We are in a time where everyone is expecting to hear bad news at some point. We’re also in a time where more than ever we need to support each other, to work together and unleash all the skill, creativity, kindness and compassion we can muster. So hearing the news of the sudden passing of Councillor Sue Murphy is a shock and a sad and cruel loss for those she loved and for all of us who were working with her to respond to these strange and anxious times.
My role is to lead Macc, developing the organisation so we play a useful role in the life of Manchester. I keep a watch on policy issues, try to be creative in new ways to make more good things happen in the city and speak up on behalf of the local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. I build relationships with a wide range of partners and support our Trustees in ensuring Macc and the rest of the sector makes a real difference in Manchester. In other words I try to get more people doing socially useful stuff.
Was that only a week?
I'm going to try to spend a little time every week writing a weekly blog sharing what I've seen, learned, what we've done and what we still need to do.
One of the things I’ve said many times over the years is the need to think about volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity as a way of coping with a rapidly changing world. I’m not going to tell you to stop doing that! With a new Government with such a large majority we now know that after years, things will start moving fast…or at least it will look and feel as if they are. That big majority means acceleration. We’re just still waiting to see what direction it will take. Who knows what version of ‘One Nation Conservatism’ we will actually see?
I’ve been wondering what else we could do to encourage the voices of leaders of charities, voluntary organisations and community groups around Brexit. My impression is that charity sector leaders would certainly want to speak up but are unsure how to go about it in the right way. Is Brexit simply too difficult for us to talk about?
I started writing something shortly after the new Prime Minister has made his first speech on the steps of Downing Street. Another premiership set to be dominated by Brexit. It has paralysed national policy and politics for the last 3 years and it looks like this is set to continue for the foreseeable future...but the phrase which is ringing in my ears from the speech is “the doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters”. I suspect many politicians would put charities and campaigners in those categories.
Recently I had a very nice letter inviting me to write for a publication (quite high status) and a follow-up phone conversation to explore further. In the course of this, the London-based publisher emphasised that wanting to reach outside their heavily London-focused circle was a big priority for them. Who can guess the next bit of the conversation?
One thing - among many - which has puzzled me about the Brexit debate is the sheer number of people who have focused entirely on trade (transactions): there has been virtually nothing about international co-operation and broader relationships. This has been to such an extent that people are shocked when they hear about things like medical supplies being affected (a moment marked by the closure last week of the London HQ of the European Medicines Agency which is moving to Amsterdam).
Our Sharing Our Wellness conversation is about what keeps you mentally well and helps get through the bad days. I’m going to share something which has been going on for me this year and what helped….
Today is 28th November and I’m in work. That never happens. This is always the first Annual Leave day I book in every year because it's my auntie’s birthday. But this year is different. She passed away over the summer at the age of 102.
About a year ago, I wrote a blog which focused on the development of the Manchester Local Care Organisation. Its subtitle was Episode IV: A New Hope. Now that the LCO is officially launching on 1st April, I’m finding myself wondering what this moment actually means? And which bit of Star Wars is it?