Final CEO Courier column

This is my last column as CEO of Leuchie House.  At the outset, to become a Courier columnist was a new challenge for me, and a slightly daunting one. It has at times been a struggle to think about what to write - relevant, interesting, dealing with sad issues with empathy, but not overwhelming, not contentious and definitely not political!

However, through this column in the last few years we have shared many issues, celebrated many events, admitted frustrations in health and social care policies, rejoiced in innovative Scottish ways of working, recounted Leuchie stories and introduced some of our guests to you. I have discussed our fundraising events, shared the trials and tribulations, highs and lows of funding challenges, and told you about some personal celebrations that came my way through my role as CEO.

I hope that through my fortnightly meanderings and ruminations, if you know or meet someone with a long term condition, or if you spot a Leuchie vehicle out and about, you will remember something from this column and understand a bit more about what they are facing.

As you can imagine the last few weeks have been rather emotional, particularly saying farewell to Leuchie guests I have known for many years. I have been honoured to share their challenges, have their trust and confidence and know that the Leuchie team make a huge difference to their lives and the lives of their families.  As I mentioned in my last column, my greatest wish is that the Leuchie model can now be replicated throughout Scotland, allowing many more people to benefit.

I am delighted to be handing over to new CEO, Mark Bevan, who I know will lead Leuchie House into its exciting next phase.

It has been a privilege to share Leuchie life with you, and to evidence to you just how vital your support has been in making such a difference to so many people each year. Leuchie House would not have survived without the backing of the people of East Lothian and it’s hard to articulate just how grateful I am.

Mairi O'Keefe, CEO, Leuchie House. Published in The East Lothian Courier, 25 October 2018.