Monday 3 August 2009

Sanatoria and Scope

I'm blogging from a Sanatorium in the hills outside Oslo. And no I have not been sent away because I have swine flu! I'm here meeting the magnificent Nordic figure of Birgitte Brekke. She is the CEO of the Norwegian alliance of NGOs. In other words the NCVO of Norway. It's quite a young organisation and Brigitte is a keen member of Euclid and helping us develop the "Northern Hub", which draws together third sector leaders across the Nordic countries.

Tonight we are having dinner at the new Opera house - just opened and an incredible piece of modern architecture. Tomorrow I meet with leading members of Norway's third sector.

And the Sanatorium? Well it's a conference centre and hotel run by the Norwegian Medical Association, up on the hills surrounding Oslo and with fantastic views out over the Fjords and forests. It's called the "Soria Moria" because Grieg stayed here once and said it reminded him of the castle in the old Norwegian folk tale. So staying here supports the third sector- and it's cheaper than the outrageous prices of hotels in central Oslo; Norway is not a cheap country!

I was delighted to see that Jon Sparkes, the Chief Executive of Scope and an active ACEVO member (he is Chairing our union relations group) has secured a new role as Director of Workforce development at NHS Cornwall. I know he has wanted to move to this part of the world for some time. Jon has done a brilliant job at SCOPE: he’s managed to do all those tricky things that Chief Executives sometime come unstuck if they don’t do right; instilling rigour on the finances, service improvement whilst modernising the governance structure whilst keeping the needs of disabled people at the heart of what they do. I ring David Fielding at Tribal who is handling the recruitment to congratulate him and offer my views of who I think could do this job... It really is a very attractive job, so here is the link to the micro site here:

Now I'm off for a refreshing walk in the gentle drizzle of the surrounding forest before the hike into Oslo. On public transport naturally (the Lutheran vibes must be getting to me).

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