Saturday, 31 December 2011

Looking forward to 2012

A Happy New Year to you all. Let's hope the jubilee year of 2012 will prove more propitious for our sector.

Let's face it , 2011 has been difficult! The signs for a more prosperous year are not good. We know that councils plan more cuts. We know the health service is cutting back. Recession will bite harder. So the leaders of our sector will be tested more harshly. And our beneficiaries will continue to bear the brunt of the recession , as unemployment rises, cuts hit deeper for citizens and communities. Their voice must be heard. Their plight recognised. So our role as the " voice of the voiceless" becomes more crucial.

But this will also be the time for us to show innovation and resolve. To take advantage of opportunities to deliver more services and to make the case to councils and health commissioners that we cam provide more focused services . Let's not be victims but make the case for change.

And there will be many occasions to celebrate next year. The Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics. And , of course , our very own ACEVO silver jubilee. Back in 1987 a group of Chief Executives got together at the local government Social Services conference and took the decision to set up a support network that they called ACENVO. The rationale was clear. The CEO job is a difficult one and it is often lonely at the top so who better to turn to for advice and counsel than your peers? The idea took off and the organisation grew. I joined in 2000 and was only the second CEO. The founding CEO was Dorothy Dalton. A major change tool place when the members decided to turn into ACEVO ,in other words to represent CEOs of all third sector bodies and not just national organisations. And I was appointed specifically to give the organisation a representative role; speaking for the sector's leaders to Government and more widely. We have become a powerful advocate for leadership and are recognised as a force for the CEO role.

So we shall celebrate 25 years of CEO leadership next year. We start with a series of meetings around the country so that me and the ACEVO Chair can hear from CEOs about the challenges they face. We start in Birmingham on the 9 th.

So let's gird our loins! I'm down in Devon ( at Hope Cove) with the Bubb clan to see in this new year. It's a blustry day but that did not deter us from our annual walk up on the cliffs ( third sector cliffs , of course , as they are National Trust ! )to the Port Light , our favourite Devon pub! And champagne for my Mother's 82nd birthday !

I shall raise a glass to all my Blog readers tonight. I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

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