End of 2023 Review
Nearly there…just 5 more working days to go until the Christmas break. This has been an incredibly long term for staff and children in schools, everyone is flagging and in need of a holiday!
As the end of the calendar year approaches, it’s time to reflect on 2023 and look ahead to the new year. All in all an incredibly positive year for Moving Matters, which saw the business grow 27% in 2022-23, working with more schools, more children, employing more coaches and moving closer to our target of working with 20,000 children a year by 2026!
At the start of this year I had just completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 small businesses course and have this year worked through implementing our growth plan. It has not been without its challenges and just when you feel you’ve built a more robust business model, things pop up that create further bumps in the road.
The levels of resilience you have to have to run an SME in this sector are multi-layered. In September we had 8 new coaches start but going back in January we will have 4 new ones as replacements for staff who have left the role for a multitude of reasons. We want to ensure a greater level of staff retention going forward into 2024, but in my years of experience operating a business, it is impossible to get everything right. We endeavour as much as possible to support all schools, children and staff as best as possible and we’ll continue to evolve and improve to enable us to do that as effectively as possible.
I have had my own personal challenges this year, which has been a cause of great distress and a huge distraction. Life and business are inextricably linked but I aim to run Moving Matters with a level of transparency, which means I share my personal challenges and vulnerabilities with the team, to enable others to best understand. We aim to create this culture within our company and fully understand the impact of life outside of working hours.
Particular thanks to those within the MM leadership team who have supported me in some of those more challenging moments in 2023.
We will be saying goodbye to some great coaches this Christmas; Eden Blake, Samuel Anifalaje, Craig Palmer and Levi O’Neal-Dawson. Thanks to Eden and Samuel who whilst only having been with us a relatively short time have made a positive impression in their schools.
Craig Palmer started with us in April 2022 and since September of that year has been providing specialist PE teaching at Landsdowne special school, building great bonds with the children there and providing those most in need with the support they need to do PE and stay active.
A special mention to Levi, who started with us in 2018 as a mature apprentice, looking to re-train and find a greater level of purpose in his working life. He advanced quickly through his apprenticeship and into full time employment as a Primary PE Specialist, working across multiple schools but building a particularly strong bond at Telferscot primary school, where he taught for many years. In April he was promoted into a Senior Primary PE specialist role and this academic year took over the running of our competitions programme, which has seen increased participation this year. A fantastic advocate for Moving Matters and a diligent professional, we are sad to see him and the others go but wish them all the very best for the future.
We’re delighted to have recruited some brilliant new coaches, who will start their roles with us in January.
As a result of Levi leaving we have promoted Tom Lodge into a Senior Primary Specialist role and excited to see him join our leadership group and build on the positive start to his MM career.
The challenge to get more children active remains as big as ever (see article below), so we are as focused as ever on improving the quality of the services we offer schools and families, to truly inspire the next generation through PE, sport and physical activity.
A big thanks to the Moving Matters team who work in schools, at our disability programme and soccer school improving the lives of young people, you all do a fabulous job.
I would finally like to wish all the Moving Matters community a very Merry Christmas and prosperous 2024.