Q&A with our new Chairman

Andy Hunter landscape

Andy Hunter this month took over as Chairman of ONE Haverhill Partnership.

Andy, the Headteacher at Samuel Ward Academy, reflects on his hopes for the future and pays tribute to the work that has gone on before him.

What persuaded to stand for Chairman of ONE Haverhill Partnership?

I view this role to be a a great privilege. When I became headteacher at Samuel Ward Academy almost three years ago, I quickly become aware of the partnership and what an important role it plays within our town.

I have always been impressed with how they can galvanise a joined-up response across the community.

If this awful pandemic has taught us anything over the last 18 months, it is the importance of working together. ONE Haverhill Partnership is perfectly positioned to do this and it has a fantastic track record in achieving a real difference.

Given your background in education, will you be looking to place an even greater focus on this?

Naturally, though, education will become a new dimension to our work, not least because our students today will have a role in shaping our community in the future. I see this as a valuable opportunity to form stronger links between schools, colleges, apprenticeship providers, employers and other community groups for all of our benefits.

2021 marks the tenth anniversary of ONE Haverhill Partnership. How would you like to celebrate this achievement?

In the year we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we now look to the future of ONE Haverhill Partnership.

We will be revisiting our Business Plan, something that was always going to be an evolving document, and we will use our anniversary in September to start thinking about new priorities.

I am sure our task groups will still centre around the key themes that affect all our lives – health, education, employment, crime, volunteering and more.

What OHP projects have impressed you?

The LifeLink social prescribing project is a great example and the town should be proud that something that was piloted within our own community has now been rolled out across West Suffolk. That just shows what we can achieve when we work together.

Although my profession is education, that doesn’t mean I intend to change the strategic direction of the Partnership.

How have the last few months been since you knew you were becoming Chairman?

Over the last couple of months, I have been fortunate to enjoy a ‘handover period’ from outgoing chairman John Mayhew.

It has made me realise even more the sheer size and scope of the organisation and how everyone involved in ONE Haverhill Partnership is pulling in the same direction for the good of our town.

It has also made me realise what a great job John Mayhew did in his five years as chairman. My challenge now is to work hard to live up to the standards he has set.

I know I will have the support of a lot of people in doing that. There is a clear sense of togetherness – where everyone works together for the good of Haverhill – and I look forward to working closely with all board members and everyone who wants to secure the best future for our town.