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Leadership Worth Sharing: Michelle Mitchell, CEO of Cancer Research UK

Welcome to Leadership Worth Sharing, a podcast in which ACEVO chief executive Vicky Browning talks to civil society CEOs about their careers, their experiences and what leadership means to them.

In this episode, Vicky speaks to Michelle Mitchell, CEO of Cancer Research UK. They talk about how the pandemic changed the way we make decisions, how we can now start to think about the future beyond Covid-19, and what leaders and Olympic athletes have in common.  

Scroll down for full transcript

It’s critical that we partner and collaborate with those who can help us go faster, and who share a set of joint objectives. So partnership and collaboration are absolutely critical. And you can find partnerships in the most difficult of times.

Michelle Mitchell

I feel I’ve never had a bigger task or challenge at work than I have had over the last 18 months. And so I felt a huge responsibility, not only to steward but to make sure that we come out of this in the strongest possible way we can. And I felt quite clear and confident that I knew what needed to be done. And that I had a fantastic team of people who felt that too. And so some of the things particularly that have been critical to me, is the speed of decision making.

Michelle Mitchell

Believe in yourself. And never, ever, ever compare yourself to anybody else. I think there lies the road to ruin. Don’t be afraid of setbacks and failures, you’ll learn a huge amount from them. I don’t think careers are linear, I think they zigzag.

Michelle Mitchell

Transcript

Vicky Browning  00:00

Michelle, lovely to see you. Thanks so much for joining me today. Tell me about where you are. We’re zooming. I’m in my attic. Where are you?

Michelle Mitchell  00:07

I am in a cloudy Balham in Southwest London, in my study.

Vicky Browning  00:12

Lovely and lots of intelligent looking books behind you. Have you read them all?

Michelle Mitchell  00:16

I have read them all. And in fact, because so much activity has taken place in this study over lockdown, apparently there’s a number of the team who run competitions to name how many books that they’ve seen on a weekly basis behind me. But yeah, I’ve read them all and it is a real bookcase, because I once did an interview recently for, I think it was BBC or Channel 4. And a presenter said to me What a lovely backdrop you’ve got. Where did you get it from? I said no, no, it is real it is mine.

Vicky Browning  00:50

So you’ve been you’ve been at home during all of this pandemic? The study is the nerve centre of operations then for Cancer Research. Can you tell me you’ve been in the sector for about 20 odd years? So how did you get to run one of the biggest, you know, best known organisations or charities in the UK?

Michelle Mitchell  01:09

I grew up in Merseyside, which is near Liverpool in the 1980s. And I suppose for me, seeing what was quite considerable economic decline, high unemployment, in the community that I grew up with, I had a strong sense of injustice at the bottom of my local street and around the world. And I think that stayed with me throughout my whole career. I mean, I, I came from a very loving family, I had a very happy childhood spent most of my early years dreaming of scoring a perfect 10 in gymnastics. That’s all I thought about, not being the CEO of Cancer Research UK, I wanted to be Nadia Comaneci for many many years. And I think for me, a couple of steps were important. I was the first in my family to go to university, and left Merseyside and went all 35 miles down the road to Manchester and studied economics there. From that then moved to London, worked in Parliament for a number of years for who for Donald Dewar, who was the then shadow Social Security Secretary and after that, shadow chief whip. And I think that experience taught me lots of things, including how politics and parliament and campaigning work. But I did feel that I wanted to put the skills that I had to the voluntary sector. And so then I moved to the charity sector and I’ve had the great privilege of working in a trustee context, volunteering and also as executive in a whole range of charities in my early 20s. I had the great privilege of chairing the Fawcett Society and pushing forward with a range of issues not least gender pay there, spent a number of years at Age UK and ended my period there as the director general. Chief executive of the MS Society, wonderful community often real feeling with that community been left behind, very few treatments, none until very recently for people with progressive Ms. But we saw during that time, a significant improvement in access to effective treatments for people with MS. Also combined with non exec experienced those on the board of NHS England for four years to Danny March. And there seeing the commitment to improving cancer survival to 75% being diagnosed at stage one and two was absolutely critical. That also was of course, a big and is a big ambition of Cancer Research UK. So for me, there are many steps which start with a young girl in Merseyside in the 80s dreaming of gymnastics to through Parliament and charities which led me to, to the role of Cancer Research UK chief executive.

