Valleys Kids is determined to make sure that this significant change is accomplished successfully. We have been working hard to plan for a new senior management structure and for the process of transition.
A new CEO post has been created. In our opinion, it provides a rare opportunity for somebody who can help maintain a remarkable legacy of community development work while also equipping the organisation with new leadership and ideas.
The Board has moved quickly to agree proposals for a new management structure, to be put in place if additional external funding can be secured. This includes potential recruitment of a Director of Programmes/Projects and a Director of Business Development to assist the new CEO. The plan also provides ongoing roles for Richard and Margaret, enabling us to continue benefiting from their experience, skills, and commitment to Valleys Kids. Initially, they will act as interim Directors in the new posts outlined above. At an appropriate time, the two of them will become Founding Advisors/Ambassadors, working on a part-time basis.
One of our biggest challenges is ensuring that the management structure and our finances are closely aligned so that we can guarantee sustainability. The new structure does provide increased management capacity. This is justified by the need to focus more systematically on some crucial issues (such as forward planning, financial resilience, fundraising, digital working and social enterprises) and greater interaction with audiences and stakeholders outside the organisation.
Bids to potential funders (to provide revenue for three years in support of the transition) have met with an incredibly positive response. This readiness to provide support is testimony to the high regard in which Valleys Kids is held.
The changes in senior management do require us to undertake a major transition programme at a time when many other challenges must be met. Over the past year, the Board, staff representatives, Margaret and Richard have developed detailed plans for the transition. Good progress is being made, despite the disruption to services caused by Co-vid 19 restrictions. Moreover, throughout this period, Valleys Kids has continued to play a key role in providing vital help to families and to our communities. The reports we receive and the direct comments we hear from who receive essential support are inspiring and moving. This gives us confidence that we can move forward together with a shared sense of purpose.
At present, the intention is to advertise the CEO post at the beginning of February and to complete the recruitment process early in the new financial year.
Working with others
Valleys Kids has always recognised that working with others is a prerequisite for effective community development. Constructive relationships with a wide range of partners are at the heart of our agenda for supporting disadvantaged communities to achieve improved well-being outcomes.
Over four decades and reflecting the many activities which Valleys Kids provides, we have succeeded in building up strong partnerships with very diverse organisations, This includes: over 30 funding bodies (including trusts); public service agencies nationally and locally (especially those which have responsibility for education, social care, housing, health, leisure, arts, environment, safeguarding, social equality and justice); third sector organisations; social and commercial enterprises; tenant and other organisations representing service user and community interests; churches and chapels; etc. We have also been engaged very actively in various multi-agency partnerships which seek to promote co-working, needs analysis, the provision of services and effective use of resources. This is an opportunity to express again our thanks for your support.
Our track record in collaboration is grounded in our commitment to openness, trust, shared values, common goals and regular communication. Richard and Margaret have played a central role in formulating and representing the collaborative ethos that we’ve adopted so successfully. As we embark upon a major period of transition, we will be looking to all our allies, colleagues and friends for help and support. You are a key stakeholder in the change process.
The Board and staff representatives have agreed a strategy for communicating with all interested stakeholders. It involves a series of meetings, supplemented by written briefings. If you have any queries, or comments about the material or about the transition programme as a whole, you’re welcome to contact us. We look forward to having further conversations.
Phil Evans, Chair
Valleys Kids’ Board of Trustees