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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: Martin Sime loves Joni Mitchell, poker and the third sector

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Scottish Council for Voluntary Organistions chief Martin Sime on what motivates him and why he'll always work in the third sector

What is your morning routine?
Much changed now that my kids have grown but usually a bus run and Artisan coffee before I hit the office.

What do you procrastinate over?

Why do you work in the third sector?
Always have done, always will because it’s the only place where issues and practice can be brought together effectively.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?
As a schoolboy I worked in a biscuit packing factory in Leith. It was so boring and time passed so slowly.

How do you relax?
Puzzles, poker and cooking.

What was the last thing you did that scared you?
Before I got my knee fixed I was in London Underground in the rush hour and was very worried about getting knocked over.

Would we all be better off if charities did more in our society?
Reverse that question and you’ll see how daft it is, but it’s people doing more that matters, not the structures that enable them

What’s your favourite album/film?
Very traditional – Blue by Joni Mitchell and the Godfather (Parts 1 and 2)

I’d hope to be seen as someone who tries his best and is sensible without being boring

What turns you into the office Victor Meldrew?
Old age. I’ve had lots of time to audition for the role! Seriously though I get very grumpy if anyone thinks that the world owes them a living.

Have you decided how you’re going to vote in the general election?
Yes, although I am increasingly worried that party politics isn’t working for people as it should.

What motivates you?
Lost causes and being patronised (I get lots of motivation!).

Have you got thoughts on what you will do when you retire?
My thoughts are to keep going as long as possible but also to find enough time to travel again. I have a private bucket list.

What is your perfect weekend?
A good movie and meal out, old fashioned shopping and buying and cooking good food, a long beach walk with my wife and a high-quality Premier League football match to watch when everyone has gone to bed.

If you were your boss would you like you?
Maybe not but I’d hope to be seen as someone who tries his best and is sensible without being boring.

Should there be a cap on charity chief executive pay?
There should be a cap on everyone’s pay so let’s fix the ratio between top and bottom. But charity chief executives shouldn’t be singled out for pay cuts – we should be paid the rate for the job just like everyone else.