Vicky Browning  04:07

Listening to the progression through different charities, you kind of slightly buck the normal trend, which is with a lot of women leaders in our sector, but they tend to run smaller charities. So we have an inverse proportion of women in the sector to women running big charities, but all the ones that you’ve talked about have been big charities. Do you think that’s changing now? Are you sort of seeing more women coming forward and being appointed in these big organisations and what does it take to be able to run a really big one like Cancer Research UK?

Michelle Mitchell  04:42

Well, I didn’t mention them in the earlier discussion, but I have been involved in very small charities as well, particularly as a trustee. So the Young Women’s Trust, talked about Fawcett Society was the trustee which set up the power to change trust and so uniquely, I think what I brought and bring is I do love charities of all sizes. And I think there’s a role for each and every one of them. And I think many of the skills it takes to run a small charity are relevant to a large charity. But in response to this specific question, you know for me, of course, it’s just a huge privilege to become the first female CEO in Cancer Research UK history. But the way I think about it, I’m sure there were many, many very capable women before me who could have done the job. I just happened to be standing on the shoulders of many women who’ve come before me who didn’t have the same opportunities as I did. And I think there’s never been a greater time of opportunity for women to become CEOs of charities of all sizes, including in the largest. It’s been a big priority of mine, right throughout my career to support staff to achieve their potential and career goals, coaching and mentoring, or a friendly chat, and often with that friendly chat, supporting people to think about what they’re capable of doing. And I’ve always felt that certainly have the skills and experienced vision and strategy to lead big charities. And I encourage many, many of us to do that too.

Vicky Browning  06:28

And what about just in terms of the kind of pressure of it, I mean, you must be incredibly organised, and disciplined, and focused. Is that something you’ve always been? Or is it something you’ve learned? I mean, that little girl that wanted to be the perfect 10, she sounded pretty focused.

Michelle Mitchell  06:43

A couple of things. Yes, I am very disciplined and focused and hard working. I think that’s a given really, I mean, I don’t think you can do these types of roles if you’re not. But I’ve also taken every opportunity to broaden my experience. And I think that has stood me in really good stead. So whether that is a continuing education, you know, quite privileged to then, having studied economics at Manchester went on to do an MSc in policy and public administration, but also went to business school. And each and every step has meant that I’ve broadened my perspective. And, you know, embedded my professional development with academic qualifications. But probably, more importantly, I’ve sought to gain experiences in a voluntary capacity as well as an executive capacity. So I’ve served on a number of boards as a trustee, being involved in local community activity. Always interesting. I often joke, it’s easier to run CRUK than run the small faith group in the local school. And I’m not really joking about that. But but also taking the opportunity to work across sectors, working collaboration and partnership with different people, different groups of people, different sectors, different interests. And I think that constantly looking at different perspectives, how you come together to achieve change, how you collaborate, to go faster, has been a, you know, a common theme throughout my career.

Vicky Browning  08:26

We touched on gender, so women leaders, but obviously, there is a real need in our sector to improve diversity across different characteristics. And I know that’s something you’ve been quite active about at CRUK, I think you’ve quite recently launched your own EDI strategy and policies and actually, there’s some interesting stuff for Cancer Research UK, not just about sort of internal in terms of staff, but also in terms of where, you know, where you focus research efforts. How have you kind of progressed thoughts about equity, diversity and inclusion within, beyond gender?

Michelle Mitchell  09:01

I was pleased that we launched our first charity-wide equality, diversity inclusion strategy in January, and that set out the immediate actions for us we’re  gonna take to drive progress and change. Also really important to set leadership from from the top and make public commitments about what is it we’re seeking to change and hold ourselves accountable for that progress and being honest, that we learn as we’ll go, we’ll be transparent, and we’ll publish progress against that plan each year. And as you rightly say, you know, as the largest independent funder of cancer research in the world, we have a really important role to play in creating a more inclusive, diverse community of cancer researchers. Our information reaches 38 million people every year. So we have a responsibility to make sure that it’s easy to access and it’s understood by all audiences. And our EDI strategy actually touches upon aspects of all of our work and all of our stakeholder groups. So we influence others and work in partnership to address cancer inequalities. And that’s through us by publishing the best evidence and through research that we fund, we’ll make sure the grant applicants, whatever their background can be equally successful. And we’re going to focus on career support and policies that enable this to happen. We’re committed to creating a more inclusive culture and more diversity across our people and leaders. And that means, you know, breadth of skills and experience in perspective, and our leaders need to represent the communities we operate in, and we’ve got some way to go there. Absolutely, we haven’t got that right yet. And being more inclusive, I suppose with how we make decisions, how we engage our staff, volunteers, and supporters, as well as our researchers in all that we do. We’ve also set some ambitious targets about increasing the percentage of women and ethnic minority staff at senior levels, and increasing the percentage of research applicants and grant holders from diverse backgrounds. And I think that that we will become the better charity, because of this, we want to be, we’re not yet, a leader in diversity and inclusion. And because of that, that will help, right, that will help greater progress in our collective fight against cancer.

