I can hardly believe that this week marks the fifth anniversary of taking on this incredible job.
Five years of reaching out to people all over the world, of striving to demonstrate the positive and transformational role of philanthropy in state education, and of bringing big hearts and brilliant minds together to deliver the first of three inspirational buildings for an incredibly special 600 year old organisation.
Five years of huge milestones, amazing experiences, and really big days (and nights!) at the office. As well as the big stuff though, it is the smallest of moments that nourish me and inspire me to keep going...like the people who quietly empty the coins from their pockets or press a note into my hand; those who stop me in the car park to tell me apologetically that they can’t afford to donate but that I have their full support; those who choose to emotionally share their memories of the place I now serve. Last but not least, the young people who stand bravely by my side and eagerly take on any challenge I throw them in order to bring our story to life, from filmmaking to hosting VIP visitors to writing and delivering passionate speeches to important audiences in awe-inspiring surroundings.
It is my job to plan meticulously for the big moments – and I love them – but often it is the small, unexpected and shared moments of solidarity and kindness, and the immeasurable impact they have on progress towards the biggest of goals, that make me feel so lucky to do what I do every day.
I'm grateful to so many of my connections, friends and colleagues for the encouragement to push boundaries and for allowing me to pick brains on the especially challenging days. I continue to believe that where there is a will, a way can always be forged – providing we have the right people by our side.
Suffice to say, I am very excited indeed about the next five years – such a long to do list – and yes, I expect I’ll probably be speaking to many of you soon to pick your brains once again!
(First published on LinkedIn, 04 June 2015)