Starting a new job is daunting. Starting a new job during a global pandemic, on the eve of a second national lockdown is…quite frankly surreal.
Nevertheless, I’ve received a warm virtual welcome from colleagues, trustees and partner organisations, and have been able to hit the ground running thanks in no small part to Angela Cristofoli, who has done a fantastic job of leading the organisation since the Spring in her role as Interim CEO.
This week we have been celebrating Trustees. At a time when we are more aware than ever of the role community and voluntary groups play in supporting residents, it is important to recognise the work of Trustees who are the engine behind the action; setting the vision, ensuring financial sustainability and maintaining a governance framework which allows an organisation to deliver.
On Tuesday evening I had an opportunity to hear direct from Trustees about their hopes, fears and challenges for the future. Despite delivering very different services, there were consistent themes – how to diversify a Board, how to retain Trustees and how to harness the power of social media. Open discussions like these remind us that we have common ground and common needs across the community and voluntary sector, whether delivering youth work or environmental projects, we can work together to combine knowledge and resource to develop solutions.
This has been a year like no other. We are all struggling with a deep sense of foreboding as we face a future full of uncertainty. Here at OCVA we will be doing everything we can to furnish Oxfordshire’s community and voluntary sector with the training, skills and support needed to bring them through this time of crisis and develop their resilience. We have a full programme of events and training to explore, but if you have an idea or a specific need that you’d like to discuss (or if you’d just like to say hello if I haven’t had the chance to meet you or your organisation yet) then get in touch – we grow together.