Vicky Browning  11:30

It feels to me like that sort of desire to do things differently, in order to improve the organisation and therefore the outcomes runs through the way you operate. I think you’ve come into Cancer Research UK with a real kind of drive to collaborate and to work in partnership. And I think to me, as an outsider, that feels quite a change from how CRUK used to be in the old days, you know, before, before your time. You talked about collaboration a bit earlier on that is obviously something that you’re very passionate about.

Michelle Mitchell  12:01

I think collaboration and partnership is absolutely critical. I mean, I hold the belief quite strongly, there’s no one individual, there’s no one organisation, in fact, there’s no one country, that is going to beat cancer make the progress against our mission that’s necessary. So it’s critical that we partner and collaborate with those who can help us go faster, and who share a set of joint objectives. So partnership and collaboration are absolutely critical. And you can find partnerships in the most difficult of times. I’m sure we’ll get onto COVID at some point but, we were so pleased, in the middle of what you know, has been a difficult 18 months or so to have launched a major new partnership with the National Cancer Institute in the US who are the largest funder of cancer research, 250 million pound partnership, where they’re partnering with us on somthing called cancer Grand Challenge, which is looking at funding the best researchers in the world to attack some of the trickiest problems in cancer research. And that partnership has meant that we’re able to do the most fantastic science support and build a network of global leaders, with the hope and ambition that, you know, we’ll have new insights which will transform our understanding of the biology of cancer, and transform the patient outcomes in time and ultimately save lives. So partnership is critical. But also one of the things I’ve been keen to support and the cancer charity CEOs have been so welcoming to me in the role. And you know, we prove the impact of our influencing work through one cancer voice. So we come together as the leading cancer charities, small, large and everything in between to give a collective voice on the issues that matter to cancer patients, to the government, to the media, and to the parliaments and assemblies around the UK. And that united voice, I think, is a very, very positive thing.

Vicky Browning  14:14

And it is, but it’s quite a change. Historically, we’ve probably had cancer charities as in other areas and sectors, all fighting, you know, there was always fighting for the council pound, and you always, you know, trying to compete with each other to you know, in terms of fundraising. So this is a massive, this is a big shift, isn’t it? And it feels like an incredibly impactful one. The idea of your coming together and speaking for the people that are affected by cancer collectively feels like a huge, huge step forward. So you must be really, really thrilled with that.

Michelle Mitchell  14:42

I don’t know the ins and outs of how it all worked before. But I think it’s sensible, right. You know, we have limited resources, we have shared and common objectives. We have to work better to accelerate progress about the things we care so deeply about and rightly, the people who support us, who volunteer for us, who work with us expect that of us. I mean, I think that’s an important part of the leadership role that we need to demonstrate.

Vicky Browning  15:14

And you mentioned so character, obviously, is one of the C words. And if you’ve mentioned the other C word that we’re all obsessed at the moment which is COVID. You only started at Cancer Research UK in 2018. So you had about a year of sort of normal. I guess that really exciting first year when you’re thinking, oh, wow, we could do this we could do that we could do, we could take this forward, I can really, you know, make some exciting things happen here. And then suddenly, wham, we’re all hit by the pandemic. And it’s been, it’s been tough, isn’t it for Cancer Research UK? You’ve had to make some really difficult choices around, around a kind of impact on your income. It’s led to some really difficult choices, including internal and a cut I guess in how much research you’ve been able to fund. How has that been?

