On 4th November 2017 friends and colleagues gathered to mark the official opening of our clinic by Sir Saeed Zahedi. More than 60 friends from the prosthetics and associated industries and professions came to celebrate the occasion with the Proactive team, taking the opportunity to tour the facilities and catch up with each other.
For the formal part of the day Richard started by thanking all for being there and acknowledging that it has been 18 months since Proactive moved to the new clinic. He had, he mused, been waiting for a knight to come along to do the honours! There was plenty of reminiscing over the past years in the industry. In particular he thanked Peter Lewis, who was his manager at Blatchford for many years, for loosening the reins enough to give him opportunities but not enough to hang himself! He also thanked Stephen Blatchford for the support in helping to set up Proactive in the early years and Marcel Bertet for being the constant guide on ‘how it should be’ in prosthetic care. Richard mentioned two absent friends. One a patient, David Wilkie, who sadly passed away a year ago. A relentless business and family man who never let his amputation slow him down, becoming a friend and snowboarding buddy. The other, his father in-law, John Coleman, who sadly passed away nearly 3 years ago and whose quote in times of trouble was ‘this may be the best thing that ever happened’ and ‘you don’t know how lucky you are!’ He was an architect who would have loved to have been involved in the development of the clinic building.
There were ”BAFTA award’ style video clips from Sophie Kamlish who thanked Richard for helping her to break her own world record and become 100m world champion at the World Para-athletics this summer and from Richard Whitehead MBE, from the finish line of the New York marathon.
Saeed gave a philosophical speech about the Proactive journey to a building aptly called Innovation Place with a business motto of ‘making more possible’ before declaring the clinic officially open.
Stef Reid also made a speech about her relationship with Richard and Proactive in helping her to achieve her long jump world championship gold medal.
The formal proceedings were followed by drinks and substantial canapes amongst the buzz of animated conversation.
We would like to thank all those who came to celebrate this special occasion.