The Life Course of Working in Health and Social Care

The Life Course of Working in Health and Social Care

“…More and more this last look at the wet

Shine of the place is what means most to him –

And to repeat the phrase, “My head is light”,TimandKarlAlps1991

Because it often is as he reaches back

And switches off…” Seamus Heaney

30 years ago this March I started working for the charity MacIntyre ( and this week we announced that I have stood down as CEO.  Man and boy over the years I have had a wonderful time, met many amazing people, learnt so much and had the good fortune to develop an interesting career; starting as a volunteer at one of our schools and eventually becoming CEO.  It is time to move on: the charity is in good shape and more importantly in good hands with great colleagues from bottom to top and a terrific trustee board.

In writing my leaving statement to colleagues I reflected that our work “it is all about people”- not organisational structures, not buildings, not wordy documents, not even big events- all these absorb us for a while but pass soon enough- the importance of people remain.  MacIntyre is all about people as is the whole of health and social care. Over the thirty years at MacIntyre and involvement in other sector activities people, past and present, have filled each day with meaning, surprise, learning and feeling.  There have been some days charged with high emotion; joyous and sad, others days have been full of fun, every so often infuriating (usually me), but rarely dull.  For me this is the “wet shine of the place”- the life course of working within health and social care.

PaulSandBillMBright-Horn,Alps1999That life course is still something I wish to be part of and so this not an announcement of early retirement but a new beginning.  Over recent weeks I have been writing about wellbeing and my personal learning, contributing, action, noticing and connecting continues….

I finished my message to my MacIntyre colleagues with saying how much I had valued their dedication and felt inspired by their good work.  I encouraged them to keep investing in themselves- keep asking the question: “What is good about being me?” . It is a good question for all of us and we need to make sure we always have a positive answer.  It has been a fabulous thirty years and I leave MacIntyre a fulfilled and happy man- ready for the next challenge.  My head “is light” with all the memories.