My first 100 days

Our Chief Executive, Rich Collins, has been with us for 100 days. Here are his thoughts on his time with GAIN.

So, a quick calculation last week showed that Tuesday 23rd April is my 100th day with GAIN. The time has absolutely flown by, and I thought that I’d best celebrate this milestone by reflecting on the last few months, and my time (so far) with GAIN. 

When I first arrived at the charity, I wanted to make sure that I placed engagement and co-production at the heart of the organisation. I have tried to talk to as many people as possible, and the engagement that we have run reached lots of you. This didn’t turn into as many responses as I wanted, but this is excellent learning for me and shows that while we can connect with a lot of people, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they choose to respond or get involved. We need to continue to build trust with everyone, and demonstrate that if someone speaks, then we listen. A massive thank you to those who did respond, and I hope that you will see by our actions that we really are listening. Our engagement activity has also been centred around improving our communications, and people have told me that they want to hear from us more, and for information to be clearer and more accessible. We have revamped the newsletter, and added in a monthly update, as well as improving our social media. I’m told that people think it’s better, but please get in touch to tell me what else we need to do. 

I must say that I was a little shocked when I arrived to see the level and quality of information that we hold. I’m used to having lots of data to look at and analyse, to better understand issues and look for solutions. That hasn’t been the case with GAIN, and with GBS and CIDP. Part of my job going forward is going to be to improve on this, working with the NHS and others to access and use data in a more proactive way. Watch this space. 

A large amount of my time over the last few months have been taken up with looking at our various systems and processes. I must say, being a strategy guy, I’m not a big fan of operational tasks, but needs must. We have revamped our financial systems, as well as our impact measurement and customer relations systems. All very boring behind the scenes stuff, but things that need to be done to run GAIN well. We are looking at policies and procedures next. 

Talking of impact and outcomes, I have been thinking a lot about what GAIN does and what we should be doing. I think we need to be providing more services for people, and supporting people more directly. We have made a number of changes, but will be looking at many new ways of supporting people over the coming months. 

My biggest take away from my first 100 days, however, is linked to the GBS and CIDP community. Wow, what a great bunch of supportive and welcoming people. It has been amazing to be able to talk with so many people from all across the UK and Ireland, as well as colleagues from all over the world, with everyone all working together to try and make things better for people. I’m really looking forward to continuing to work with everyone, and to build more links and relationships. 

So, that was the first 100 days, but what happens next. Well, I really want to focus on a number of things that are key to moving GAIN forward. I want to improve support around emotional health, I want to collect more data and undertake more research, I want to increase the impact that GAIN delivers for people, I want to raise awareness and the profile of GBS and CIDP, and I want to build a longer-term strategy around what we do. Most of all though, I want to continue to try to make things better, with people impacted by GBS, CIDP, and other inflammatory neuropathies at the centre of what I and GAIN do. 

It’s been great to hear positive feedback from people. I hear that people are generally happy with the approach I’ve taken, and the direction I am taking GAIN. But this is your charity, so it’s really important to me that you continue to feed in and support me to take GAIN forward. And, together, let’s see what the next 100 days bring. 

Related Posts

GAIN Update No2

GAIN Update No2

It's been a month since our last newsletter, so it's time for the second edition of GAIN Update. Let us know what you...

GAIN Update No1

GAIN Update No1

Introducing GAIN Update, a new short form newsletter to fill the gap between copies of our quarterly newsletter....