners currently has several alumni working in Government, Dominic Raab and I are currently working closely together at the Foreign Office and Trade respectively. Most of my day is spent on Zoom and Teams calls around the world making sure that Britain’s trade routes remain open.I have also been fielding a whole host of questions from my constituents in Chelsea & Fulham, mainly via email, but also on Twitter.

There has been much sadness too, with the death of my father (Ted Hands, who some readers may remember) from COVID itself, and of my Challoners Headmaster, John Loarridge. Both were in their late 80s, but it seems that whole generation has been hit badly, which saddens me and I know many other Challoners alumni, losing our parents.

Sign up to Greg's news bulletin here.You can follow Greg on twitter here.

Clive Denton, Retired, Major Crime Investigations (Class of 1979)

Being retired, one might be tempted to presume that the lockdown is not likely to have much impact upon me. Far from it! I miss the simple interactions with others and, of course, the opportunities to travel, as I usually (used to) take as often as possible. I try to maintain my usual routines, so far as is possible. I rise at the same time and take my daily exercise. I read a lot and am making the most of the joyous weather that we are experiencing. My wife has recently recovered from cancer, so I am not able to offer help outside of my home, but I have made good use of technology to make contact with many others.Otherwise, I have taken the opportunity to look up old friends. Indeed, I have agreed to meet an old school friend, once life has returned to some normality.

Finally, I marvel at the scientists who are busying themselves at this time and wonder if any of them are former DCGS pupils. I imagine that the school is very proud of the efforts of the current Foreign Secretary. Mr Loarridge will, no doubt, be keeping a keen interest from above.

Charles Bagot QC (Class of 1991)

I was lucky as I already did a certain amount of work from home and had recently bought, for me, the vital bit of kit: more than one screen. It’s an uncertain time to be self-employed but many others have been far more impacted than me. The schools seem to have adapted remarkably well and the children are well occupied during the school day and still learning.

It has been a concerning time for everyone, particularly worrying about elderly relatives and friends with underlying health conditions. But if I was trying to identify a few silver linings of lockdown:

Spending time with the family during the week, which commuting normally limits;

Wonderfully quiet roads for cycling with the children;

No one has told nature that we’re in lockdown and spring seems to be even more dramatic than usual, less interrupted by human activity.

You can follow Charles on twitter here.

Enjoy future thoughts from our Alumni by visiting 'How our Alumni are Coping with the Lockdown' under 'Community' on the school website.

If any Alumni would like to let us know about their lockdown experience, Amy Cronin, Development Manager would love to hear from you, please get in touch via email: aci@challoners.com