End of Year Message 2022

Warmest wishes from all of us at Start Network, Christina Bennett, CEO and Suzanne Lyne, CFOO.


Time to read: 3 minutes

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Dear Colleagues,

What a year to be a Start Network member!

If we thought that our gradual exit from the Covid-19 pandemic would bring with it calmer waters then we were wrong! As we finish 2022, we can look back on a year that has seen major international conflicts divert our capacity, strategic focus and funds; that has brought climate emergencies offering a catastrophic glimpse into a potential future; that has delivered global supply chain disruptions and global inflation, making our jobs harder and more expensive. The communities we are working for and with are requiring more, while the donors are challenging us to deliver more, and all with less and less funding. 

A remarkable year

Set within that context, the achievements of our Network are all the more remarkable. I want to take this opportunity to reflect on some of the incredible efforts that have been made and to share with you some of my highlights of 2022:



However, we have also not been immune to the financial pressures that are being placed on our donors. Despite a year of incredible achievement, FCDO informed us last week that they will be cutting our funding in FY2022/2023 with expected additional cuts in 2023/24 as part of wider pressures from the UK economy and the war in Ukraine. While not positive news, FCDO was emphatic that we fared better than most – reflecting the value seen by FCDO in the Start Network and the Start Fund. 

In true Start Network style, we have sprung into action, working to reduce costs across our budgets and increase income generation from among our 11 existing donors and many more new prospects. We are also reaching out to allies within the UK government to help them make our case internally. 

As we work through the implications of these cuts, we want to stress that we are fully committed to minimising any reductions to the Start Fund pot, Start Ready risk pool and other member-facing services.

Onward to 2023

If 2022 has demonstrated anything, it is that we have a fantastically resilient and adaptable organisation. Moving into the new year, we know we can rely on our courageous and unstoppable team, and on you, our committed members, to figure this out and continue to achieve great things together – for ourselves, for our network and for communities around the world. 

Happy holidays to those celebrating.  And to all: onward and upward in 2023!

Warmest wishes,

Christina and Suzanne