Chief Executive's Blog - At Phoenix we believe in being the best

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1 March 2016

At Phoenix we believe in being the best

‘’That is why we constantly strive to learn and to innovate, to challenge ourselves, to adapt and work together with others who can bring valuable expertise. Being the best doesn’t mean wanting to be the biggest it means giving the very best of ourselves to achieve our purpose.‘’

(Phoenix Values and Beliefs)

I had one of those moments last week that made me very proud to be part of an organisation that has this as a core Value and Belief.

All of us I am sure want to feel we are doing the very best we can. But it’s all too easy in the current environment to think we aren’t doing a good enough job;

  • Significant cuts to funding mean that people are presenting to our services with increasingly complex needs, in poor physical and mental health because other services can’t support them

  • More people are dying because of their drug use than ever before, many of them never having accessed drug treatment

  • There is an increase in the number of drug users living on the street and remaining homeless even after they have started treatment

  • There is less money for providers to run services forcing them to make hard decisions about which services they run and the staff they employ

  • We have seen horrific examples of abuse in places people should be cared for, making us all want to prove, without doubt, that will never happen in our organisations

So it may seem foolish to set ourselves the challenge of being the best – perhaps it is an open invitation to criticism, or even setting ourselves up to fail?

You hear lots of people say that delivering any type of social care in this environment is ‘challenging’. I’ve stopped using that word, it feels too anodyne to me.

Trying to deliver good quality responsive services with less and less money, services that must keep up with the increasing deprivation and vulnerability of people who want our help, is just hard.

But …

It is not as hard as deciding to stop using heroin after 25 years and 6 prison sentences.

It is not as hard as facing up to the abuse you have suffered as a child which has led you to living a lifetime on the street selling sex for money to fund your drug habit. 

It is not as hard as admitting that you need help to address your drug problem so you can be a good mum to your 4 kids.

And whilst people living those lives have the bravery and self determination to want our help, we will continue to have the passion and commitment to support them as best we can, for as long as we can …No matter how hard it gets!

Phoenix Futures was placed 47th in the Sunday Times Best Companies Not for Profit list 2016.

Karen Biggs

Chief Executive - Phoenix Futures