2011 has been as full as the last week. A week that has seen the directors wrapping up the year with three days together, interspaced with a two-day self and peer review process with core associates, and sprinkled with a couple of festive meals and spirited conversations. Exhausting and fulfilling in equal measure.
Every path that we each shape is unique; it is the honouring of the unique path of the individual, the group, the organisation, through being in relationships with others, that remains at our core. Each path is unfinished and that is the shared journey of us becoming more of who we are – a more whole person.
Everyone at Oasis has been on what at times has felt like an uphill slog, whilst at other times the sense of achievement has been tremendous, as have some of the vistas and discoveries along the way.
Staff at Oasis all look a little tired, and it is no surprise, as it has been one of the busiest and demanding of years. We have seen more days of centre usage, more travel, more clients, more contracts, more associates, more events, more exhibitions and more time together for staff and directors than ever before. 2011 saw the launch of the new website, which makes such a contribution to how people can learn more about us and our work. We appreciated the help Mix’d provided on the web design.
We feel sure many will join us in thanking Lise Ribeiro, Judi Steel, Sheila Bradbrook, Ann Newton, Janice Gowing, Cathy Neligan, Samantha Parker and Heather Griffiths for being welcoming, open and accessible to those we serve, and for bringing such tenacity and competence to their roles and relationships. Publications have always been part of our DNA and we thank Heather Tweddle for her continued support and contribution.
The month would not be complete without raising a glass of congratulations to Chris Neligan, of ‘Boston Woman Publishes Book’ fame, as December saw the launch of Life is but a Dream, the moving and insightful account of the loss of her daughter told through the experiences of the whole family. It has been a five-year project and one that has gained heartfelt support and critical acclaim.
The last month has also seen Claire Maxwell, John Gray, Chris Taylor and Yaakov Atik negotiating and shaping new initiatives in Scotland, Brazil and Pakistan, and deepening our long- term relationship with the Northern Institute of Technology in Germany. Through Glyn Fussell and other core associates we are also able to confirm that additional commissions and relationships are also now in place for 2012 with the Ethical Property Company, People and Planet, Think Global, and Refugee Youth.
2011 has seen a continued growth in our organisational work and we have been delighted and stretched with the developments undertaken with our long-standing partner client organisations, and our thanks and appreciation for a significant year of change, hard work, investment and learning go to Longhurst Group, Aycliffe Secure Services, Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate, Skipton Building Society, St John Ambulance, Vela Group and North Star, with whom we have shared so much and gained in so many ways.
To provide all we do to those who engage with us would not be possible without the fantastic contributions of the Oasis community of practitioners, whether the UK-wide Peoplecare counsellors and developers, associate facilitators such as Benita Treanor, Jane Senior and Catherine Barnard, and more than thirty Executive Developers including Julie Barnes, Helen Green, Charles Greenwood, Chris Lazenby and Carole-Ann Jones.
Our international work with the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative moves from strength to strength, influencing more business schools and global companies in how they develop the next generation of leadership. Nick Ellerby continues in his role as Senior Advisor to the Initiative, with Claire Maxwell as the new Oasis partner representative. The GRLI has a platform at the Rio Earth Summit in June 2012, and we are currently contributing to a report that reinforces Whole Person Learning as a critical aspect for developing leaders and leadership for the future. Bryce would be thrilled.
After eight months of secondment with Hospice Africa Uganda as the Chief Executive Director, it has been great to have been joined this week by Zena Bernacca. We feel sure everyone will wish her well as she completes her next phase of work in Kampala. We look forward to working with Zena as she shapes her next chapter.
The economic climate continues to challenge the most vulnerable and we continue to provide support for small organisations that might otherwise struggle to gain help to develop and learn. We have been pleased to be able to support MAC UK, Telephone Helplines Association, ODEF, Hotspur and YUMI. The wider economic changes are likely to herald a much-needed review of the deeper core values of the world around us, and potentially create opportunities to move beyond the seeking of material enrichment, and to appreciate the richness of other facets of humanity and relationship. With the help of the individuals and organisations within the Oasis Community we hope to contribute to such a possibility.
Marion Ragaliauskas, whilst also holding other responsibilities and lead roles, has, with the help of our new financial advisor, Tim Morgan, ensured our own finances are sound and healthy, enabling us to remain a wholly independent organisation, with no debt or reliance on grant support.
As Oasis takes a few days’ rest and closes its doors on 23rd December, before opening them again on 3rd January (Peoplecare calls will still be answered of course!), we take the chance to say a huge thank you to all who have supported, contributed, engaged and served our purpose and one another, and wish you all the best for 2012.
Marion, Zena, Chris, Nick and Claire
The Directors Group