This is the second of what I plan to be a weekly blog for the year. I explained last week why I’m doing it so won’t repeat that here. I did say that 2023 was a difficult year for me. We all face difficulties and obstacles in life and how we navigate each of them, big and small, is the daily challenge of our existence. I won’t dwell on my personal challenges now though I will return to that at some point. This week I want to focus on the challenges we have faced at Wimblecomm in the last year.
Just before Christmas in 2022, our previous long standing member of staff of almost seven years, Susanne Ollig, tendered her resignation as she was looking for something full time and we couldn’t offer that to her. Susanne joined us whilst her children were still relatively young but now they’re older she wanted a fresh challenge. She had been instrumental in developing the website from its inception in 2016 and growing it to where it is today and we thank Susanne for her significant efforts.
Susanne left in February and we recruited, via Reed, a temporary replacement, Ruth Elora. At this time we also decided to hold a workshop to review where we were and seek guidance from a number of respected partners and members. We decided to continue on the Wimblecomm venture with some key strategic and operational changes.
Recruiting via an agency can be expensive, and as a small self-funded charity, it was important to recruit someone on a more permanent basis. After placing the ad on our site and on social media we generated some interest from some good candidates and were fortunate to recruit Kimberley Ellis in the role. Kimberley started in June after a short handover from Ruth who we also thank for her services in the interim.
Kimberley brought a fresh eye to the role, a revamped offer on the website and our social media presence as well as a new dynamic and vitality to our meetings and our public engagements.
Sadly for us, Kimberley was head hunted for a new charity position elsewhere and left the paid role at the end of December to pursue new career goals but has offered to continue supporting us in a voluntary capacity so you will continue to hear from her from time to time.
Rather than employ a temp this time the trustees decided it was a good idea to spend some time trying to understand the day to day operations of the job and we are extremely grateful that my colleague of 12 years now, Jackie Chapman, has learnt and managed the technical challenges of the website in recent weeks. We are still getting to grips with social media but watch this space.
In the meantime you may also have seen that we have retitled the job and reworked the job description and the advert for that was placed over the festive break and can be found here: Communications Administrator for Wimblecomm – Wimbledon Community Association. The closing date is 29 January.
We were also fortunate over recent months to recruit two new volunteers to the team, Kirsty Warwick, who has now joined us as a trustee and Monika Sieradzan who is supporting Kirsty and the other trustees on the revamp of the website amongst other things. We will be introducing them on the Our People | Wimbledon Community Association page very soon so please keep an eye out for that.
Next week I will start to explore our broader mission and why we think it is important in today’s world.