Sat 3 Aug. 2019

President's Message - August 2019

It is with great pleasure I write my first message to you since taking on my Presidential Role at the end of April. I can’t quite believe its August already, 2019 is just flying by.

I’m sure you’ll all agree that Richard Brame did a fantastic job as President over the last year, so I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to him for taking on the challenge, and also for continuing to support the Council and myself as I take on that role. It was a hugely successful year in terms of growing and promoting the Council as well and fundraising and promoting Suffolk Mind, his chosen charity. I write a little more on this further down…

And so to the future! Some of you may have seen my overall message and plan for my year on our website, but if not, here is a quick overview:

Between now and next April my focus will be on Accessibility. This could include:

  • accessibility to employment;
  • accessibility to our industry;
  • accessibility to tools for independent working for those with less visible disabilities;
  • flexible working for those returning to work or for those who care for other people;
  • and access to the tools and training that might be needed to make this happen.

And to kick that all off I am going to ask for YOUR help. This Council works for the benefit of our members and so we’re looking for your experiences to share on the theme of Accessibility. If you have a story you’d like to share with the Institute members, do get in touch with me at because I’d love to hear from you.

Chosen Charity – Lizzie’s Fund

My charity this year is Lizzie’s Fund, in honour of Lizzie Bramall. More information can be found here: and watch out for news on our fundraising events that we hope you will get involved with!

Later this month some of Council will be taking part in the Prettyfields Wine Run (running and wine? Amazing) in aid of Lizzie’s Fund – details are here if anyone is interested in getting involved: do stop by and say hi, we’d love to see you. Lizzie’s Fund is also looking for volunteers to help out on the day if any family members have some spare time.

This year we are also looking to promote the activities of the Insurance Charities:

The Insurance Charities can provide support for current and former insurance employees and their dependents in the UK and Ireland, experiencing difficult life events. Whether it’s one-off help you need or ongoing support, get in touch and see how they can help.

Educational Events

I am delighted to say that we will be co-hosting with Willis Towers Watson, the very first Ipswich Dive In event on the 26th September, when we welcome Kelly Smith MBE to give a talk on The Power of Inclusion. Kelly has more than 100 caps for England and played for Team GB at the London Olympics. She has had two stints at Arsenal Ladies as well as playing in the USA for Boston Breakers and New Jersey Wildcats. She made her international debut in 1995 and retired from the international setup 20 years later after 117 caps and 46 goals, and we really look forward to welcoming her to Ipswich.

Sign up is via the Dive In website: note that you do have to register on the site first.

We have been busy on the Education front too. Over the last couple of months we have had very successful events in both Ipswich and Colchester, on Capacity and the Lasting Powers of Attorney; an update on Defined Benefits; a session on the use of drones in the insurance industry and a talk on Solvency II and the Ogden Tables.

Keep watch for our flyers detailing the upcoming events; our Education committee are working hard to bring our programme of events to life. We’re always keen to hear what you’d like to see more of, so do get in touch with any feedback or suggestions.

If any of your colleagues are CII members but do not receive our newsletters, it would be worth checking their communication preferences on the CII website – there is a specific section for Local Institute communications, and think of all those CPD hours you can claim for the IDD requirements!

Happenings at Suffolk Mind

Mental health is such a fundamental discussion – I’m a Mental Health First Aid Champion here at Willis Towers Watson, so it’s really important to me to keep the conversations going. I’ll be including a section in all of my messages highlighting what’s happening at Suffolk Mind.

First up however, as promised, I really must mention the fantastic total raised by Richard Brame and the Council during his Presidential Year. The team worked so hard putting on a quiz and raising money at our Annual Dinner with a phenomenal silent auction and raffle. Not to mention the efforts of Richard (and myself) supporting the REDJan initiative. My knees still haven’t forgiven me. We are very proud to say that we raised a grand total of £6,001.86 for Suffolk Mind!!!

The theme of the month for Suffolk Mind is Community. I am not ashamed to say that I have stolen this graphic straight from their newsletter as it sums up the feeling of community perfectly. The insurance community in this region is huge and has so much to offer. On the 29th August at 6pm, there is a talk on Community at Quay Place – more details can be found on the Suffolk Mind website.

Apparently there is even a Suffolk Mind sausage being sold at the Suffolk Food Hall!

Until next time, enjoy your summer!


Sarah Deacon