It has been a pleasure and honour to have spent the last four years supporting the broad array of charities, social enterprises, community organisations and residents involved in community action in Walsall.
The response to the coronavirus outbreak has illustrated to me what I always held to be true; that local community action is the glue critical to making a place and the people who live in it happy, healthy and prosperous and, when the chips are down, it only becomes stronger. Whilst not surprising, it has been humbling to see the swift and selfless response of Walsall’s voluntary and community organisations, and the many more local people who have come forward to support others through a time of challenge.
Working alongside local public, private and voluntary sector organisations over the years has demonstrated the strength of the partnership that exists in Walsall, and I am extremely confident that our borough’s voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations will continue to be seen as an equal and valued partner as we overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
It was always going to be strange leaving the organisation I have been with since its inception, but I could never have expected the circumstances to be as strange as this. I will shortly be taking up a role at the national infrastructure body NAVCA. I am confident that when we emerge from this current situation, the critical role of local community action and volunteerism will be in even sharper focus. I intend to continue to champion those involved in their community in Walsall and across the country, and assist them to secure the support and recognition they so richly deserve.
In the meantime, I am very pleased to let you know that Davina Lytton, who has many years’ experience within Walsall’s VCS, has been appointed as One Walsall’s Interim CEO. A full process will take place later in the year to recruit a permanent CEO.
I would like to wish you all the very best for the future and thank you for your support to me and One Walsall.