ACOSVO - Good for Your Health!

"I am now a firm believer in one simple truth - as a third sector leader, being part of ACOSVO is good for your health!" - ACOSVO Board member and Director of WEA Scotland Jayne Stuart reflects on the benefits of her membership...

I can't count how many times I have arrived at an ACOSVO meeting or event feeling just a bit frazzled, stretched in a hundred or so different directions, and thinking I don't have time for anything other than the most pressing and urgent.

I can honestly say that I CAN count each time I've left feeling uplifted, inspired, supported, less isolated and really back on track. It happens EVERY SINGLE time.

Whether it's spending time with my peers, or the fact that I always end up talking to positive, forward looking and inspiring people, I am now a firm believer in one simple truth - as a third sector leader, being part of ACOSVO is good for your health!

At a recent ACOSVO board meeting, we spent time reviewing new member applicants. A common theme emerging from the question 'why are you joining?' was the short answer - 'to reduce isolation'. This got me thinking about why I joined many years ago, after taking up my first third sector Chief Executive post at the tender age of 31! Of course it was to reduce my isolation, to gain the help and support needed as a young - and let's be honest, pretty naive - woman, and to find my path more clearly by learning from those who had gone before. How lucky was I to have this opportunity?

Safe to say, the learning journey I started back then continues now. The challenges are similar - they just seem to get a bit bigger, more complex, somehow more pressing. The benefit to me of being part of the ACOSVO network hasn't just been to help me over the challenges and hurdles (I imagine most of us came into the third sector ready to face the challenges), the real benefit has come from moving my attention from challenge and difficulty into a creative, solution focused and inspiring place.

In moving from isolation to connectedness, I find I move from 'head too full, time too tight, stress too high, urgent, change needed, quick, do, now....' to 'breathe... think... imagine... laugh... renew my energy' and I move forward.

My pulse slows, the panic is over, I can see a way forward.....ACOSVO is good for my health.