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Message from Executive Director, Helen Jones 16 September 2020

16 September 2020

Anyone read anything good over the summer?

In my second week of leave this summer I fell and broke my hip and elbow. Sadly therefore, my holiday reading consisted mostly of the back of medication boxes, leaflets about what precautions I needed to take and exercises I needed to do!!! Not what I had planned!

In my first week of leave, I was far more successful! With Mike Ashworth retiring the three remaining Executive Directors have picked up a number of the Executive Sponsorship roles that he was holding. I am delighted to be picking up the work Mike was sponsoring on climate change. Delighted, because I’m passionate about it.

So, for one of my holiday books, I picked up Greta Thunberg’s book 'No One is too Small to make a difference' for inspiration.

I’ve always been drawn to Greta who, like my own daughter, is autistic which she considers a gift that has enabled her to see the world in what she describes as “black and white”. What she means by that is that there aren’t any grey areas when it comes to climate change:

“Either we go on as a civilisation (black) or we don’t (white)”.

In Derbyshire a great deal has already been achieved to tackle climate change including reducing emissions from street lighting, purchasing electric vehicles for colleagues to use and installing 105 charging points across the county.

We will shortly be producing a report describing how the climate in Derbyshire is likely to change over the next 60 years and we’re holding a number of workshops to develop action plans which will ensure every service and department understands the particular role they can play in tackling climate change.

As Executive Sponsor I hope to ensure we keep the focus on climate change in everything we do. I know many of you will be alongside me doing that.

As Greta says in her book:

“They keep saying that climate change is an existential threat and the most important issue of all. And yet we carry on like before”.

To not carry on like before requires all of us who are passionate about this agenda to keep on leading it in the workplace. I look forward to working with you as we come together to keep this essential focus.