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Solace blog

20th December 2016

Christmas Message from Jo Miller, Solace President

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you all Solace colleagues.

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since you elected me as your president two months ago and I hope you can see that I’ve been standing up for public service and all that we do, promoting the importance of good leadership and working with our next generation to make sure the tradition of excellent public service continues.

I’ve just finished work for two weeks, though will, of course, do my fair share of emergency duty. So it’s an exciting mix of Christmas shopping, fixing up the house, getting excited with the kids and an inevitable glass of wine or two before the main event and inevitable relative run across the UK that follows.

It’s also a time of year to reflect, recuperate and return invigorated in the new year. 2016 has been a year like no other one and we will feel the impacts of for some time to come. Being the people we are, we will, of course, make the best of things – because that’s how the best of things occur. Give yourself a nod and a smile for a job well done and let’s acknowledge the fantastic job our workforce do day in, day out, enabling communities to thrive, looking after the vulnerable and being people people for the people.

I’ve just received an email from one of our communities team leaders, which I’ve read in the hairdressers and now I’m writing this. He told me of a teenage lad taken into emergency out of area care. He had few belongings with him. Our staff dumped the secret santa plan and clubbed together to get this lad clothes, phone, toiletries, and a bike. From their own pockets, in their own time. They knew when and how to step up – there was a need and they responded. Brilliant, brilliant public service. So I’ve smudged my mascara as I read it (note to self: always use waterproof!) and
put it down in this message to you.

Because you will have staff doing this in your places, going above and beyond the call of duty, serving your people selflessly. And those staff have brilliant leaders like you, guiding and supporting them along the way.

So, never doubt, though we rail against the system or things that are done to us, that small groups of committed people can change the world, or at least our particular bit of it.

Rest and relax this Christmas time, and here’s to a resurgent 2017 in which we crack on.


Jo Miller, Chief Executive Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and Solace President