Chair's Message - May 2015


I recall my first Yorkshire group meeting in November 1997, literally a couple of weeks after starting at Huddersfield and being a fledgeling to the sector. What struck me straight away was the camaraderie amongst all those there. Something has stuck with me ever since – without hesitation Tom Fleming and John Mellor taking me to one side, welcoming me to the family and all this brings. Over 17 years later the family remains so strong.

On behalf of the Executive I’m really grateful for the overwhelming positive support for the proposed move to company limited by guarantee. I can only reinforce what was conveyed at the AGM and the supporting pieces of work before – the move will not affect the USHA family. The Executive will now focus on drawing up agreed articles of association and terms of reference for the new company. These will then be legally verified before circulation to the membership for approval. The intention is for that circulation to be in mid-June.

I’d like to congratulate Selina, Robin and Eleanor on their election to the Executive and welcome them ‘aboard’. New people joining the Executive arises from others departing. I therefore wish to convey many thanks to Cathy, Monica and Liz for their dedication whilst serving on the Executive.

I was really pleased with how well the conference proceeded. It was great to see both familiar and new faces. I received many positive comments and colleagues on the Executive reported similar. This is very encouraging given the theme specifically targeted ‘wellbeing’, a shift from the more traditional safety focused approach to our main conference. The collaborations in bringing the conference programme together offers us the springboard for future opportunities.

I can only repeat the many thanks to Karen, Emma and all at Bournemouth, as well as Lynda and the events team. I’ll take the credit for the weather!

Looking ahead I’m really excited about the impending leadership guidance. It promises to represent a significant directional change from the existing code, striving to enable individual institutions to secure leadership and influence in health and safety across all levels of the organisation, not just as the most senior levels. The revitalisation of HASMAP to coincide with the new guidance is perfectly timed. I know Monica and Scott were grateful for the many positive comments you gave during the specific spot on the conference programme.

In the short-term there are many challenges ahead in moving USHA forward to a secure position. As was emphasised during the AGM and in the papers that proceeded, transparency with the membership is key. You are the association’s lifeblood. The Executive and I fully respect this.

Gary Wood
USHA Chair