Friday 8 January 2010

Snow and Search!

The recent inclement weather led to various gaps opening up in my Diary this week as people cancelled meetings and visits. Interestingly these were sometime replaced with telephone calls or conference calls for meetings. I'm a great fan of the use of telephone conferencing; it is so much more efficient and saves time and money (not to mention the carbon footprint saving!).

The prolonged cold spell and snow should remind us of the huge value and importance of the third sector. The thousands of staff and volunteers of the WRVS for example, (the splendid Lynne Berry CEO and ACEVO member) who are doing sterling work supporting isolated and vulnerable old people in their homes, or the work of carers (ACEVO member Imelda Redmond, CBE, CEO of Carers UK), who will be battling to ensure care is provided come what may.

Just a shame that the media cover all the work of the statutory authorities but hardly touch on the work of volunteers and the many charity and community organisations that help ensure life carries on.

As Lynne Berry says in her recent Blog, " we’ve been out there maintaining services for older people throughout the country, supporting the emergency services, getting essential supplies to people living on their own and mobilising the strengths of communities to act together and deal with whatever gets thrown at them (and that’s not just been snowballs, lately). "

Whether we have snow or no, climate change is happening and we must take action on it. Following the Copenhagen disaster we will need to ensure more direct action ourselves and the third sector has an important role to play itself. The sector is involved whether as big players like RSPB or the wildlife trust to BTCV and the Green Alliance. But we all consume energy and as employers need to do more to cut carbon emissions. We are investigating how we do more with our CEOs to promote good practise.

One of the sector Greats to be knighted in the New Years Honours was Graham Wynne, CEO of the RSPB. Sir Graham is retiring so there is a great CEO post to fill if you have the interest and skill. And David Fielding of Tribal, head hunter extraordinaire is in charge of the search. And if you don't fancy that there is the CEO of Tree Aid , an international NGO , which is also vacant and where David is conducting the search. So he moves on from his recent assignments with the new CEOs for Scope and Guide Dogs ... a chap worth chatting too if your ambitious! And certainly not worth falling out with (not to mention that he is a world champion in Aikido)!

The RSPB is a good example of just how important the sector is today in engaging citizens and contributing to well being and conservation . They have 1 Million members ; which makes their membership bigger than all the three political parties, 13,500 volunteers, 1,300 staff and 200 nature reserves .

Anyway its off to wonderful snow swept Charlbury - I'm running low on logs but Ill survive!

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