It’s been eight years since our Working Group was set up under Master Alistair Webster’s guidance and led by the inestimable Master Adrienne Page. For many years the programme has continued to Survive and Thrive.

A contraction in resources made the pivoting to online events desirable and indeed necessary for a time, but with the happy consequence that these have all been recorded and uploaded to the Middle Temple YouTube channel for future enjoyment. Master David Etherington’s interview with the utterly inspirational Master Timothy Dutton recorded on Thursday 3 February 2022 is worth repeated viewing.

Moving back to events in Hall, a very successful event took place on Thursday 30 June 2022. Jointly organised with the Talent Retention Group and ably chaired by our own Master Juliette Levy, the event was entitled ‘The Confidence Trick: How to play, how to win’ and was expertly chaired by Master Ann Hussey with clinical psychologists Dr Anna Colton and Jessica Chivers. It felt like a breath of fresh air on a summer’s day after a long hard winter.

Part two of this event entitled ‘Feedback, Upskilling and Practice Management’ will be chaired by Master Philippa Whipple with Dr Colton speaking. This will take place in Hall on Thursday 3 October 2023, and everyone is encouraged to attend.

Our very own Michael Harwood, Chair of the YBC (Young Barrister’s Committee at the Bar Council) curated and chaired an online event (also to be found on the Inn’s YouTube channel) on Tuesday 22 February 2023 on ‘Climate Anxiety and the Environmentally Conscious Lawyer’, with expert guest speakers Anouchka Grose and Estelle Dehon KC. It prompted an excellent turn out and lively debate in the room and in the chat function. This is a pressing and important topic and fundamental to whether any of us continue to survive and thrive.

As a working group, we reflect on topics that might be of general interest outside ‘black letter law’ and to this end are planning events as diverse as financial wellbeing, another in March 2024 which focuses on dealing with grief and a ‘marquee event’ in the autumn leadership with former Treasury Solicitor Master Jonathan Jones.

We are always open to suggestions for topics so do please feel free to forward any suggestions or comments to me via our excellent officer Gabriel Dorey ([email protected]). We are totally indebted to him for his support and that of the Membership and Events Departments generally.

I wish to thank my excellent team for their collegiality, hard work, and imagination over the last 12 months – in no especial order Master Juliette Levy, Michael Harwood, Karen Reid, Beatrice Collier, Felicity McMahon, Frank McGrath, and Zach Judge-Raza.

Master Louise McCullough is Chair of the Survive and Thrive Working Group. Louise was Called in 1991 and appointed Master of the Bench in 2015. She practises Crime at Deka Chambers. Her interests include Advocacy training, Wellbeing at the Bar and encouraging younger people.