Policy, recession and exercise

New year resolutions from voluntary sector bosses

Sector leaders are planning to spend 2009 relentlessly pursuing their policy goals, grappling with the effects of the recession and taking a lot more exercise.

This emerges from a Third Sector straw poll that invited senior figures to share their new year resolutions - in defiance of a warning from Mind that such resolutions can be bad for your mental health.

"I've been challenged by an evil friend to climb a 13-metre wall in spite of my vertigo," said Alan Gosschalk, outgoing director of fundraising at Shelter. "And a priority for me is to find a great new fundraising director role."

Joe Saxton, former chair of the Institute of Fundraising and a resident of Keswick in Cumbria, made no mention of work. "I'm going to walk all the Lake District fells I can see from my house," he said.

Kevin Curley, chief executive of umbrella body Navca, focused more on family. "My new year resolution is to spend more time with my two wonderful daughters and less time on trains to and from London, " he said.

John Hilary, executive director of War on Want, brought in a political note. "Mine is to ensure that less public money is given to City bankers and more to those who really need it," he said.

Other highlights:

Louis High, head of campaigns and communications at the NCVO: "In intend to work with the research and policy functions here at the NCVO to ensure that our campaigns are honest, well thought out and achievable."

Clarissa Baldwin, chief executive at Dogs Trust: "Following the TV programme Pedigree Dogs Exposed, mine is to ensure that we find a way to ensure that all dogs are bred with health and welfare in mind."

Toby Blume, chief executive of Urban Forum: "To exercise more - I've been recovering from an operation. Professionally, it's to improve the way we measure our impact and the outcomes of our work and help others to do the same."

David Emerson, chief executive of the Association of Charitable Foundations: "Finding the positives from the economic downturn, and especially making the best use of the experience and expertise of ACF's own members."

Camila Batmanghelidj, founder and director of  Kids Company: "To love, appreciate and adore the Government while relentlessly nudging them into making child protection and the redesign of children's social services a priority."

Leslie Morphy, chief executive at Crisis: "To go and join an exercise class in our Crisis Skylight centre in Spitalfields - and go to it more than once."


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