Michelle Mitchell  16:00

The first year as a CEO, it was… It’s my lifetime privilege to be the CEO at Cancer Research UK. And I think one of the things is, as a CEO, when you come into the role, you have to assess what is the role you’re actually needed to do? Not the one you wish for, and what’s required of you to lead. And, you know, we’ve all come into organisations, and you have to assess: is my job here to manage excellence and get out of the way to people to do the best job that they can, to create the conditions for that excellence to foster or is it about turning around organisation? Or is it about a radical overhaul? And there are many, many things that Cancer Research UK does extremely well, you know, and I say that with pride, not hubris. You know, there’s many things we do. We have fantastic people, I mean, just amazing people, supporters, volunteers, partners. So my year was, first year was, you know, inspiring, insightful, it was busy, had a great opportunity to build relationships with all those who contribute to our calls are scientists, researchers, clinicians, decision makers, people with cancer, supporters, volunteers, and of course, our brilliant people and the people we fund in our centres and Institute’s and, in many ways that first year was a continuation of the great work that had come before we launched several high profile research programmes including our Cancer Research UK red net, one of the largest ever investments in radiotherapy, we focused on really accelerating progress for one of the hardest to treat cancers through a brain tumour awards in collaboration, actually, with the brain tumour charity. We worked hard to influence government across the UK, so that effective cancer strategies and securing commitments. And the job I was doing, was also building a programme of work to look at the next 10 years of CR UK vision strategy, and in many ways, a feeling of the next chapter for us. But that was paused when the pandemic hit. And we had to change our focus and scope very, very quickly and like most charities, Cancer Research UK was really hard hit by COVID-19. Almost every way we raise money to fund our research was impacted in 2020. Our shops were temporary closed, fundraising events are cancelled. And it’s true, it was it was pretty tough and had to act incredibly quickly. And I took you know, immediate and difficult emergency measures right at the start of the pandemic to ensure our financial stability, and that was temporarily moving all staff on to 80% pay, furloughing 60% of our staff and cutting 44 million from our research programme. What this did, Vicky, was buy us time to very quickly set an ambitious but realistic three year plan to rebuild, I suppose and adapt to the changed world that we saw ourselves in and it was adapt to the change world and have a plan for the future, which is important, not just a cost cutting exercise. Very challenging. I certainly didn’t take decisions around redundancies lightly. We did make significant redundancies. Our staff were incredibly professional, and actually supportive during this period. It was really sad to see so many great people leave but what we did see through that period, is the collective strength of the team pulling together with something you know, I’ll remember for the rest of my life actually, wonderful staff, supporters and volunteers throughout this time, and of course, we’re months into it now. And I’m really pleased to say, you know, from a financial perspective, we’ve performed better than we anticipated in 2021. You know, whilst it’s significantly less than 74 million less than the previous year, we did still raise 582 million pounds, we expected to see a reduction in income of 300 million over three years. But we’re now we’re anticipating that’s 250 million, so better than we thought, and we’re doing better than we thought, in a number of our fundraising initiatives, which means we’re aiming to limit the amount of cuts to our life saving research. So all in all, you know, we feel that now is the time to look to a longer term direction, we have a solid three year plan, we’re in year two of that plan. And we have great confidence that we as the largest charitable funder of cancer research in the world will stay right at the forefront of the global fight against cancer. And of course, we learned a whole lot about how to do things better, how to make decisions quicker, and how to engage our people. And there’s lots of things from this period that I want us to keep several things I’d like us never to have to do again. But you know, it’s been a real process of learning as well,

Vicky Browning  21:25

In terms of the things that you want to keep then. What do you think are the key things that will be different or are now different that have been positives?

Michelle Mitchell  21:35

There are several actually. One was the speed and agility of making decisions. We operated at a pace that we hadn’t before. Throughout the period, there was a really strong sense of togetherness, you know, there was a common goal, high levels of trust. And our people had huge degrees of autonomy to get on and do the stuff that needed doing really, really quickly. And there’s a lesson in that right, you know, what is your real risk appetite? And how do you remove the barriers to let and support people to give their best work? I think being unafraid of change, unafraid of making tough and difficult decisions. And you look back at it with a little bit of hindsight, not quite yet, but you know, some reflections, is many of the things we did, we did quickly. And we’ve been talking about them for a long time. So accelerated progress in a number of areas. And we’ve learned a huge amount around our digital data transformation, of course, our online fundraising. So I think the pandemic has brought many challenges. But absolutely, it’s brought some opportunity for us to refocus.

Vicky Browning  22:53

Absolutely hear you about the speed of decision making and being unafraid of change. But it feels like everybody’s been working at quite an extraordinary pace, and under lots of pressure that may or may not be ultimately sustainable in terms of, you know, workforce well being and indeed, CEO well being. What are your thoughts at CR UK about kind of that transition back into whatever comes next where we’re not in crisis mode? So how do you keep that sense of change and pace that isn’t driven by crisis and isn’t fueled by pressure, but just by desire for impact?

