Proudest moments

Nominations for CSP Council are open until 16 May and we hope it may inspire you to nominate yourself for council

CSP Council
L-R Karen Robb, James Benson, Alex MacKenzie, Sarah Morton, Marie-Clare Wadley, Katie Wilkie

Outgoing council members, who’ve completed their four-year term, talk about how it has been for them – what they think have been the top successes for the profession, their proudest moments and how they’ve developed as individuals.

Karen Robb 

‘The profile of physiotherapy during the pandemic and the recognition of the amazing work done by physios across the country has been a success, as has a commitment and enthusiasm for the work on equity, diversity and belonging (EDB).

There’s also the development of the FCP role and the opportunities opening up in advanced practice. My proudest moments include making tough decisions after heated debate in council meetings; witnessing the excellent work done by the CSP and our membership to develop the equity, diversity and belonging strategy; the success of our first virtual conference; and review of council demonstrating the improvements and momentum achieved. I have a much-improved ability to keep high-level strategic oversight and be forward-thinking; better at asking for help and am not afraid to be vulnerable and not know. I have more confidence and belief in myself.’

James Benson

‘The way the CSP council has developed as a group, supporting each other to fulfil our roles, has been a top success. This meant that when the pandemic happened we were able to be flexible, adaptable and cohesive, allowing us to continue working on key areas of CSP’s work, such as the new building and financial stability. There have been many difficult and different decisions that have had to be made. 

I always approached these with the long term view in mind – in 20 years time, can I say that we took the right decisions now? I’m proud to be part of the history of the CSP and hope that the decisions we make now enhance the profession for years to come. I’ve genuinely learned so much from other council members and the CSP leadership team. 

You don’t often get the exposure to learn from such an experienced group of people, who all have the profession’s success as their key goal. It’s been a privilege and has helped me develop in every area of my work.’ 

Alex MacKenzie 

‘The development of the EDB strategy and the new EDB committee was a top success. When we were elected, council was not a very visibly diverse group, which we recognised. However, following the murder of George Floyd, council members accelerated their learning and understanding which set in motion the processes for the development of the strategy. 

This was a co-production, which is different to how we would normally work, but was necessary for this.

A proudest moment was interviewing for the EDB committee, members who had never been active with the CSP before, but felt this was so important to them they wanted to be involved.

It felt that we were doing something right. Also being chair of council and seeing the incredible response and innovations of the profession since Covid first appeared – I am so proud of this response. 

It has been a unique opportunity to see and understand the breadth of the profession. I’ve constantly learned from other members, gaining knowledge of the different ways, specialties and locations they work in. 

Being a council member is leadership in action. My knowledge and skills have exponentially grown.’

Sarah Morton 

‘One of our key achievements as a newly formed council was how quickly we developed into a cohesive leadership team, recognising individual and collective strengths, taking accountability for the strategic direction of our profession and ensuring, through greater visibility and communication, that we would be able to demonstrate the actions we were taking and the trust placed in us.

There were times when we needed to take difficult decisions to ensure we would leave the profession and the organisation in a stronger place at the end of our term of office. 

Financial factors and the decision to adapt to a different model of organisational delivery were not easy decisions, but they were fully and actively debated to ensure as a council we had a sound understanding of all the facts on which to base our decisions.

Our work to fully understand EDB has been one of our most important journeys. Recognising, seeking out, listening and acknowledging is just the beginning. The significant steps we’ve taken in forming the committee will help ensure the full breadth of representation threads through every aspect of the profession and the CSP, to better position us to represent our communities and wider society. I wanted to give something back to the profession I love but I hadn’t appreciated how much I would receive back in turn. Yes it’s hard work, yes there are many hours dedicated out of your own time and yes you’ll feel stretched out of your comfort zone but the investment in you, the learning you gain and the growth you will make are huge.’

Marie-Clare Wadley

‘We have made more members aware of council and its role in representing the membership, which has been vital in supporting members with their concerns and the aspirations. It is through council that the membership has a voice and I believe we’ve been partly successful in being more visible to the membership through use of social media. But we have a long way to go for a wider audience and I strongly believe that this is through the regional networks that we can achieve this. My proudest moment was being elected as honorary president for the support workers. These are close to my heart as it is where I started and I strongly believe that this workforce is one of the most valuable that we have as AHPs. They are a force to be reckoned with and have so many strengths and qualifications in their own right that we must strive to be champions of our support workers across the four nations.

I have grown in my strength as a leader and put some of my personal inadequacy aside - it has helped me to support other people that don’t believe their voice is valuable. 

I continue to strive and support those whose voice is not as loud to ensure the entirety of the CSP membership is heard, respected and understood.’

Katie Wilkie

‘Top successes have been the growth of Physiotherapy UK both in person and as a virtual event; growth of FCP and demonstration of the value added in primary care; growth of the physiotherapy workforce with diversity of routes in to the profession and new education providers; having necessary open conversations around EDB and seeing the development of the new strategy; increased public awareness of the role of physiotherapy and increased strength in our reputation; adaptability and commitment of our profession through the challenges of a pandemic.

Working effectively as our governing body through the pandemic has been a proud moment along with developing as a highly functioning team to be leaders for the profession. 

I’m proud we implemented the governance review plans, saw the new structure thrive for members and the contributions to a corporate strategy that was flexible enough to support members through Covid-19.

I’ve improved understanding of myself as a professional and a leader; increased confidence to be curious, challenge and know that conflict to explore the difficult things can be very positive; interaction with a wide spectrum of members has increased my understanding of the profession in all sectors and all four countries; I understand my position of privilege and started on a journey to be a better ally.’

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