Anchors in the stormy seas of change - a blog by Becky, our new Marketing and Business Development Manager
Change is in the air – leaves are turning and falling; benefits and support for vulnerable individuals seem constantly attacked and threatened; fireworks and whispers of Christmas are in the air, and the not for profit sector is facing some of the toughest times they have ever had to. It feels like change is unavoidable – whether it’s wanted or not.
There’s change in my world too. Let me introduce myself – hello. I’m Becky, the new Marketing and Business Development Manager here at Action Hampshire. I’m here to help this great organisation work out how it can navigate the stormy seas of reduced funding and increasing demand, and make sure it’s still here to support the hundreds of organisations who come to us for advice, support and guidance every year, and for the next years to come.
A year ago – or just over to be quite truthful – if you had asked me what my job was, I would have told you I was a social entrepreneur. I was proudly, though terrifiedly, running an organisation called Who Made Your Pants? This was a social enterprise creating jobs for women who were refugees in Southampton, by turning perfect fabrics left over from the industry into gorgeous new pants. It was based on three things I love (pants, business, and women’s empowerment) and it pains me still to say that that organisation folded in October 2015. Change often involves endings and that change certainly did. It’s a messy ending though – legal things take their time to unfurl and there is still stuff going on which means I can’t quite put it behind me yet (or talk about it, really. Lots of lessons learned which I hope can help others as well as me, but things need to be done in the right order), and possibly not until next year. But life moves on and I have had to, with it.
One thing hasn’t changed one bit though and that’s my firm belief that things can be better than they are. To paraphrase Margaret Mead badly, I know that small groups of thoughtful, committed citizens can and do change the world and I love those (often difficult, disruptive and downright angry) people and want to be one of them. Regardless of what my future might hold, I genuinely believe that by working at Action Hampshire I am part of real and active change for the better. This organisation supports almost 1000 wildly diverse organisations in Hampshire who are all committed to making Hampshire thrive. I’m proud to be here and am excited by the challenge.
Given the above, you might not be surprised when I say I don’t mind change when it’s the right thing – I love improving, fixing, making better. But change does come at a price. It’s unsettling , even scary at times, and, I think, needs to be managed carefully. Letting go of things, even when it’s the right thing to do hurts and even exciting new opportunities mean letting go of the comfortable now.
In the midst of change, I find it helpful to remember and anchor myself to what doesn’t change. For me, and for Action Hampshire, that’s a commitment to helping people and organisations to help themselves and make lives and our society better. The times they are a’changing – but I believe by holding onto what we believe in and working together, we can change them for the better. I hope you agree.