Looking at some of the great things we do

I spent part of last Thursday in Cannock, visiting Staffordshire University Academy, the West Chadsmoor Community Centre and CESS, a community group in Rugeley. It was an ongoing part of my efforts to get out on the ground and find out what our programmes and services are doing and how we should be steering them for the years ahead. I find it invaluable to meet our people and those with whom we are working as a means of staying rooted in the reality of the job.

Meeting the staff and the student council at the Academy was a great pleasure. They were, without exception, clear and unambiguous on the subject of what they want for their school, and how they are going to achieve it. The students whom I met had all been elected by their classmates, and each were ambitious and confident.

Moving to the West Chadsmoor Community Centre gave me a real feel for what we are doing for one of the most challenged communities in the county. I met a group of mothers and their children for whom the centre is a haven.

Lastly in Rugeley, CESS gave me encouragement for our People helping People concept – a small community group who, with a bit of assistance can probably take on some of the support that we currently buy from agencies. It’s a slightly different model for the voluntary sector, but they are keen to work with us as a pilot.

Overall, a great day out, and a reminder, if I ever needed it, of the great things that we do as an organisation. There’s still much to be done, and it’s not going to get any easier, but it’s a job worth doing.

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