Spring has sprung, it’s official. It’s so wonderful to see the trees in bud and the daffodils in bloom. And today the sun is shining and not a cloud in the sky. As I was driving in to the office this morning I started to reflect on this season of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal and regrowth – very apt for where we find ourselves right now.

Easter is nearly upon us, the new financial year has begun, it’s renewal time for ARC Members and we have mapped out our work plan for the ‘new’ year ahead.

We know the regional meetings we facilitate are highly valued and well received by our members, so we are excited to be exploring new themes and ideas for this year. For example, last year we held Mock Employment Tribunal events and as these were so popular we are going to be organising mock grievance tribunals this time, as well as other events to mark ARC’s 35th birthday.

Since ARC was incorporated as a registered charity in 1982, the world has changed in so many ways. The current change abound is of course ‘Brexit’. Yes, Article 50 has been triggered and we await news of what this truly means. From our involvement within the Cavendish Coalition, I can confirm there is a huge amount of activity going on, as we pull together to ensure the rights of EU nationals are able to stay and to protect the sector’s most valuable asset – our workforce. Over the coming weeks and months I would expect we will hear more from the Government about our ‘new beginning’ but, at the moment it’s all gone rather quiet in these quarters. Obviously, recruitment and retention continues to pose one of many challenges throughout the sector and the potential pressure on staffing in a post-Brexit world is an area of real concern.

Speaking of which, I had the pleasure of meeting with a gentleman by the name of Neil Eastwood, founder of ‘Sticky People’ recently. Neil, if you haven’t heard of him, is a Social Care workforce expert and soon to be published author. Neil has some innovative ideas and practical solutions to addressing such issues in the sector and I am delighted to say that Neil will be working with us by delivering some sessions during some of our regional member events. Neil has a way of putting a different slant on the approaches taken to solve the recruitment and retention issue and when we can’t see ‘the woods for the trees’, he has the knack of encouraging us to look again through a different lens. Interesting and engaging stuff! We can’t wait to work with him.

We will keep all our members up to date with our plans and scheduled events. Thanks to the many of you who have already renewed your membership for 2017/18, your support is very much appreciated.

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter

Lisa Lenton

ARC England Director