Published: 11 November 2021

By Hilary Reynolds CBE, CEO, AMRC

I was five when John Denver released Leaving on a jet plane – it was one of the many songs we sang in the family car on long journeys. This phrase came straight into my head when I agreed to write a blog as I leave AMRC.  

Back in February when I stepped into the CEO role I didn’t know how long I would be here.  So I set myself four aims – to be very present for and be a real part of the staff team, offering them calm, coaching-style and supportive leadership during a period of uncertainty; to be a strong advocate for our members and the sector with our partners and stakeholders; to be a safe pair of hands for the organisation’s finances and governance; and to help AMRC recruit and induct its next CEO in any and every way I was able.  

Looking back, it’s clear that AMRC has achieved a huge amount in 2021 - a period of considerable external and internal uncertainty and change. I’m proud of the team and the way they have continued to show their talents and focus at every turn – from delivering professional and impactful reports; contributing to sector wide activities; engaging with stakeholders and partners across a range of issues; influencing the government to support the sector financially through the pandemic (albeit in a short term and limited way); hosting training, awareness and discussion events; to supporting existing members and enabling new ones to join, whilst all the while keeping us running smoothly. All of the busy-ness has had individual purpose, and collectively it has contributed to consolidate AMRC’s position as a trusted and expert sector voice worth listening to. 

And despite continuing to work remotely from each other, the work we’ve done on ways of working and our office etiquette and the ways we’ve used a variety of comms channels to stay connected has kept the team strong and cohesive. 

None of this is down to me or an individual success – it’s all about teamwork; but I hope my own personal legacy has been to deliver on my four objectives by providing an environment where everyone (staff and members) has been able to thrive, feel safe and trusted; knowing that decisions and processes are transparent and working well to support them. 

As well as departing from AMRC, I am also leaving the world of full time paid work. After over 30 years in public service and a further 5 in the charity sector, I am hanging up my workwear and moving into the first stage of retirement. It’s been a privilege to serve as AMRC’s CEO and more broadly as a public servant. The greatest privilege of all has been to enable and watch staff grow and flourish in their work and realise their potential.  

I know I am leaving AMRC in good hands with Nicola Perrin’s arrival as CEO. It’s an organisation that has the power to do good for its members, the sector and of course patients and our wider society and I look forward to watching it from a distance.  

And as John Denver finished by saying … 

Now the time has come to leave you.

Every good wish,