Today marks four days until the Richmond Fellowship Enrich awards 2019. I’m very proud to have been on the judging panel to shortlist all of the nominations and to now be co-chairing the entire ceremony as well as taking over the Richmond Fellowship Tyneside Twitter account!

To keep up with all of the goings on, follow #EnrichAwards on Twitter

Every day for the next week, there’ll be a new post of ‘60 seconds with…’ someone involved in the Awards. I hope you enjoy!

Name and job title:

Derek Caren, Chief Executive

How long have you worked at Richmond Fellowship?

Six years.

What drew you to this role?

It’s a role that makes a difference to people’s lives – that’s the kind of work I’ve always been drawn to.

What advice would you give to someone considering a similar career?

Go for it! It’s incredibly rewarding and interesting, and definitely never dull.

How do you feel about being involved in the ENRICH awards?

It’s a great feeling – it’s really important to mark people’s achievements and successes. I believe it’s vital to take time away from our day-to-day work to spend time together celebrating and reflecting on how far people have come.

What does a typical day at work involve?

There’s no such thing! Some days I have a lot of meetings with colleagues and board members and other days I am out and about visiting our services or meeting funders, influencers and decision-makes. Sometimes I’m focusing on the quality and safety of the work we’re delivering right now, and sometimes I’m looking ahead to the exciting developments and initiatives we want to put in place in future.

What have you got on today?

This morning I spent some time filling in a senior leaders’ survey about the future

of the social care sector. One of the questions was about the likelihood of health and

social care becoming more integrated – I think that will happen. I’m also discussing

our internal and external communications plans and priorities. I’ll be spending some

time looking at the budget and papers for the next Group Leadership Team while I’m

on the train, and I’m going to make sure I’m up to date with everything I need to

approve in Workday.

What is the best thing about your job?

The variety – it’s such a rich mix – and playing a part in supporting people to get through the challenges they face and rebuild their lives.

What is the hardest part of your day?

The hardest thing is when a contract comes to an end and we can’t find other employment opportunities for staff. If we have to let people go, that’s really tough.

The funding environment is really challenging for everyone now and we sometimes have to make difficult decisions.

What do you usually have for lunch?

I have a tuna and sweetcorn sandwich nearly every day. I don’t eat meat but I do eat fish and it’s my ‘go to’ option.

What do you do in your spare time?

I swim every weekend and, when I can, during the week too. I like reading, usually history as I find it helps me make sense of the world, and I recently enjoyed Maps That Changed the World. I watch football and rugby league – I’m a Man U and Wigan Warriors supporter.

What would your superpower be?

Eternal youth – there’s so much to do and so much to see in this world so I want more time!

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