06 Feb 2017 | Posted In Bob's Blog (MALG updates)

Following the announcement of our 2017 conference date and venue, we have some sadder news. MALG’s secretary Maria Wadsworth, who has been supporting the organisation in this capacity for the past 12 months, is planning to set sail (quite literally!) and will be leaving us in April. I’m sure all of you who have dealt with her over the years will be as sad to see her go as we are but we wish her all the best on her travels.

This means that we are on the hunt for her replacement and she is leaving some big shoes to fill! But first, I’ll hand over to Maria to bid her farewells…

A farewell message from MALG Secretary Maria Wadsworth…

Setting sail

There’s a lot going on in the world at the start of 2017 and no-one can predict what will happen next. In that spirit, my husband and I have taken the decision to (semi) retire and sail the oceans on our boat, Lady Jane, from June.

Our route
We’ll be going from the teeth chattering cold of Portsmouth harbour to a shorts and t-shirt life in the tropics. There’ll be wind in our sails and rum punches in our hands come December when we make landfall in the Caribbean.

‘Sail south until the butter melts’ is the conventional wisdom shared by the old salty sea dogs plying the trade routes in their square riggers – so that’s exactly what we are planning to do. We will be sailing to France, on to Spain, then the Canaries and on to Cape Verde to pick up the north easterly trade winds to blow us towards Barbados. And if we like it we may not return!

The future of MALG

But what of MALG? Casting my mind back to the pre-MALG days of 30 years ago, when this organisation was a mere twinkle in Anthony Sharp’s eye, we see a very different picture of the organisation today. As inconceivable as it sounds, money advisors and creditors were loathe to be in the same room, let alone sit down and agree on what would later become the debt and mental health guidelines in place today.

MALG membership was restricted to associations and organisations, and this was based on a relatively informal structure to allow the organisation to morph according to changing times.

Fast forward to the present and we see the polar opposite in terms of engagement: Not only are the old adversaries speaking with each other, they are engaged in truly constructive dialogue to foster improvements in our industry for the greater benefit of everyone involved.

Many of these changes have been made over the last year, which have seen MALG incorporated as a limited company, the election of a Board of Directors, the formation of the Executive Council – and the creation of clear policy documents. Membership is no longer restricted and through the creation of the National Business Membership, the MALG door has been flung open to individual business members – including solicitors and bailiffs. Who’d have thought it? This is the first step towards widening membership to others to seek broader diversity and representation from all sectors of debt and credit and advice.

It’s been quite a journey and I am very proud that I have been able to play a small part along the way.

The great thing is that the difficult decisions have now been made and the laborious work involved in digging the foundations upon which MALG stands today has been done. And we now have great support from a team of experts in branding and marketing who will be able to help build MALG to even greater heights – shaping things for the next 30 years. I may be back from my travels then!

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Bob Liz, the Board and the Executive Council. They are a great team and I wish them all the best.

MALG Secretary vacancy

Of course, what this means in practical terms is a job opportunity has arisen. If you are interested in the position of MALG secretary then please contact me on 07710 497819 or by email at maria.wadsworth@malg.org.uk and I will be happy to discuss the role with you.

Follow my sailing adventures

And if you want to follow our sailing adventures, you will be able to see where we are at and what we are up to, at www.untilthebuttermelts.com

Wishing you all the very best, wherever life takes you. Maria