Over the past 5 years I have had the honour of working for the Fragile X Society as CEO. I initially got involved at the Society at the beginning of my PhD, which was researching challenging behaviour in boys with Fragile X Syndrome. I knew that I wanted to get involved in the wider Fragile X community when doing the research, so reached out offering my services as a volunteer. After helping out on the merchandise stand at the conference (all the way back in 2012!), I was encouraged to become a Director of the charity and so enjoyed being able to volunteer to help the charity develop. A couple of years down the line, the vacancy to lead the Society became available. I am so grateful for being encouraged me to apply and was delighted when I was given the opportunity to take on this fantastic role, alongside completing my research.
Working for the charity brings me such great pride and joy, and the role has been so much more than just a job for me. All those who know me will know that the Society and the Fragile X community are such a big and important part of my life. I am grateful to have got to know and work with so many wonderful people and feel genuinely honoured to be involved in such a fantastic community. The staff team at the Society are just the most wonderful, hard-working people who have become dear friends as well as colleagues. In addition, I am always impressed by the work of our board who volunteer their time to govern and lead the charity, through thick and thin- often spurred by their personal links to Fragile X and wanting to make the world a better place for others in their situation. I have also had the pleasure of getting to meet and know so many families living with Fragile X. I have many personal thank yous to make, but will do these directly save this note becoming too rambling and over-emotional!
I’m really proud, too, of what we have been able to achieve together at the Society. Recent years have seen some really tough times for small charities and, whilst it has not been easy, together we have been able to navigate the charity through these. Even in these hard times we have been able to achieve some new and really exciting things and move the charity forwards.
Now, my husband and I have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live abroad in rural South Africa for a year, though his General Practitioner (GP) training. So, it is time for me to move on from my time working for the Society and will be leaving my role as CEO at the end of September. Due to my love of the role and the charity, this comes with a genuinely heavy heart, but coupled with excitement for what the next adventure will bring. However, the end of my employment as CEO will not be the end of my involvement in the Society, and am planning to continue to support the organisation as a Specialist Advisor in a voluntary capacity- so you are not rid of me yet!
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the most wonderful experience of working at the Society. Here’s to the future of this fantastic charity and community.