I’ll start this as I began my very first piece by saying that it feels like only yesterday that I took up the role of President of Derby & District Law Society. I also take this opportunity to repeat what I said at the Annual Dinner by saying how humbled I am at having been the President for the past year.
Whilst I wanted to do things differently and in my own way, it is essential that we behave as a society should, representing our members and the community of which we are all a part and I believe that we have done that. Throughout this year we have partnered with the incredible Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre, helping them to raise over £2,000 so they can continue to assist the children of our county in times of real need. We have also continued to partner with Derby University to assist law students and more recently, secondary school pupils of inner-city schools who have had the opportunity to learn new debating skills. It is my view that the Society has made a real difference this year and I hope that will continue moving forward. For those who attended the dinner, you will have heard me say that during the School Debating Competition this year, a teacher informed us that all 2018 participants had secured the highest grades possible in their English assessments. I would like to thank Derby University for its continued support. As President I have learned just how important our partnership is.
I am also pleased to announce that as a Society we have agreed to provide financial support to Enterprise for Education (E4) who are a public private sector partnership which aims to link employers with schools and students in a bid to create a better understanding of career opportunities as well as raising aspirations and improving employability skills for young people locally. E4E are holding an awards ceremony on 2 July 2019 to celebrate the success of young people locally and this is a great opportunity for Derby and District Law Society to provide further support to our community.
Whilst there has been a lot of looking outwards this year, we have also continued to work with and support you, our members, and it was great to see so many members at our Annual Dinner. I would like to thank all those who gave up their time to nominate local practitioners who have gone that extra mile. A huge congratulations should go to both the winners of the awards and those who received nominations. It is testament to the amazing work that goes on locally and the commitment that is shown by so many to the work that we do, that the Judges had such a difficult job deciding the eventual winners. As well as being a thoroughly enjoyable evening, it was a celebration for all members and member firms and I hope everyone who attended enjoyed themselves.
The end of this year as President also sees the retirement from the committee of Stephen Woolley and both personally and on behalf of the Society, a special thanks must be made to him for his commitment to serving on the committee for many years as well as his time as President. We are lucky that we have such a thriving junior membership but what many people don’t know, is that until 2012 that was not the case. It was during Stephen’s presidential year that we saw the creation of a previously failed Derby Junior Lawyers group and having worked with Stephen to re-establish the group, I can say that it would not have happened without his unwavering support.
I cannot conclude my time as President without saying the biggest thank you possible to our administrator, Julia. It is not an understatement to say that the Society simply would not function without her.
All that is left to say is how tremendously proud I am to have been given the opportunity to be the President of Derby and District Law Society and to thank all of our members for the continued support. I hope you all support our new President, Martin Salt as you have done me, and I wish him the very best for the next 12 months.