'Future you' time
As with most people, the last 18 months have been something of a shock to the system.
It has been surreal in many ways as some connections were lost, and new ones have been found. I feel appreciative of and rejuvenated by the people I have connected with during this unique period which in many ways has ironically been defined by separation and withdrawal.
I have had the space to think about what I want out of life, and most importantly it has reminded me that it is time to be intentional about investing in myself and to move closer to my future goals.
I have taken three steps so far on my journey and hope they provide you with insights and encouragement.
Developed my skills
Few may know that I spent 9 years alongside my career in Higher Education running a charity focused on developing underrepresented groups into leadership. Working with marginalised communities is something I am passionate about and have contributed to in one way or another for the last 18 years.
I recently had the privilege to be appointed as Independent Advisor to the Equality Committee at Citizens Advice, a fantastic national charity and network of local charities that helps people find a way forward, no matter the problem by offering confidential advice for free.
I am galvanized and inspired by the diligence and commitment of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) team, led by the wonderful Mandeep Rupra, I am enthused to pass on my knowledge from other sectors alongside the likes of the powerhouse that is Jabbar Sardar, Global Director of HR at BBC Studios, and perhaps more importantly, a fellow Bradfordian.
I am also excited to have made the decision to join the NHS in 2022 to head up EDI across a number of hospitals and I look forward to sharing more about this in the New Year.
Explore my creative side
It might not be baking or sculpture, but I am in the process of developing my own business idea which has been a long time in the making and combines my business development skills with my expertise in equity and inclusion.
I have welcomed the support of The Women's Organisation and friends and colleagues that have acted as allies and investors in the concept so far. I look forward to sharing updates when we are ready to launch next year.
Nurture my mind and body
As I look back on these months, there has also been a need for self-care as balancing everything in life has been truly exhausting.
This weekend I made the decision to treat myself to a short solo break to develop business ideas, refuel, and refocus in the lovely Port Sunlight, a 19th Century model village in Merseyside and I must say it is already doing me the world of good and reminds me why it’s important to invest in ourselves in whatever small way we can to make change happen as the future will be here before we know it!