I’m changing jobs in a few weeks time and it doesn’t quite seem real. I’ve been here at LWA for over six years, leading an organisation I truly love. The staff never cease to humble me with their dedication and skill, the service users demonstrate on a daily basis their strength and bravery, and I am lucky to work with brilliant partners both locally and nationally.
Working with women experiencing domestic violence is something I have wanted to do pretty much since the first day of my women’s studies degree. It took me a while to get there and I never would have dreamed that I would be the CEO of such an organisation. So, I have to admit to questioning myself is the small hours. Why am I leaving? Is it the right decision?
For me it is the right thing to do. We should never stop having dreams. I have wanted to work in palliative care since my mum died when I was ten years old. More recent experiences of both excellent and indifferent care for terminally ill relatives reignited that desire. So again, I am lucky and privileged to be taking a role as Director of Sue Ryder Wheatfields hospice in Leeds. It’s another dream, another challenge, another part of the charity world for me to immerse myself in.
I know that someone brilliant will take my place here at LWA. Someone who thinks differently to me, who can do things I can’t (not covering the office in blue tac would be a great start) and who can lead the organisation through its next phase.
I feel strongly connected to LWA, it will always be important to me and I hope to remain involved in the future. I’m still a feminist, still believe that violence against women and girls is a vital issue requiring intensive campaigning and adequately funded services, and I am massively proud of some of the groundbreaking work we’ve undertaken in my time here such as opening an independently funded refuge and developing th Women’s Lives Leeds consortium with our partners.
I’m going to have to let go, but I’m here for a few more weeks so not just yet!