Michelle Mitchell  23:31

Well I think that’s the question we’re all grappling with now aren’t we? Because there are many things about COVID, you don’t want to keep. I think, for us, we continue to work in a flexible and hybrid way. At the moment, with many people working at home, we’re looking to… having introduced a new flexible working policy with high degrees of flexibility, we have to find the right balance between bringing people back in new models and ways of working, which support them to achieve impact. Keep the pace up. Also respect people’s balance. This is a live conversation for us at the moment, we have to build our own plan together, which suits us. And I don’t think any organizations, any of the evidence I’ve read and the people I’ve spoken to really know what that plan is going to be. But all the principles of good leadership and management will apply. And I’m just very much as we work over the summer, we’re looking to do that relaunch around mid September. That has to be co produced right with your staff. You can’t impose it on people.

Vicky Browning  24:37

Yeah, and you talked about that sort of sense of togetherness and connectedness and I mean that feels like that the answer to is that that kind of constant listening and adjusting and keeping that ability to flex but using the channels that you’ve that Covid sort of opened up for us to keep listening.

Michelle Mitchell  24:54

To find out what works and what doesn’t. We, leadership does not have all the answers, we’re gonna have to try and test and see what works and adapt and amend as we enter this next new chapter. I mean, I think, for us, you know, the piece of work, we got a little bit of a sprint going on at the moment, the executive leadership team is… we’re looking at our next 10 years. So we feel actually, it’s the right time… going back to one of the things I had to pause, as COVID hit is, we think it’s the right time to really think about, having done three quarters of the work before COVID, to say, Okay, what is our long term direction, clarify our purpose, our goals, our strategy, and then hopefully, inspire all of our community to get behind this next new chapter for Cancer Research UK, and build a model of partnership, collaboration and effective working with our people. Which means for me, I really aspire to not only Cancer Research UK, doing excellent work, we do, I want all of our people to say, and it’s an excellent place to work as well. And so they’re some of the goals that we’re setting ourselves. And we’ve got a lot to learn.

Vicky Browning  26:19

And what’s kept you going over the last 18 months through all of this? All that all the stuff still going on, while you’re busy rethinking how you’re going to deal with the loss of income, etc, etc. So huge amount due, huge amount of pressure and constant change, how did you deal with it?

Michelle Mitchell  26:36

I feel I’ve never had a bigger task or challenge at work than I have had over the last 18 months. And so I felt a huge responsibility, not only to steward but to make sure that we come out of this in the strongest possible way we can. And I felt quite clear and confident that I knew what needed to be done. And that I had a fantastic team of people who felt that too. And so some of the things particularly that have been critical to me, is the speed of decision making. And that was in an environment that was uncertain, still is uncertain. And there I felt every single bit of experience I’ve developed over the years came into the fore, as well as my academic work. So one of the things in INSEAD and Harvard, you did a case study method, and that the training really is what is the problem? What information do you know, what decision can you make on the basis of what you know, what information do you need to further your knowledge? And that becomes very important training. Because of course, in this situation, you don’t have imperfect, you don’t have perfect information. In fact, you have imperfect information. I think the other thing for me, I mean, I’ve been terribly lucky. I mean, really lucky in my life in so many ways. But we have a wonderful Chairman, wonderful set of Trustees, a fantastic executive group. And so it never felt like my responsibility, it felt like our responsibility, and that team pulling together in a United Way, they’re offering great care and support to each other, I feel, and staying close to the real experiences of people with cancer was important. And then on a probably a personal level, I have two children, I had to find the time to do their homework with them. You know, give them the love and attention that they need, those little people and, you know, the habits that we develop during that period, making sure we went out for a walk when that was appropriate, or a run or a bike ride or having dinner every evening with the family or northern tea actually. So you know, you can’t make them wait until half eight, can you? So we broke from little northern tea, you know, and a good old chat and then one endearing and enduring memory of lockdown is walking, walking, walking, walking, walking, which is a good way to listen to podcasts and all of that, you know, just just some time and reflection and probably as a person, I’m really pragmatic. And so I, you know, it will pass won’t it? You know, it will absolutely pass and what I can do about it is be determined to come out of this as best I possibly could.

