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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Chief Encounters: Maddy Halliday believes money can change lives

This feature is almost 7 years old

The Life Changes Trust chief executive believes the third sector is a calling but can't pick a favourite Brian Cox

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Weekdays – to exercise before work, get to work on time and get on with my day. Weekends – see below!

What’s the best thing about your job?

Being part of an organisation that funds others to do wonderful things with and for people with dementia and care experienced young people across Scotland to help improve their quality of life and well-being.

What turns you into the office Victor Meldrew?

I try not to be… but some things can irritate me, such as errors in reports and documents.

Maddy Halliday
Maddy Halliday

What do you procrastinate over?

Writing a difficult report or paper. I eventually do it and meet my deadline but will often get on with easier and quicker tasks when I should be writing!

What was the last thing you did that really scared you?

I don’t like heights and was very scared on a cable car in Austria some years ago, with sheer drops right down to the valley below. I won’t be doing that again.

Who has been your biggest role model?

I don’t have one, big role model as I learn from and admire many people including family members, friends, colleagues and public figures. However, on a personal level I am inspired by and admire my late mother who had great integrity, was hard working and cared about others. On a political level I am deeply inspired by and admire Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Professionally I really admire and am inspired by Iain MacRitchie, a philanthropist who leads the wonderful MCR Pathways initiative in Glasgow.

They say money can’t buy love but can it change lives?

Yes it can. To date, the Trust has invested just under £21 million of our £50 million endowment. Evaluation of the work we fund to date shows that it has absolutely changed lives for the better.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?

Folding and bagging laundry when I was 15-16 in a large, commercial laundry.

Would your 16-year-old self be proud of where you are today?

Yes, they would. I wanted to contribute to public good in some way even at that age and am glad that I have been able to and will continue to do so.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

Lazy mornings reading the newspapers. Seeing my daughters, other family or friends for a meal. A wonderful walk with my husband.

Do you believe society has become kinder?

I think most people are kind to those they know and love….. most of the time. I think this has been the case throughout history otherwise children, families and communities could not survive or function well. I think UK and other societies have become kinder since the Second World War as human rights have become more widely accepted and realised, although there is much more to be achieved and human rights have to be constantly fought for.

What is your favourite film?

This is a hard question as I have many. If I had to choose one, it would be Blade Runner – a dystopian view of the future but stimulating and challenging. Blade Runner 2 is coming out soon and I am looking forward to seeing that.

What happens when the Live Changes Trust has spent its £50m endowment?

The Trust will continue to invest its funds in many wonderful initiatives up to 2023, when our £50 million will be spent. But this won’t be the end. Our funding will have empowered our beneficiaries and created opportunities that will enable them and others to achieve continuing progress beyond 2023. We will share evaluation with others so that they can use our learning to support wider and longer term improvements to practice and policy.

Is the third sector a calling or an accident?

A calling. I love working in and for the third sector, although I also believe in the need for greater collaboration across all sectors to achieve public good.

Which Brian Cox?

Oh dear, can I have both? I admire Brian the scientist for his ability to communicate science to everyone. I admire Brian the actor for his great acting skill, his social conscience and contribution to Scotland.