Dear PPMA colleagues and friends

I can’t quite believe that next Monday we will be celebrating Christmas with our friends and families.  There seems to be so much to do still and not enough time to do it in! It doesn’t seem that long ago since I was finding time on holiday to write my update for the Autumn PPMA Quarterly supplement.  PPMA has made further great progress since then – I’ve been to Leeds for the highly successful Northern HR Forum, spoken at both the Northern Ireland and South West Region conferences, travelled to Scotland for the SPDS conference and Leeds to speak at the HPMA conference.  Karen has also spoken at the Public Sector Show in Manchester and we’re pleased to say that we will be supporting London and Manchester Public Services shows in 2018 too.

We’ve also had more publicity – we’ve had articles in the MJ on the very important issue of sexual harassment; in Personnel Today on Shared Services, in People Management and we will be working much more next year on raising our media profile even further.  I’m confident it is bearing fruit.  The website has been further developed – you’ll see that we now have online booking for our 2018 conference, using Eventbrite.  We’ll increasingly be looking at using Eventbrite for regional events as well.  Our online membership functionality will also be available soon.

We’re also excited about our ongoing work with CIPD, HPMA, Civil Service and UHR.  We’re looking at how we can find ways to work together on the ground, ranging from involvement in our research programme and also opening up our regional networks.  On our research programme, we’ve had a really good response to our Multigenerational Workforce research with Jobsgopublic and we’ll be looking at what the next stage of work looks like early in January.  On the back of that work, we did a joint response to a consultation that was published by the Work and Pensions committee and I’m really pleased that our response was published.

I’m mindful that we have also had some changes within the PPMA team.  Karen Dorn, who was our part time administrator has left us.  We shall miss Karen’s contributions and wish her very well for the future.  That means we are welcoming a new, full-time member of the PPMA family.  Grace Davies is joining us in January as our new Business Administration and Marketing Support officer.  It’s a mouthful of a title but Grace will be supporting us across a range of activities.  We are looking forward to introducing her a little more in January, as this will be a critical role in supporting the organisation moving forward.  We are also saying a very fond and sad farewell to Stuart Elrick.  Many of you will have known Stuart for a very long time – he has been a generous and long standing Volunteer in our community.  Please check back for next weeks blog when we will be sharing some of our memories of his history with us.

A number of you have been asking us about what we plan to do next year about our next VP.  We know it’s always important to set out our future plans – but it’s also important that we make the best decisions in the interests of the organisation moving forward.  The additional momentum and work we are now handling means we need to find a balance between considering our options fully and making as timely a decision as we can.  We have a number of really fantastic candidates for VP so I’m very confident about our future.  Policy Board will be considering a paper in the New Year and I look forward to sharing the outcome of our discussions with you in due course.

As I come to the end of 8 months in my term, I’m beyond thrilled with the progress we are making.  But as we get to Christmas my thoughts inevitably turn to what really matters most in our lives.  I am even more grateful for the love and support of my family this year.  I am incredibly lucky – I love my day job and the work I do for PPMA, but I owe my family enormous thanks for supporting me through this – they are also contributing to PPMA!  Life is very very short and across the country and world in 2017 we have seen real tragedy, but I have also been inspired by the selfless and heart-warming response of people to tough events.  So, this Christmas and New Year I hope you all have time to stand back, reflect on the contributions you have made to your work, but also to spend time with your own friends and families and cherish them.

So until the New Year from my family to yours, I wish you a very happy Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.