Sue Wilkinson MBE shares her ‘View from the board’ as thoughts turn to planning for the future

MSP’s board met, once again virtually, on 4th February 2021. Here the board’s Edcation Expert, Sue Wilkinson MBE, shares her observations.

“After ten months of zoom meetings, it never ceases to amaze me how many times the IT gets you, as the Vice Chair, Mark Coups and I were sat on the Google link wondering where everyone was, we realised we had used the wrong link!… But we got there eventually. It was good to begin the Board meeting with a focus on everyone’s physical and emotional well being. Whether a paid employee, volunteer or a member of the wider MSP network, we discussed how everyone has been touched by the pandemic and how important it is to keep talking.

It was terrific to hear about the excellent collaborative research project around COVID-19 between MMU, MSP, Active Lancashire, GreaterSport, Active Cheshire and Yorkshire Sport Foundation. The research focussed on the impact of the pandemic on community sport provision and participation. This insight will enable the active partnerships to plan how they can support their communities to find effective solutions to ensure recovery is driven from grass roots. Dr Chris Mackintosh and Ben Ives, plus MSP Insight Officers Matt and Kenny have worked in an efficient and developmental manner to secure a unique piece of insight which will inform practice. We looked forward to the next stage of the research.

We of course also congratulated Kerry Stewart on her new post. After 17 years of outstanding, loyal service to MSP; Kerry will be missed by the whole sector. I am sure that everyone will celebrate with Kerry before she leaves the organisation, albeit in a virtual capacity, but we will miss you and thank you for everything that you have done.

The meeting focussed too on the recent external Board evaluation; which is a statutory requirement for a Board as part of its governance, to undertake an external review. It is always a great leveller to be reminded of the strengths and areas where we can all do better. What were good to hear is that MSP follows due process and many of the policies are excellent and our thanks to Liverpool County Council for their advice and support. Last but not least this meeting was a reminder that there will be a need to recruit new Board members going forward.

So a huge thank you to all of the MSP staff and wider network for working with us to make a difference across and within communities. Take care and stay safe.”

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