Warm Welcomes and Fond Farewells - by Sarah Hopkins-Weaver

Having the role of National Coordinator of the SKIP National Committee has been one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done. As the year draws to a close, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the excellent work completed by our members.

This year has seen fantastic attendance at national events, resulting in our members being thoroughly trained in a range of topics and allowing networking between our branches. The impact of this can be seen on the projects and interventions that our branches have run with their Collaborating Organisations, which have been maturely planned and put into action. In particular, our members have been increasingly enthused with topics relating to Research and Development, particularly in the early project phases.

I would like to give a huge thank you to my National Committee: Elle, Jane, Kate, Bryant, Fran, Dilini, Chaitra, Holly and Chelsea. You have worked tirelessly and shown what can result from motivation and commitment. I am proud to have worked with you, I am lucky to call you my friends and I will miss this team dearly.

Thanks are also given to the fantastic Board of Trustees and our Supporting Alumni. Completing work that is vital but often unseen, these individuals devote their lives to SKIP. I am extremely excited to be contributing to the Trustees’ work myself from September.

Words cannot describe the praise that is deserved for our Branch Committee members and their Project Volunteers. Working on the ground with our beneficiaries, they are the heart of SKIP and I hope that they are able to recognise the skills that they have gained and the growth that they have undertaken this year.

Of course, thanks is also deserved for those who aren’t in SKIP, but support its members, such as: our Collaborating Organisations, Alumni, Volunteers’ Next of Kin, Advisors, Keynote Speakers, Donors, and friends, partners and family who put up with our commitment (my SKIP phone calls and meetings this year have ranged from 6:30am to 11pm!).

Finally, I would like to welcome all SKIP members entering into next year; you don’t know what brilliant things you’re getting yourself into! Whether you are joining as a volunteer for one of our projects, entering into a national role or returning into a supporting alumni role, you will have an amazing time and I look forward to working with you.

A new role within SKIP is a key to your future; the charity has changed my life and I look forward to seeing how it changes yours too.