CEO Rosi Lister reflects on the past year, the challenges we've overcome and what we can look forward to in 2022
As the days grow short and we approach Christmas my thoughts meander back to other pre-pandemic Christmas’s, when the IVE team would put on our glad rags and gather together in various Leeds hostelries to revel in the festivities and celebrate the end of another great year. This year, as Omicron rears its ugly head, we have opted to celebrate online for a second year; in a virtual Pub we have named ‘The IVE Open Arms’ after the Radio 6 Friday afternoon show of the same name. We have got quite good at virtual entertainment and I can genuinely say that I thoroughly enjoyed the last Zoom party we threw, but I cannot help looking back at the photo’s of yesteryear; colleagues in their party hats, glass in hand, and wish that we could go back.
2021 has had its challenges. We, like many other organisations needed to tighten our belts and watch our charitable reserves. An exercise that, thanks to colleagues, has worked out well and as the year draws to a close opportunities are once more on the rise: A new industry sponsor to support our Applied Creativity Labs for schools, which have become a major IVE success story. A new private sector client for our Creative Leadership training and an opportunity to apply to the Arts Council England for extension funding which will enable us to continue to provide our Bridge role and support our Local Cultural Education Partnerships for another year. Our Ignite Yorkshire heritage youth engagement programme has gone from strength to strength, being nominated for two awards and achieving national acclaim from the Association of Heritage Interpreters. We have also had no less than five IVE babies this year and partly as a result of that, we have been able to welcome a number of new staff into the IVE fold, alas some of whom I have yet to meet in the flesh…
Behind the scenes, the year has also been spent developing our new strategic plan, which many of you have helped us with and I am very grateful to you. We will be launching this strategy in the New Year in preparation for our 25th anniversary at the beginning of April. It is a strategy for change and transition from our Bridge role, a strategy we believe is forward thinking and inspirational.
I am optimistic for 2022. As the sunshine returns and the days lengthen we will invite you to the Half Round House to help us celebrate our work and look to the future. We are excited by the prospect of forging new partnerships and finding new ways to work through what will be a year of new beginnings.
In the meantime – have a fantastic Christmas with those you love and a spectacular New Year.
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