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April 2023

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I’m a ping-a-phobe. There, I said it.

What was once an addictive iPhone-administered dopamine shot has seemingly overnight mutated into a day-disrupting and often heart-stopping reminder that, no matter where you look, everything is on fire.

Ping! Direct contact! Ping! Climate emergency! Ping! Inflation rise! Ping! Strikes in the UK! Ping! Strikes in France! Ping! Major flooding! Ping! Properties are even less affordable! Ping! Staff shortages! Ping! Jersey’s two top Health bosses resign! Ping! Shock departure of Government of Jersey CEO Suzanne Wylie (P80)!

With the chimes of doom coming ever more frequently, building to a grim crescendo, is it any wonder that the calls for change with every fresh sign of crisis, chaos or upheaval get quicker, louder, and more aggressive each time?

But, as the iPhone adrenaline drains, sometimes it’s worth pausing and reflecting on whether, in every case, a root-and-branch overhaul is really what’s needed or, if, treading softly, some green shoots can be found lurking in the debris left by the latest storm.

While Mrs Wylie's departure will no doubt leave another wound in the public service, there are hopes that her calm and collaborative approach – succour for those battle-worn by OneGov – will have left a mark. That Mrs Wylie acted so quickly to open a review into longstanding allegations of bullying in Health, and that the complex task of leading the creation of a new Cabinet Office was largely achieved without hook or crook, has also been seen as evidence of a positive culture shift. Green shoots.

So, as the island looks to recover from this latest blow, rather than revolution, maybe we instead turn our focus on regeneration? Restoring, renewing, taking the roots of something good and making it better.

This month’s magazine explores regeneration in many forms.

Our cover stars are a vibrant young couple, who have ploughed all their savings into a former organic farm in the hope of reviving a dormant industry, while playing a part in helping Jersey reach its eco targets and bolster its food security (P4).

Ahead of May’s planning inquiry into £150m proposals to revamp the Waterfront, we trawl through 30 years of regeneration plans, ranging from adding a Magistrate's Court and church to creating a luxury new marina (P12).

No Ordinary Day Job focuses on the reinvention of the humble coffee cup (P53), while homelessness charity Sanctuary speaks of helping one islander rebuild after a shattering mental health diagnosis (P40).

And Jersey Water CEO Helier Smith (P26) shares the utility company’s plans for safeguarding our most precious, renewing (ok, stretching it too far) resource long into the future.

Ignore the chimes of doom, and enjoy Connect.

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