At the AGM last week I had the pleasure, on behalf of the BSA, to present John Evans with a token of our gratitude and appreciation for his contribution to the BSA as Chair over the last three years. He deserves to sit back and enjoy the fine claret we gave him in the knowledge that the BSA is in a good position to build on the work of recent years. John's wise council and balanced advice, based on his Christian principles, have been a solid rock in what have sometimes been quite stormy waters. John's commitment to the BSA in terms of time and energy has been extraordinary. Few BSA members fully appreciate what he has achieved, but I suppose that is a reflection of John's modest and unassuming nature.
I'd like to thank the Trustees for electing me as their Chair, and hope that I can fulfil their trust in me. But we shouldn't underestimate the challenges we face. In short, we've got a big job to do in a climate of limited resources. The role the trustees play, in partnership with Norbert and his staff and army of volunteers, will determine how successful we are in that job. Ultimate responsibility for the BSA lies with the trustees. We have to ensure that the BSA has a clear vision, mission and strategic direction, and that the BSA is focussed on achieving these.
Everyone involved with BSA and ESN has a tremendous opportunity to effect change for the good in our society. With competent governance, firm financial controls, and the skill and commitment of Norbert and his staff, we can help people who stammer believe in themselves, enjoy their lives to the full, and make a greater contribution to society at large.
I'd also like to pay tribute to the two outgoing trustees, Colin Marsh and Mandy Taylor. Colin has been a devoted warrior for the BSA for over twelve years. He’s one of the most kind-hearted men I’ve met, dedicated to spreading understanding about stammering. We will miss his inimitable emails and his encyclopaedic knowledge of the hostelries around Bethnal Green.
Mandy’s enthusiasm is infectious. Her contribution to discussions is always lively and intelligent, and her willingness to get involved is an example for us all. She recently resigned her trusteeship in order to take up a part time job with the BSA as Finance Officer. And she's been invaluable in filling the gap between Steven and John Perkins leaving and finding a longer term solution.
So we thank them for their selfless input and very much look forward to their continued involvement with the BSA in the years to come.
It’s always exciting to welcome new trustees onto the Board, and the arrival of Rob Pinn and Jimmy Lang is no exception. We eagerly await their contribution in terms of new ideas, expertise, and enthusiasm. I know they will find the job of helping people who stammer a rewarding experience.