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"Together, I believe the Future Leaders Community can really shape the future of health and safety”

The below article is authored by Joanne Lund (pictured below), Interim Site Health and Safety Projects Coordinator with Allied Bakeries Stockport

Our site national safety advisor at Allied Bakeries Stockport informed me that there was to be a conference held in Birmingham and advised it would be beneficial for me to attend. After much debate and with nagging doubts of walking into a room full of strangers, I took the plunge and clicked “attend”.

The event was IOSH’s first Future Leaders Conference (5 November 2019), tailored for members of the Future Leaders Community. To be a part of the Future Leaders Community, you must fall into one of the following categories: be 35 or under, be a Student Member or have 5 or less years’ experience in health and safety. I was the latter and being in my 30s I was querying if I would be the oldest in attendance!

I have to say the morning wasn’t the best of starts. After waking up with poorly eyes and inadvertently setting off an alarm in my room by pulling down the toggle switch (having mistaken it for the light switch!) I started to think that fate was conspiring against me and telling me not to go!  

I needn’t have worried.

I walked into a room of friendly faces and such a mixture of people wanting to talk and meet each other. Within minutes I had forgotten all about the toggle and my nerves on speaking to strangers had vanished. Attendees were a wide range of ages and there were plenty of people just like me, starting off their careers in health and safety.

Revved up on coffee we were asked to enter the conference room and take a seat. The setup was great as it allowed a large group of us to sit together and exchange ‘hellos’ before listening to a fantastic line up of speakers.

I can honestly say I didn’t want the day to end. The room felt alive and I felt so proud to be part of something. It was great to be around so many people who really wanted to make a difference to the future of health and safety. The sessions were incredibly engaging, from talks around mentoring to the future of robotics in the workplace.

So, if you’re thinking of joining the Community, don’t hesitate! And don’t have any nagging doubts. There is a forum where we can introduce ourselves and from there the world can be our oyster.

I was even recently looking to hire a room to arrange a local meeting for nearby members!

I am so proud to be in a job that can really make a difference and in my opinion the value of our roles in helping to drive health and safety at work is still not fully recognised. Together, over the years, I believe this community can really shape the future of health and safety and this is such a perfect platform, one which I am so thankful to be part of. Thank you IOSH!

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