Today is my last day working at Blackwood and managing bespoken. After giving it a lot of thought I decided it was time for a change, and so, I’m going off to teach English as a foreign language in Japan. I wanted to do a short blog post reflecting on my time at Blackwood, so here goes. 

In 2013 I had just finished university with a very fancy degree and found that I was eminently qualified to do very little. The prospect of weeks or even months spent firing off applications left, right and centre filled me with dread, so I decided to use some of my now ample free time to do something productive.

 

The long and short of it is, I started volunteering for Blackwood as a Journalist and Content creator in August of that year. Everyone was very kind and welcoming and I immediately felt a part of the team. The work was interesting. It took me out of my comfort zone (in the best sense) and I relished working as part of a small team. It was a very democratic working environment where everyone, regardless of who they were in the team, manager or volunteer, was encouraged to speak up and help shape the direction of bespoken.

 

After a few months, a full-time vacancy came up and I joined Blackwood’s ranks formally.

 

That was over 4 years ago, and looking back now, as I’m about to leave, it’s very clear how lucky I’ve been. I was given a chance to learn and grow in a sector that does wonderful things to help vulnerable people. I got meet and work with loads of interesting people. I got to learn a range of skills that will continue to serve me throughout my life and I’ve made friends who I will be staying in touch with long after my name has been scratched off the company’s employees register.

 

bespoken has grown its reach over the years and now it touches thousands of people’s lives across the world in over 120 countries. The Blackwood Design Awards has grown from a low-key competition limited to 3 universities to become a major international event attracting amazing entries from all over the world. Blackwood has cemented its reputation as a leader in its sector for its innovative approach to housing and care, supporting people to live life to the full. I was privileged to be invited to attend when Blackwood was recently honoured at the Herald Scottish Digital Business Awards in Glasgow (pictured above). It’s been a pleasure to be a part of this wonderful charity for so long and I will be following its future progress from afar with great interest.

 

To everyone who’s been following bespoken all these years and looking forward to the weekly bulletin, I just want to say thanks for your continued support and don’t go anywhere. I’m vacating the driving seat but bespoken is here to stay, so make it great.

 

Thanks and goodbye.

 

Paul

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