- Laura Blyth
Dear Members, it is with great excitement and honour that I take on the role of President of the Insurance Institute of Ipswich, Suffolk, and North Essex. I thank our immediate Past President Sarah Deacon and our council for trusting me with this responsibility, as not only the youngest President of our Institute to date, but also a Personal Finance Society member.
For my presidential year, I have chosen the theme of Resilience. I made this decision many months ago, with the rationale that we all go through times in our personal and professional lives where we are faced with challenges that seem almost impossible to overcome. I did not realise at the time how prevalent this would be. I will look to embed the resilience theme within the many educational and social events throughout the year.
I have met some truly remarkable people with inspirational stories that epitomise the resilience theme and am keen for our members to share their own stories with us through our social media channels!
In addition to the above I have several key focuses for the upcoming year:
• To ensure that we have events targeted specifically at our Personal Finance Society members; I want to ensure that these members are not forgotten. By raising awareness and encouraging more PFS members to join council, I am sure that we can address the current issue of the PFS being underrepresented.
• To engage more with local Chartered firms; We are your council and your feedback will help us build a programme that you want!
• To ensure that our council is open and inclusive to new and potential members.
This year, I would like to raise funds for a cause close to my heart; the Fabba theatre group in Norfolk and Suffolk supports individuals with learning difficulties, physical disabilities, autism and mental health needs. The focus on progressing in all aspects of performance including voice projection, improvisation, emotion and communicating effectively, provides focus and structure. My younger sister has special needs and I have seen first-hand the time and effort that goes into these productions, as well as the benefit and enjoyment of the members through many teary-eyed performances.
Fabba are a self-funded group that have limited resources for staging, costumes, and transport. Any contribution would make such a difference to an important cause; as many of you will know, there is a severe lack of this type of support and development within our region........ Who knows, with more funding they may be able to introduce more groups!
Our council is built from a team of volunteers that I am so honoured to continue to work with. These individuals give up their time to provide our members with educational and networking events that may not be available in our area without them. I joined our council to push myself out of my comfort zone and would encourage anyone interested to do so; I have found it a thoroughly rewarding experience.
As I move into the presidential role at this difficult time, I am aware that the year ahead may look very different from previous years and is certainly different from how I envisaged. I am proud of our council, our employers, our industry, and our community for how we have all pulled together through the unique challenges that COVID-19 has presented us with. We are seeing whole workforces working from home and new technological advances and changes to our processes that will change the way we work forever.
Please continue to stay safe and follow government guidelines. I look forward to engaging with you all throughout the year (whether that be virtually or physically)