2021 is drawing to a close and we begin to consider life in 2022. When we look back at a year truly like no other in living memory, we can reflect that as society has adapted to new circumstances, we have adapted too. Our services went online, and we helped hundreds or people across Bristol and South Gloucestershire to improve their lives after stroke occurrence. The staff were on Zoom, on the phone, keeping in touch, and providing a point of contact, advice and support to Stroke Survivors whatever they needed. I am proud of the way our team coped, while recognising the sacrifices they made and challenges that they overcame. One volunteer was telling me that this year alone, she has personally sent over 400 cards to Stroke Survivors in her area - just amazing. And a card means so much to receive - it means someone cares. Thank you Sue for your amazing efforts.
Operationally, we moved into a new larger office, taking advantage of an opportunity presented by reduced office working to invest in more space. This will help us in the future as we grow to help more clients across the area. From a staff perspective, we have recruited new staff to position ourselves ready for the influx created by changes in lockdown rules. Our Trustee team has become more diverse this year and has supported the organisation to make steps forward. However, fundraising has been more difficult than at any time due to the effect of lockdown and now rising inflation.
Next year is a big year for us. The Stroke Pathway will fundamentally change, which will see us busier than ever. And as Stroke survival rates improve, we will see more people needing our help. I am extremely confident that we have the right team, and the right leader in Rebecca Sheehy, to take us forward towards the challenges of the next few years. We have to be more innovative around our fundraising to provide the services that Bristol and South Gloucestershire need. But I believe that we are well placed to deliver even better help where it's needed in 2022. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.