October has certainly proved to be a busy period at ARC and the pace seems set to continue.

At the beginning of the month we held our Annual Conference – Never Mind the Rhetoric, Here’s the Attitude, Attitude, Attitude. At a packed venue in Bristol delegates listened to a diverse programme of speakers, including a Keynote Address delivered by Chril Bull, Chair of the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Board and guests from the Driving Up Quality Alliance, National Skills Academy, MacIntyre, Advance and Bild, as well ARC members of staff and people with a learning disability from across the UK. Read the review.

Buoyed by the buzz generated on the day and positive feedback we have already instigated plans to organise our 2014 Conference. Watch this space for details.

Twinned with the conference was the ARC AGM, at which we successfully elected two new appointments to the Board of Trustees. As we bid a fond farewell to our departing Trustees – Carol Barkwell from Lyndridge Care and Support and Mahmud Hasan of APASENTH – both of whom we would like to thank for their dedication and commitment over the past 5 years, we also take great pleasure in welcoming our two new incumbents – Neil Matthewman from Community Integrated Care and Gary Thompson from Autism Care UK. Both Neil and Gary bring with them a wealth of experience and skills and their appointments will help consolidate ARC’s Strategic Leadership in the coming years. Read more…

Also saying goodbye at the AGM was Tina Fahm, making her final engagement as Chair of the Board of ARC UK. Tina has been instrumental in strengthening the governance of the board during her tenure and has helped steer ARC through what has been – for everyone, I’m sure – austere and demanding times. We’d like to thank Tina for her vision and tireless hard work and wish her well in all her future ventures.

Replacing Tina as Acting Chair is long-term board member, Paul Ashton, Chief Executive of Prospects. Paul will be providing support and representation in the role until the process of appointing a new chair is complete in January 2014. For more information about becoming the ARC Chair click here.

In other news, we have held two further events this month – the second of our Here To Stay Consultation Events, held in London, and the inaugural joint meeting of the Finance and Procurement Network held at the offices of ARC member Real Life Options in Knottingley. Here to Stay is our Big Lottery Funded project researching the needs of new migrant communities in England (learn more here). The Finance Network meeting marks the first of what we intend to be a raft of events held across the regions addressing pertinent issues facing providers.

Our next event is on the 30th October, to be held collaboratively with NETS(work), the North East Third Sector Learning Disability Providers’ Network, in Middlesbrough at which we will help provide a platform for providers in the North East of England to directly quiz Chris Bull about the state of the commissioning environment post Winterbourne. For further information click here.

Finally, October has seen the finalisation and release of a number of printed documents and resources, including the two-part Real Change Challenge on Mate Crime find out more here and ARC’s new Three Year Strategy. This document outlines ARC’s strategic vision and our guiding values and principles. Crucially it will help ensure clarity in our purpose and direction of travel over the next few years. Please take time to read it – click here for further details.

Jacqueline Bell 
Chief Executive