Dear friends and colleagues,
This isn’t my usual brief festive message and thank you this year, for two reasons.
Firstly: 2020 has been quite a year. The challenges that Covid-19 has set us, personally and professionally, should not be underestimated. I will not get tired of thanking folk for their hard work and commitment through adversity. It is so impressive and humbling. I, and I’m sure you too, will never forget the amazing efforts we have witnessed.
It’s also a strange year for me, as it’s my last as Chief Executive of Concern Group. It has taken some getting used to, and probably will for a while longer.
As I mentioned in previous communications, I will still be around for a while in the New Year as an exec director, to support Adam and the team. So this isn’t goodbye yet, but as I will no longer be Chief Executive of this wonderful organisation, I wanted to say a few things as I enter the last few weeks of my tenure.
When I took up my post as a Clinical Lead in Mental Health Concern in 1993 (‘Charge Nurse’ in old money 😊), I of course had no idea I would end up leading the organisation as Chief Executive for nearly 17 years!
Our impact and reach has grown hugely over that time, from supporting a few hundred people to tens of thousands every year. We have done so many good things together over the years that the organisation and our partners can rightly be proud of.
I have always tried to ensure that our organisational approach has meant that we were more than the sum of our parts, committing to meaningful partnerships for the benefit of those we serve. This is something I believe has helped to sustain the organisation during my time at the helm.
No matter how long you are in the hot seat, ultimately you are always keeping it warm for someone else. Whilst you can feel an intense sense of ownership and belonging, you are ultimately only a custodian. I can already see how passionate Adam is about the role and how excited he is to get started. I wish him well and I know you all do too, as he takes the reins in a few weeks’ time.
I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with some fabulous people over the years – be they service users, our amazing employees, my exec team colleagues, brilliant trustees, and partner organisation colleagues.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you from the bottom of my heart, for your support, good counsel, and friendship. I could not have done this job without you and I hope in some small way I have helped you do yours.
I hope you and your families have the best Christmas possible and I wish you good luck for 2021.