Partnerships are essential for a strong civic society

I was honoured to be invited to speak at an Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce event on 10 November, entitled Building The City, Building Your Business. The theme of the day is how we can grow a more inclusive, socially-just city by developing strong business and third sector partnerships.

Preparing for the event has made me realise just how important partnerships are to the growth and development of Leuchie House and how fortunate we are to have so many inspiring and engaged partners involved in nearly all aspects of our work at Leuchie.

Our Advisory Board is a great example. It brings together the heads of Scotland’s leading charities for people with long-term conditions – MS Society, Parkinson’s Society, Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland and more.  They offer us their insights on the latest developments and key issues affecting many of the people who come for breaks at Leuchie. This helps to keep us informed about the things likely to matter most to our guests, such as advances in research, or new treatments, or policy changes. In return, we share our experiences of caring for the people their charities represent, feeding back to them many of the day-to-day issues they and their carers face.  

Then there’s our partnership with Queen Margaret University which has opened up exciting opportunities to work together on research, student placements and the development of new courses focused on person-centred practice.  By joining forces, we can help develop the next generation of nurses and allied health professionals, equipping them with both the academic and practical skills they need to join an integrated health and social care workforce.

There are so many other partners I could name - large and small, from the private, public and third sectors. They all bring something different to Leuchie and all get something different in return. From our side working with partners is invaluable in keeping us connected, and to ensure we're continually learning and developing.

Interestingly the other keynote speaker at Friday’s event is Leeann Dempster, Chief Executive of Hibs football club. Now there’s a partnership my husband and sons would be very happy for me to cultivate!

By Mairi O'Keefe, Chief Executive, Leuchie House. Published in the East Lothian Courier on Thursday 9 November 2017.