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Taking stock and looking forward

20 Years Of Brandon TrustI can’t believe that we are at the start of another New Year. 2014 felt like a whirlwind, packed with an unprecedented number of events. Also for the first time in our history, many of our great stories were shared extensively with the outside world through the media.

As we travel through our 20th year of operation, we're definitely leaving our teenage years behind! Part of this ‘growing up’ is evidenced in the consolidation and growth of our 100 Voices initiatives. Another example is our deepening understanding of who we are and what we're really about; the single strand that holds all our many and varied activities together throughout Brandon Trust, is our passion for ensuring everybody we support is enabled to live free and full lives whatever that might look like. We've realised that freedom is the currency that we deal in and the value that drives us ever forward.

2015 will be both a year of conversations and a year of action. We've just launched our 20th Anniversary Report ‘Finding Freedom’ which summarises where we are after 20 years, and signals the route ahead. It's driven by the voices of those we support who have told us that looking forward they want more relationships, more employment and more engagement with their communities; in summary, much stronger connections.

The conversations will be widely held throughout Brandon and with our many stakeholders. Whilst we know what people want, we need to explore how we can best achieve this. Our next 5 year strategy, starting in April 2016, will be drawn from the conclusions of these conversations. However, we cannot be an organisation only of words, we need to act too. Just two of the initiatives that will emerge during 2015 are the launch of a new award to celebrate members of the general public who connect powerfully with those we support (with the aim of inspiring others to follow in their footsteps), and the development of Community Circles with Helen Sanderson (of Helen Sanderson Associates and Community Circles), with a real focus on increasing people's connections and engagements with their local communities.

So as we leave a busy year behind, we enter 2015 with an equally big agenda. I am proud to work for an organisation full of great people who are both talented and inspiring. At Brandon, we are up for the challenge and energised by being part of the ongoing progress that people with learning disabilities and autism so rightly demand of us. Here’s to the next 20 years at Brandon Trust!

Lucy Hurst-Brown
Chief Executive

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