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Juno’s July Blog 2021

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As my mother used to say – all good things must come to an end.

And for me this is the time to begin to think about the next phase of this grand adventure known as Life.

Since I stepped into the proper world of work aged 16 (before that it was the usual paper rounds and nefarious snipping and selling on of illicit cigarettes…..) I have contributed 35 years of National Insurance which is as much as I can give to my state pension and have rarely worked less than a 50 or 60 hour week (unpaid overtime of course).

With no break.

Like many other people my age.

To be fair the first year or so was balancing non-attendance at the local 6th Form with holding down 20-30 hours a week at a taxi rank including night shifts. One paid, the other didn’t. I prioritised the cash option as an entrepreneurial teenager with a deeply held anxiety about who on earth would ever give me money to pay my bills. An anxiety that, for some reason, has been embedded in me since a very early age when I should have been full on caring about teddy bears.

I do wish I could tell that knackered teen that those years of her work have made such a difference to me now, knowing I can take some time and not have to make up that NI.

In May 2022, 11 months’ time or so, I will be handing over the reins at Rose Road to a new CEO.

Or rather – I will be reminding the new CEO (whoever they will be) that the reins are very firmly held by the staff and trustees and their job is to keep the wheels turning regardless of how bumpy the road ahead or behind.

Oooo – let’s stick with the horse and cart analogy – I’m enjoying this….

I will be packing my panniers for a few months of touring the British Isles with a husband, a dog and a caravan. Seeing some long overdue friends and exploring some of the quieter campsites. After that a different kind of role, perhaps seeing if I can come back for a few hours as a support worker, we shall see.

I hope and believe that we have repaired a couple of wobbly wheel spokes in the great Rose Road carriage, the infrastructure is sound, the steering accurate and the livery brightly painted and cheerful.

OK, enough already, even I can stretch an analogy only so far.

Moving on is always a difficult decision to make. I firmly believe that the time to go is when things are looking up, the possibilities are exciting and the relationships are positive. I think this is where we are.

The need for our services grows all of the time and there is a challenge to expand what we deliver, we have some irons in the fire and I plan to leave with at least some of those glowing red hot.

If ever you were in any doubt about what makes Rose Road the amazing place that it is – I can confirm for you now – it is the staff and it is the families that they serve.

The staff team here is quite remarkable, I know I will never again meet such a compassionate, feisty, intelligent and caring bunch of people united by a single cause.

They have spoiled me for any future job in leadership, there will never, for me, be the like of this immense team again.

Perhaps during the pandemic things changed a little, we became nearer to ‘family’ than before. We depended more on one another, the equal and essential moving parts that kept Rose Road open and focussed.

At Rose Road we have always stood on the shoulders of giants, those shoulders are still strong and they still teach and guide us, our Members and Ambassadors, our previous CEOs and trustees and the families who have been with us over the years. Their vision and values remain our vision and values.

The position of CEO has only ever been a custodianship, a privilege not a right, a part of something greater, not the thing upon which the Association hangs, and that is how it should be.

The Association is driven by far greater forces through the staff and trustees, families and commissioners.

I am beyond proud and moved to have been a part of this great team for a few years…and now….the hunt for the next custodian……do you know anyone?

Contact me…..we have 11 months and the clock is ticking…..