Our Chief Executive, Paul Jenkins retires

At the end of September, after eight and a half years as our Chief Executive, Paul Jenkins is retiring. He will be succeeded by Dr Michael Holland, who starts with us in mid November.

About his leaving Paul said, “I’d like to say some words of thanks. First, to all the staff in this organisation – one of the things I am very clear about is that this is an organisation of very committed people. Long that may continue.

“Second, I would like to thank my colleagues in the Board, the Council of Governors and my own team. I am very grateful for the support I have had, in good times and bad.

“Lastly, I wanted to offer my appreciation of the community of people ‘around the Tavi’. While I’ve worked at the Tavistock, I’ve lost both my parents. I am enormously grateful for the kind words and practical support I received from many people in the organisation around those events, a kindness I’ve seen replicated on many other occasions. We are the best of places when we show that kindness to each other.

“The Tavistock Clinic is a very special place – a unique and distinctive part of the landscape of mental health provision, in this country and internationally. The Trust faces significant challenges, but I strongly believe that the tradition and expertise of the Trust, grounded in the intellectual capital of the organisation, has never been more relevant to meeting contemporary needs. As the composer Gustav Mahler said: “Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.”

“Finally, I’d like to quote something from Dylan Thomas, which sums up some of what I feel about leading and now leaving this organisation:”

Every morning when I wake,

Dear Lord, a little prayer I make,

O please to keep thy lovely eye

On all poor creatures born to die.

And every evening at sundown

I ask a blessing on the town,

For whether we last the night or no

I'm sure is aways touch-and-go.

We are not wholly bad or good

who live our lives under Milk Wood,

And thou, I know, will be the first

To see our best side, not our worse.

O let us see another day!

Bless us all this night, I pray,

And to the sun we all will bow

And say, good-bye - but just for now.