Vicky Browning  29:24

What do your sort of hopes for what will come out of sort of broader than organisation? We talked about organizationally, but you know, in terms of civil society or society more broadly?

Michelle Mitchell  29:35

I suppose in July 2020, we set ourselves an ambitious but realistic three year plan to rebuild. And going back to an earlier point I made was, it was never just about the numbers, never just about the numbers and cost cutting. For us it was using this as an opportunity to have a solid three year plan within a new fiscal and financial context. And I’m convinced we’ll emerge from the pandemic a more streamline charity, but in a position to adapt better to the changed world. And, and I think we’ll return to year on year growth in our fundraising by 2022/23. I think we’ll be more focused, I think we’ll have a greater emphasis on investing strategically for the future, there’ll be a number of areas we’re gonna have to contract in, and others that we have to invest in. So we took the opportunity, despite the cuts, to invest in a number of areas, which are critical to our success, the data and digital transformation, we’re building a major programme of philanthropy, we know, our beneficiaries and supporters want much more personalised experiences with us. So you know, getting that better, and, you know, changing workplace culture, which has EDI at its heart, and different contract with our people, which is based more on the flexibility that we want to give, as well as the excellent work that people do. So I think, you know, there’s some great learnings, lots of things that will be different. And I suppose I just remain really hopeful about the future. It’s definitely a glass half full. And I’m cautiously optimistic about the future. So I firmly believe we will remember this as a tough few years in a much longer history at the forefront of the global fight against cancer. And every single person I talk with their determination hasn’t faltered one bit, and I suppose we’re more focused than we’ve ever been to see our ambition of seeing three in four people survive their cancer by 2034. So lots and lots and lots to play for, for the future.

Vicky Browning  31:51

Some final thoughts from me just on you, as a leader. I was really struck by when I asked about how you kind of cope with at all… getting the analogy of, because we’ve just finished the Olympics, of an athlete, you know, who has but, you know, you’ve been you’ve trained and you’ve exercised muscles and then you get to a point where you just need to bring all of that in. And that sort of powers you through the event that you’re you know, that you’re competing in. And you said there at the beginning about how you’ve always just continue to learn and how important that is to you. So that that feels to me, like a real kind of solid piece of advice for other leaders, you know, continue to learn and exercise your leadership muscles, because you never know when you’re going to need that sort of burst at the spring. What are the…

Vicky Browning  32:40

Oh, it’s not all been easy, Vicky! You made it sound like it has.

Vicky Browning  32:45

Oh no, I just think the analogy of the Olympic athlete works because actually, it isn’t easy. It’s hard work. And it’s constant building and building. But is there other, are there other sorts of thoughts about you know, leadership that you would, you’ve learned that you would be interested in sharing with all the people listening?

Michelle Mitchell  33:01

I would for what they’re worth, you know, people have their own perspectives on this, but you know, believe in a better world. And you can contribute to that. Be passionate about something you care about. Choose how you’re going to apply yourself and really raise your voice on the issues that matter to you. Have integrity, and be kind and help people achieve their goals too. Build great relationships at work and keep them and keep them for the long term. Believe in yourself. And never, ever, ever compare yourself to anybody else. I think there lies the road to ruin. Don’t be afraid of setbacks and failures, you’ll learn a huge amount from them. I don’t think careers are linear, I think they zigzag. I think be open to people from different backgrounds who think and act differently. And kind of start with a positive intent. See the good in them. It is often the first premise, isn’t it. take every opportunity, every single opportunity that comes before you and learn new things. And that could be in home and sport and your family and friends and work. But you know, there’s a big world out there isn’t there and it’s full of really interesting things. And I suppose you’ve got to take good care of yourself, your family, your friends, and got to have some fun too.

Vicky Browning  34:23

Absolutely. Thank you. Well, from one glass half full person to another I raise my half full glass to you. What an amazing 18 months you’ve had and thank heavens you were there to steer the organisation forwards. It’s been such a pleasure to talk to you.

Michelle Mitchell  34:40

I would just say, you know, it’s not about me though. Thank heavens, it was a fantastic team of people, a fantastic Board of Trustees, a fantastic group of friends to the charity, all of whom cared so much and contributed so much. It is very much a team effort.

Vicky Browning  35:00

Absolutely, we should raise our half glasses to everybody involved then. And thank you very much for today. It’s been been a pleasure.

Michelle Mitchell  35:06

My pleasure. See you soon.

Vicky Browning  35:08

 See you soon, thanks Michelle.

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