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Chair's Christmas Message
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Hello to all our Members and Subscribers of our newsletter and mailing lists


Firstly, on behalf of the UKASFP and all our committee members, I would like to extend my best wishes for the festive season. However you choose to celebrate, and whatever meaning it gives to you and your families, I wish you all the best for the holidays and for 2020.


I have been a committee member of UKASFP since June 2015, and Chair since 2016. I am halfway through my final year in both roles. As I reflect on the last four and a half years, I must pinch myself at the progress the association has made, and look in awe at the industry of our members and the achievements they have enjoyed.

At the close of the decade, I am remembering some awesome conferences. These precious experiences when we all get the rare opportunity to spend a couple of days together. They have all been different in character, emphasising the diversity of ideas and the creativity within the SF movement. We have enjoyed some wonderful guest speakers, and inspiring workshops. We have visited some beautiful towns and cities and stunning venues.

So, I would like to thank all the conference organisers, who have undertaken this project on a completely volunteer basis, giving of their time and energy so that members can have an incredible experience, and the association can enjoy some much-needed income. As a delegate, it is easy to underestimate the challenge each new organiser faces. Expectations rise every year and conferences become more sophisticated and contributors bring ever more developed ideas. So, the fact that we attend an evolving, ever more professional event, that provides us with essential support as practitioners, trainers, employers, and coaches, is a great privilege. Especially when we know that it is produced as a labour of love. To all those who have taken on this challenge, my hat goes off to you.

I am also in awe of our members who have developed the accreditation programme to such a sophisticated degree. As someone who has experienced this as a customer, I am truly amazed at the value and meaning it has given to me as a practitioner. Not only was the process smooth and professional, but the quality of feedback was unbelievable. What really struck me was the generosity of the people who had been involved in the programme; the added feedback and encouragement, the sharing of ideas and good practice, the amazing generosity and quality of supervision. Our community is quite unique and special. It has humbled me many times, and inspired me to want to contribute myself, albeit in a more administrative capacity. My thanks go out to everyone who has contributed to the truly awesome accreditation programme. It continues to grow and develop, with new members contributing all the time.

My final reflection is on the progress of our communications and website. The transformation from my early days as a committee member to the current situation is seismic. Once again, I have many talented and skilled individuals to thank. And once again these are people who have given of their time as volunteers. Astonishingly, in some cases this has included people who aren’t even members. I put this down to the infectious spirit of community that exists among the SF world.

I would like to thank all the individuals who have served alongside me on the committee, as well those members who are far more educated in the history of the UKASFP who generously guided and mentored me throughout.

Central to the 2019 conference was the theme of hope. My last thoughts in this message are cognisant of this tenet so central to our approach. I look forward to 2020 and beyond with great hope, and not a little expectation. We see the global respect and recognition for our approach grow every year. We note the growing body of evidence of the effectiveness of our work. Most importantly, and very personal to me, is the difference we see our work make to the lives of the people we work with. I am very optimistic for the future of SF, the UKASFP, and its many members.

I posted the comment below on Facebook as a ‘sparkling moment’ from this year’s conference. Now I think about it, it summarises my experience of the last decade of being immersed in the SF community.


“My sparkling moment? The many individual conversations with people who are not only smart but stand out because of their interest in other people’s continued flourishing. The shared interest in the well-being of others, was moving and inspiring.”


Jim Bird Waddington - Chair UKASFP