24 July 2019
We are delighted to announce Stephen McAllister’s appointment as the new Chair of our board. Stephen takes over from Steven Harte, who has served over the last year as Interim Chairperson. We thank Steven Harte for his service in this role and appreciate his continued support as he remains on our board as a Non-Executive Director.
Stephen McAllister is a former police officer who retired at the rank of Divisional Commander in 2017 after a career spanning 30 years. Despite retiring from the force, Stephen continues to work with the European Police College, providing negotiation and leadership training to European police forces. Alongside his work with Lifelink, Stephen is additionally a Trustee with Samaritans in Scotland and a Non-Executive director with NHS Forth Valley, the Golden Jubilee NHS Trust and the Risk Management Authority. Living in Glasgow with his wife and daughter he enjoys playing golf, watching football and enjoying the company of good friends over a glass of wine.
On the announcement, Stephen spoke about his delight at his appointment, his deep respect for the work that Lifelink does and why he believes that despite a difficult environment our organisation will continue to thrive.
I am delighted to be appointed the new Chair of Lifelink as recently endorsed by the board, special thanks to our interim chair Stephen Harte for holding the fort while I got my feet under the table as a new board member and fully understood the operation of a truly fantastic Glasgow based organisation - one which I have become very emotionally attached to. I was born and bred in Glasgow, it’s a city that I love dearly and one I’m proud to call home, therefore taking over as Chair of Lifelink feels very special.
I first became aware of Lifelink last year despite living in Glasgow for over 50 years and, having researched the organisation before applying to become a board member, I was impressed by Lifelink’s humble community-led beginnings and the true humility of the organisation and staff.
Having been able to meet many of you throughout the last year, I have been enormously impressed by the manner, commitment and compassion in which you deliver Lifelink’s range of services to those in need.
In my experience of both life and work, I have never come across a period in which the type of services that we deliver are needed more. We are in the midst of a mental health crisis - suicide rates increased by 15% across Scotland in the last year - a truly awful statistic, where the death of one person affects the lives of many. We have the most serious drugs problem in the world as those who struggle to cope with the challenges that life throws at them without the means to cope succumb to desperate lives of addiction to block out the pain of their existence.
Where mainstream organisations often struggle to cope with this level of crisis, our rate of delivery, nimbleness and the commitment of our fantastic staff makes us uniquely placed to assist in turning back this crisis by helping to create more resilient individuals and communities.
Our 2019 - 22 strategic plan will focus on delivering innovative services and initiatives that improve mental health and wellbeing, engaging our workforce, growing our business and maximising our financial sustainability. We all have our part to play in delivering this plan. We have a strong, diverse, talented and experienced board and a superb senior management team - whom I will work with tirelessly to ensure we drive this plan forward in a robust fashion in support of all our staff and service users.
I am confident that, despite the challenges we face in unprecedentedly uncertain times, as a cohesive and committed organisation we will continue to thrive.
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