Monday, 28 May 2012


Well it's been a great week - sunshine at last and the Chelsea Flower Show to watch on tv - and great at work too. We have recruited a new independent trustee with first class experience and expertise in marketing at the highest level (international blue chip company). She describes herself as a "do-er who wants to be hands-on" so she will be a huge help to us. Simultaneously, the cunning plan to arrange a smooth succession to our Chairman, David Hypher DL, is taking shape, and we have another outstanding person who will hopefully be taking on the Chair role in succession to David if all goes well. So having also recruited someone else with a strong social enterprise background to the Board we have in prospect a scarily brilliant Board!

The good news continued with the fact that Tim Loughton MP (Minister for Children and Young People) has confirmed he will be our guest speaker at our AGM on 8 November at 6.30 pm. Quite a coup for a small charity like us..big impact.

The focus this week has been on shaping the Surrey Social Enterprise bid, which I'm doing by addressing the "what's the evidence of need?" question that potential funders rightly ask. I have also been preparing the set-up for a tricky discussion between a member organisation and the County Council about the future of a particular youth centre building. I guess I should be flattered to be undertaking the brokering role, but it is at the risk of being shot at by both parties afterwards.

I was at the Surrey 14-19 Partnership on Monday, chaired by Garath Symonds Surrey CC Assistant Director for Young people. It was a good meeting. What struck me most though was the real  antipathy amongst some senior educationalists to the Government's education agenda, including raising the participation age...on grounds of lack of resources to support it. Good point to put to the Minister on 8 November.

On the funding front I have drafted an "Annual report" letter to all our Patrons about 2011/12, and future prospects so that they are aware of what we're about. They are all distinguished and busy people, and so we send a good old fashioned paper letter to them.

Talking of which (paper letters) did you see the piece in the news (BBC website and The Times) to the effect that fountain pens have now become trendy? I rest my Parker Duofold case! I am either ahead of, or behind the off trend that I am in fact on trend so to speak. Remember I am the theology man and used to these ambiguities!
Enjoy the sunny week-end!


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