A Message from our CEO
As we say goodbye to one year and move to a new year, i’m always stuck with how much collective hope the world has to create change in these special 48 hours of New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day.
So how lucky am I that every single day I get to hear about men that have picked up the phone to call us; or see men walk through the door for either the ‘Drop In’ (Wednesday’s from 2pm – 5pm), or to meet with their therapist or ISVA, all to create change for themselves. Every single day I get to see, hear of and engage in hope.
As we move into 2018, the idea for Survivors Manchester becomes 10 years old. It was back in 2008, following a few years of driving back and forth to Wiltshire to get help for myself to deal with the impact of my own past sexually abusive experiences, that I met with a very small group of individuals to ask them for help to create an organisation right here in Manchester. Thanks to Lee (who later became our first Chair); Jo (who later became our first Treasurer); Wes, Paul and Evan (who later became our first Trustees); and Simon, we laid the foundations to start building the organisation that has become what we have today.
Building is something we will continue to do in 2018 and I cannot be more excited. We have already made some changes to the Board of Trustees that bring a new skill set that will help us grow; we have engaged our whole workforce and have brought in external HR expertise to help us make changes to strengethen the team; we have also brought in some external expertise to help us produce our next 5 year plan; and in future proofing the organisation, we are changing some of the suppliers we use to those we see as more reliable and that help us ensure we can keep the services going strong.
In 2018, we will engage those that use our services to tell us what they want, more than we ever have before. We will develop new ways of holding service user forums; further develop our expert by experience panel; and provide opportunities for those service users who want to give back to become volunteers, making sure that our service-led ethos remains at the core of the organisation.
We will further build links with colleagues in the UK, through the Male Survivors Partnership; and with our international friends and allies from New Zealand, Australia, USA, Canada, South Africa, Uganda, Cambodia to name a few.
But throughout all this, we will encourage building positive growth for all.
As I have said thousands of times, healing is a journey and not a final destination and 2017 has taught me to look at what work I need to continue to do on myself to stay a healthy and happy male survivor.
So Happy New Year to you all. To our colleagues, friends and acquaintances. To the men that use our services, have engaged with us or are hoping to at some point, Happy New Year to you all. To our funders, commissioners and supporters alike, Happy New Year and long may our relationships continue. Finally, to all those that help male survivors on their journey, thank you and Happy New Year.
Happy New Year everyone, here’s to an incredible 2018.