As well as being my 18th wedding anniversary, apparently today’s the hottest day of the year so far in our part of the UK. The sun’s shining, the coast-bound roads are busy and I was lucky enough to spend the bank holiday weekend weekend at a small campsite in East Sussex with my family and friends (can definitely recommend Sunday lunch here too).

A weekend away was just what I needed after a pretty full-on few weeks at work. It’s felt like one of those periods when several related threads of work started to come together and make a difference. Professionally very satisfying, but also quite mentally tiring too.

Towards the start of the month I also had my first Covid vaccination, which felt like a big milestone. Felt pretty rough for a couple of days afterwards which I wasn’t really expecting, but was of course just very happy to get the jab and grateful to the NHS staff and volunteers running the centre at Folkestone where I went.

A personal pandemic milestone from early May.

I met up with some colleagues from The Panoply last week in London and have had the pleasure of face-to-face work and some social time recently too. It was great to see people that I hadn’t seen in a long time and meet a number of the team for the first time in person too.

We’re still feeling our way into the new hybrid working model and this was a useful test of how to get the most from the in-person aspect of the new approach. The experience was a good reminder of the value of face-to-face interactions in some kinds of work. It’s something I knew instinctively but the richness of in-person workshops allows teams to achieve so much more at pace than trying to do the same via video or asynchronously as a remote team.

A particular highlight for me this month was the culmination of The Panoply’s Future Leaders programme. The programme brings together business mentoring and training in a number of specialist areas to help young entrepreneurs develop their fledgling businesses. It finished with a showcase where each young person presented their business and the progress they’d made thanks to the programme. The cohort this time was particularly inspiring thanks to their passion for their work and the range of different types of businesses featured.

Last week I also wrote a book review that was published on Enlivening Edge sharing my thoughts on Lead Together: The Bold, Brave, Intentional Path to Scaling Your Business. Coincidentally I also recorded a short interview with author Brent Lowe recently too – it was great to chat with him again more than a year and a half since we first spoke at length about our passions for growing progressive organisations.

Earlier in the month I also attended a trustee board meeting for the Caldecott Foundation (https://www.thecaldecottfoundation.co.uk/) where I’ve been a trustee for several years now. It was good to hear about the progress the exec team there is making, even despite the challenges of delivering education and residential care during lockdown. It’s fascinating to learn new skills in this non-executive environment, particularly one in which I don’t have any professional grounding.

June looks like another hectic month, with some interesting new projects to get underway to help us achieve our bold goals – both commercial and impact – for March 2023. Plus we’ll be finalising our preliminary results for early July and publishing our annual report in late July.

Fingers crossed the sun stays out and I might even sneak a few days working outside if it does. It’d be nice to be able to get some fresh air while working from home a bit more than I’ve been able to over the past month.