Musings on being awarded Public Servant of the Year

2012…well what a year that was, and I didn’t think it could get any better, but it just has!!

In public service, you work all your life trying to make things better for the community you serve, trying to make their lives a little bit easier, a little bit happier and certainly more fun and in 2012 when the challenges were at the highest the opportunities to achieve our duty became more and more apparent and more and more possible.

When I look back and do that reflective thinking I learnt so well to do on the Leading Learning Programme, I don’t just think…No… I actually have to pinch myself…just to check whether all of what happened here in Merton really did take place!  It was an awesome year and just great to spearhead that year.

From Olympic & Paralympic Games to Torch Relay to Borough Group Support Unit to funding bids to community investment to community & business engagement to business as usual ! And then, of course there was the little matter of the visit to the borough of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Philip.  There are so many fun filled moments and telling people about them still creates laughter for people who weren’t even there.

Well this work, this pleasure gained me Merton’s own accolade of Employee of the Year 2012 and following that one of my managers, Francis McParland, put me forward for the Guardian Public Servant of the Year Award and with Merton on board the application was on its way… and the rest is history… you all voted for me so THANK YOU for your support, it really is much appreciated.

I bet though you are all sat there thinking why her? And I guess I would be too in your shoes!  This is the way it is though…you never ever know what opportunities are around the corner and we all know that we make our own success through managing our performances, driving to achieve excellence and as true leisure & cultural sector professionals we take the world and our communities with us on the way.  Right time, right place some may say, but what I would say to you is whatever you put in, you will get out…My real pleasure was hearing all the joy throughout the year, dealing with compliments rather than complaints and laughing with Merton’s people as we took our journey together.

I am not anything special, I am just one of you, but I did create my own opportunities and deliver against promises…and I will continue to do that knowing that more opportunities will arise and more fun will be had… Of course, it is not always all rosy and of course we all have our challenges to overcome, but if we can all be resourceful and work together I still believe that we can ‘Always Look On The Bright Side of Life” because on the whole those are the services we do deliver!

Stay positive, ever hopeful and carry a great big smile…we are all winners and always will be.

Christine Parsloe, Leisure & Culture Development Manager, London Borough of Merton and cCLOA Advisory Panel Member