Lynda Armstrong: an appreciation

Lynda Armstrong OBE steps down at the end of this month after seven years as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the British Safety Council.

During that time Lynda and the trustees have overseen the strategic re-positioning of the British Safety Council, steered much needed business improvements and revitalised our long respected and influential voice for health and safety.

Other significant trustee departures have also taken place. Kevin Myers CBE, formerly deputy chief executive of the Health and Safety Executive and Mike Owen, managing partner of the Owen Morris Partnership, both of whom took up their trustee roles in January 2009, step down having completed their terms of office.

Both Kevin’s and Mike’s contributions over the past eight and a half years have played an important part in helping ensure that the British Safety Council is ready and able to deliver its strategic and business goals.  

Lynda Armstrong

As chair, Lynda has provided a much-needed firm hand during a period of significant challenge and change. The British Safety Council is operating in a highly competitive business environment. The services we provide to our thousands of member organisations and their employees – advice, audit, awards, events, publications, training and development and qualifications – have, and continue to face, fierce competitive pressures. Lynda was ever alert to these pressures.

Lynda was an excellent ambassador for the British Safety Council, whether it was delivering the keynote at one of our UK events, speaking at prestigious conferences in the Middle East and India, representing the British Safety Council at high level meetings with ministers and HSE or engaging face-to-face with our member organisations at one of our awards events.

Lynda did this with assurance and aplomb. She was also instrumental in the formulation of the programme together to celebrate our sixtieth anniversary.

During her tenure Lynda has also helped to ensure business continuity during a time of testing financial challenges. She has led sound, sage and brave management of significant changes in the composition of the executive team.

Lynda and her fellow trustees never lost sight of the importance of having in place an executive team with the skills, expertise and commitment to deliver not only the organisation’s business goals but one that did not lose sight of delivering its fundamental charitable objectives.

While the work of the trustees of a charity sometimes goes unnoticed, the importance of their contribution in guiding, advising, supporting and sometimes, when necessary, cajoling, should not be understated. Lynda and her trustee colleagues carried out that role to great effect.

Mike Robinson, who took on the mantle of chief executive in August 2015, valued Lynda’s support in pushing the organisation forward.

“For a new chief executive, the relationship with the Chair is a critical one, especially in terms of the support provided to allow the chief executive to start adding value quickly. From ‘Day one’ Lynda has been a very supportive Chair and has provided very sound counsel – especially in relation to some of the new strategic initiatives, such as the establishment of a local operation in India and the launch of our new mental health charity, Mates in Mind.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Lynda during the final two years of her very successful tenue as chair of our remarkable organisation.”

Mark Hardy, a trustee and deputy chair of the British Safety Council, who served alongside Lynda during her seven years as Chair, warmly appreciated her contribution.

“Lynda has done an outstanding job during her time as Chair to ensure the British Safety Council adopts a professional and commercial approach to all its activities. This has ensured she leaves a healthy and vibrant organisation that is well respected both in this country and overseas.

“We have an excellent management team that is willing and able to adapt to the changing times and Board of Trustees that is well equipped to move the organisation into the next phase of its development under the new Chair Lawrence Waterman. On behalf of the Trustees we welcome Lawrence, a good friend of the British Safety Council, to this important and exiting role.”

Neal Stone is former deputy chief executive of the British Safety Council