• Gervase McGrath

Farewell message to the Visyon Team


As I began my last week at Visyon I was reflecting on the journey we have made together over the past 2 years and 9 months. Even thinking about the timescale is surprising, it really feels a lot longer than that. Then, when I begin to recall the challenges that we have faced and the achievements over the period, I am lost for words.

As I joined in October we were just saying farewell to the MST team who were being transferred to another organisation and the Emotionally Healthy Schools Pilot was just getting underway. We faced some big financial challenges and yet there was an urgent need to refresh both the premises and more importantly the services we offered to the children, young people and their families. At that time, you will recall that we had a significant waiting list, especially for under-11s.

Knowing where to start is always a tricky question, but getting it right is absolutely crucial for a new Chief Executive. If I wanted to carry the team with me, I needed to understand the organisation, the team and the challenges, as well as the opportunities. I recalled that Simon, the CEO at my last organisation had spent a lot of time meeting every one of the 1800 staff and nearly as many service users in the first 3 months of his tenure.

The result was that in a very short time he had built an in-depth understanding of what made the organisation tick, what was working and what needed fixing. He was able to move rapidly to make informed decisions about what changes were needed and what needed celebrating. He also won the support and respect of the team.