Archive for March, 2013

March 23, 2013

Farewell to Beryl

It was both a pleasure and a sadness to go to Beryl Foster’s retirement party this week.  A pleasure because it was a great reminder of just what a special person she is – leading the charity Standing Together Against Domestic Violence for many years, staying resolutely positive in the face of relentless challenges, and being a quiet and long suffering mentor to many newcomers to the world of DV (including me).  The air was thick with compliments to Beryl – all of them sincerely meant.  She epitomises integrity, wisdom and kindness – mention was made of a steely gaze at times but I think that this is just imagined!  Certainly CAADA probably wouldn’t exist if it hadn’t been for her encouragement and support to me personally and to the organisation in the early days.

But there was sadness too.  People like Beryl are pretty special and her approach (‘praise people a lot’ and ‘keep listening to women’) is not found very frequently. Her vision in the early days regarding specialist courts, support for women and children, partnership work and embedding good practice were so sensible but equally very brave at the time.  So, this blog is just to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Beryl, to acknowledge her contribution nationally and to make a resolution to try not to forget her wise advice.