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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Chief encounters: it’s not all play and no work for Freda O’Byrne

This feature is over 6 years old
 

​The chair of Playbase Training is celebrating the launch of the charity's latest course and a new phone app

What is your morning routine?
Several mornings a week I run around Arthur’s Seat with the dog and a pal or two, others I barely get out of my dressing gown if I start straight away handling emails and dealing with computer based tasks.

What makes a good day at work?
Working with people passionate about what they do, meeting new folk and finding common ground and inspiration, dropping in to one of our courses and meeting our students or working alongside friends and neighbours on volunteer projects towards a common aim.

Why do you work in the third sector?
I think it is because I feel that I can make a difference, that small agile community focussed organisations can respond quickly to challenges and deliver benefits right where they are needed, when they are needed. I think that it is also because of the people I meet whether they are from partner organisations or clients of organisations, workers, members of the community, young people, older people, all make every day interesting, challenging, exciting, and diverse. I like to find the links, how it all fits together, how I can learn from one interaction and feed the learning into another.

What are you working on just now?
Playbase Training has just launched its new website and online learning platform and new web app that will shortly be released on android and iOS. So we are getting the word out, linking with other organisations and networks. We are looking forward to welcoming our first online students shortly and promoting the service across the whole of Scotland.

Chief encounters: it’s not all play and no work for Freda O’Byrne

Small agile community focussed organisations can respond quickly to challenges and deliver benefits right where they are needed, when they are needed

Freda O'Byrne

Do you have too many meetings?
Probably, but often they are exciting, challenging and progressive. I try to put time limits on meetings but it depends on the project and on those taking part. Sometimes people need to take time to engage with an idea and discuss it in depth.

Do you ever wonder “what would my predecessor do”?
No. But I do look to others’ ideas and experience and try to avoid repeating mistakes – particularly ones that I have made.

What is your perfect weekend?
There are different perfects. Last weekend was Code the City with @prewired and that was pretty perfect, backpacking with my family would be perfect, volunteering at The Field Duddingston on a work day can be perfect. It depends.

Do you prefer working with volunteers or paid employees?
I have no preference – I like to work with people who can find enjoyment in what they do and share their skills and insights generously, whether paid employees or volunteers.

What scares you most in life?
The loss of a loved one.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?
The one I failed at was as a newspaper girl in the depths of winter when I did one delivery and my fingers got so cold that I was in tears with the pain – I later learned that I had Raynauds disease. I never went back.

 

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