Happy New Year!
It has been a couple of months since I last produced an introduction to our Newsletter and in that time there has been lots of activity. Most notably the Charity Commission have approved our application to set up a Charitable Incorporated Organisation; we continue to work hard behind the scene to ensure the transfer from SASSOT to the new CIO happens efficiently and we maintain the high possible standard of delivery.
First and foremost, Lee Booth has left the team in mid-December to take up a post with Stafford Borough Council. I want to go on record to thank Lee for his outstanding contribution to our work and to wish him well in the future. This has been one of several changes to the team, with David Richards also leaving, and we have a number of vacancies to be filled once we have achieved our full transition.
In the meantime, we have been fortunate to be able to employ Marie Jenkins on a temporary contract as a Project Officer, overseeing our workforce and community offers. Staffing will be at the forefront of our considerations as we go forward into the next round of strategic planning for 2021.
Sport England have begun the consultation process and we are already engaged with them through our contacts; we look forwards to great and sustainable future. I am delighted to inform you that Jane Kracke has been asked to join the Sports Governance Academy Advisory Board; this reflects the esteem that colleagues in Sport England hold for Jane.
The team have been working hard to continue their work and they have produced an outstanding set of individual Impact Reports for all of our partners – thank you for that.
I have been pleased with the responses from both the Physical Activity Leadership Strategy (PALS) group and the Physical Activity Partners Forum (PAPF), both of which I am privileged to Chair. In particular, Claire Greenwood’s work with the Forum has been impressive. By working together in this way, it helps us to bring a more coordinated and developmental approach across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
Clearly there will be many changes of emphasis over the coming months and years, and the challenges of working with the hard to reach groups of stubborn inequality remain. Our role will be to concentrate on Place, People and Purpose in order to make a positive difference to physical activity and sport in our sub-region.
Hopefully with the launch of trustee status, a new identity and a refreshed team in the near future all held together by a common purpose will come – we have much work to do and many things to achieve.
The Board has planned a joint away day with the team to develop our next strategy and we will of course be involving our partners and stakeholders in this process.
Malcolm Armstrong, Chair of the SASSOT Board