The challenge that Britain faced in 2020 was a serious gulf between the political and administrative skills of Government and the urgent need for practical skills on the ground. The world was unprepared for Covid-19 but the depth of our deficiencies in Britain was plumbed as we failed to manage many of the issues quickly or effectively. This left thousands of volunteers who wanted to help dismayed at not being used and thousands of citizens and companies who desperately needed practical help. The Covid virus will not be our last emergency. We need a cadre of people who are collectively competent across a broad set of challenges using skills they bring with them. The opportunity fuelled by recent Covid experiences is to enlist them into a new Civilian Assistance Reserve. By enlisting men and women having the wide range of skills that might be needed, giving them the opportunity to widen their skill set, enhancing their future employment potential, and providing urgent and competent practical help when needed could be made very attractive. The cadre could be called the Civil Assistance Reserve Force . There would be huge benefits to the members, to their employers and to our community in Britain, and we would be significantly more able to address the challenges we will meet and more confident that we shall rise to meet anything that comes.