It is with mixed emotions that I put pen to paper, or rather fingers to the keyboard, to write and share the news that I recently met with our Chairman Elizabeth Howe to regrettably inform her that my time as Chief Executive for Heart of Bucks was coming to an end.
As many of you will have come to know I had the good fortune to marry a Scot some 20 years ago, so along with our two boys my wife and I have spent considerable times in Scotland holidaying and visiting family. Scotland has long since been a second home for us. My mother-in-law already lives in the borders but both my boys are now living in Scotland too, as they independently begin the next chapters of their lives.
With these recent changes in family circumstances, the opportunity for my wife and I to also relocate has now unexpectedly arisen. For those of you who have experienced the beauty of Scotland you will understand the pull, however Buckinghamshire has been my home since 1975 and leaving does not come easy.
As many of us would agree Buckinghamshire is a county of contrasts with areas of outstanding natural beauty alongside areas of very high deprivation and the contrast between the rich and the poor is staggering. Due to my fortunate position as Chief Executive I have become only too aware of the many challenges that face this beautiful county of ours. In the three years that it has been my joy to serve and walk alongside so many of you, I have witnessed over 350 organisations of all shapes and sizes achieve outstanding things by overcoming many of those challenging situations. Equally I have been so humbled by the generosity shown by many, who not only give financially to Heart of Bucks but give freely of their time.
I shall leave with my heart full of pride for the thousands of everyday folk who accept the challenges facing our community and go on to work tirelessly to make positive change and serve some of the most needy and disadvantaged.
I’m leaving behind a great team at Heart of Bucks, with each member of staff playing a vital role in helping the organisation progress to where we are today. Since I stepped through the door in January 2016, we have distributed over £1.5m in funding, which is fantastic news for Buckinghamshire.
So on that note, I will end with a very important quote from a very influential person (of sorts) in my life.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
– Winnie the Pooh