Labour and Co-operative Member of
Parliament for Kemptown and Peacehaven

Two people retiring in one week

by Lloyd on 14.06.07
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This is the second time this I have sat through a farewell speech at a retirement. Fist of all it was this years annual gathering of the Woodcraft Folk. At this annual meeting of delegates of the Woodcraft Folk I stood down from the board after 2 years sitting on general council. I have been on the Staffing Committee and also Development Committee I’m now moving on to the Standing Order Committee (some say I must be mad). But a bigger leaving do was for Andy Piercy has been the General Secretary for over 12 years. The retirement presentational was emotional, with letters to him from friends of the IFM-SEI our international organisation, Andy has also been both a vice president and a member of the control commission of the IFM-SEI in his time and the interventions were emotional. There was also letters from the cooperative movement and a personal visit of the secretary general of the Roté Falken from Belgium.

Andy at points was in tears as was the audience. He has been with the Woodcraft Folk for many years of changes and even when he had a stoke last year. Times have been hard for the us and with our staff holding together Andy has managed to direct parts of our movement from at points his and until last week working part time from home and Folk House our head office.

Then today I had a visit to Lambeth Palace for a patrons event of the National Youth Agency (NYA) I have worked for the Agency for the last two years and my contract has recently been renewed and in the position of participation consultant.

The event this year had the theme of All Different All Equal which the Agency is the national coordination committee for. The UK was 5 months late joining the, in the usual British ‘different’ style. I gave a short address about some of the campaign so far and what has been happening across Europe. This was followed by a debate of the patrons of whether such a campaign was necessary UK. The General agreement at the end was that the campaign isn’t the important thing but a tool in a tool kit that can be used to further the aim in making the UK a more email and respectable place to live in.

The event was finished with a retiring speech from the Chief Executive of the NYA Tom Wylie who is leaving the service over 10 years at the agency as Chief Executive. Tom gave a passionate and funny speech about his time, some of his annoyances and a little bit about his passion. Pointed out some of the points around how connexions has wasted money in favour of brand over good youth work.

I’m sure that both men with be back in their own way. Tom and Andy both have their strengths and also are men that have shaped the service that they have worked in. I’m sure that they be remembered. Their successors will have a lot to live up to.

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Labour and Co-operative Member of
Parliament for Kemptown and Peacehaven

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