Monday 6 July 2020

It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself - to those of you that do not know me - as ALARM’s new President, as Wayne’s tenure comes to an end.

I would like to firstly pay tribute to the enormous amount of work Wayne undertook on our collective behalf as President - much of it in his own time. He has certainly left big shoes to fill, but I am glad he remains a Board Director, enabling me to draw on his experience in this role.

I was Chair of the ALARM Scotland Branch for over ten years before joining the ALARM Board nine years ago. The blend of experience in organising local ALARM activity and my more recent experience of the Board will enable me to effectively represent and develop our organisation during my presidency.

I take great pride in stating that I am pretty sure I may just be the longest-serving ALARM member, technically having been a member of ALARM’s predecessor organisation. (I am constantly reminded that means I am getting on a bit!). Of course I am truly honoured to be the first Scottish President!

Challenging times

I write this address during the most peculiar and challenging of times. COVID-19 has required all organisations, and many of you as individuals, to work either in a different way – or in a completely different role as part of your employer’s response to the pandemic. I am mindful too that some members and sponsors have either been unable to work or have been required to shield at home.

As we emerge from lockdown, the organisations that will thrive are those who have been agile in their approach to the current crisis and who have encouraged their workforce to work in an adaptive and flexible manner.

In that respect I intend during my time as President to strive to ensure ALARM is adapting to support you in your respective roles. Local seminars, events and of course our flagship Conference have in most cases been deferred or carried over to next year, therefore it is even more important that ALARM, with the support of the ALARM Office, continues to develop alternative programme delivery channels for you.

ALARM is a fantastic organisation. I have not come across, or been part of, any other public sector member group quite like it in 30 years. It is your organisation. It relies on the fantastic support you and of course our sponsors continue to provide to ALARM and I look forward to the privilege of leading the Board.

Graeme Mackenzie, Service Manager – Community Safety and Resilience, Dundee City Council and ALARM President.

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