Leadership Blog: Pat Armstrong, Chief Executive, ACOSVO "To live will be a wonderfully big adventure" J.M. Barrie

It’s almost a year now since I started this blog and wow has my world changed.

Those of you following my adventure blog will know that I was taking a couple of months out to travel and reflect on my leadership role and how we balance our work and life – and find adventure in both.

In short, my husband took ill in New Zealand in January (10 days into our trip) and after a hard fought and courageous battle with cancer, sadly passed away in August.

So, my year of adventure didn’t quite go as planned.  I’m still coming to terms with losing David but he was the one who was always looking for the next adventure (and the more interesting route) and I feel it only fitting that I remember him by continuing in that vein.

Lessons learned:

  • The world is full of kindness and will show itself when needed most

  • Although being an eternal optimist can sometimes be very annoying for the people around me (so I’m told) it really does help when the going gets tough

  • Work / life balance / integration will all fall into place if you really need it to (an understanding board and work colleagues really helps though)

  • Everything changes but nothing changes. The world continues to turn and there is comfort in the familiar.


Adventure plans to look forward to:


  • I’m doing a Tough 10k for Cancer Research UK in David’s memory  and to raise funds for cancer research.

    Find my page here. I’m sure he’s going to be laughing at me covered in mud

  • I’ve just signed up for the MacMillan Mighty Hike. If you want to join me and hike the beautiful West Highland Way, you can sign up below.


  • I’m thinking about a fundraising adventure trek in 2017- and enjoying considering which one to do. Suggestions welcome – and if anyone fancies joining me and making up an ACOSVO team, just let me know (Great Wall of China and Costa Rica treks are current favourites).