Amazing, brilliant, wonderful, energetic, friendly, thoughtful, kind and of course fairly humid! Some of the words that spring to my mind looking back over the last twelve months as Director of the British Council in Vietnam. I have been amazed by the range of work the team at the British Council has been doing in just the year I have seen them at work – helping more young people with disabilities enjoy football through our Premier League sponsored work, helping thousands of English teachers improve their skills and thousands of students develop their English, working with the Ministry of Education and Training and over 80,000 students across the country on climate change issues, promoting Vietnamese fashion designers at the London International Fashion Show, bringing over one hundred young researchers from UK and Vietnam to build links that one day may create new vaccine treatments or develop new engineering advances. And many, many more activities – all because we believe bringing people from UK and Vietnam closer together helps both our countries prosper, in every sense of that word.
But, as well as having dedicated and motivated professional colleagues at the British Council, we have a huge number of loyal and committed supporters and partners, without whom we could do nothing. So, to all of you thank you for engaging with us – whether it is simply reading this newsletter, taking part in our activities and projects or helping to shape them or to fund them – thank you.
As you might guess, I am saying goodbye. After 35 years working for the British Council it is finally time to start learning more about the United Kingdom. Vietnam has far exceeded my expectations, I have very much enjoyed my time here and it is a wonderful way to end this career. But a new Director arrives in August, Cherry Gough, she is coming from Libya and is looking forward to living and working here. I know you will all give her the same warm welcome I was given when I arrived. And I am sure that with her leadership, and your support and that of the newly arrived British Ambassador, Giles Lever, the British Council in Vietnam will continue to strengthen the links between our two countries.
Meanwhile, please read on – there are lots of interesting things happening, do please get involved and continue to give us feedback and stay in contact.