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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: Myles Fitt on working for a charity close to his heart

This feature is almost 9 years old
 

The Scotland lead at Coeliac UK has a six-year old daughter with coeliac disease

What time do you wake up?
About 6am, woken up by either a cat or small child wanting breakfast!

What is your morning routine?
Feed cats, children and then myself before catching the train into work. I have the pleasure of travelling over the spectacular Forth Bridge every day.

Why do you work in the third sector?
Quite simply, it’s rewarding to play a part in helping those who need support to change things for the better. My skills help to do this and so are being put to good use.

What are you working on just now?
A diagnosis campaign that will launch in May which seeks to find the estimated half a million people in the UK (40,000 in Scotland) that have coeliac disease but who are undiagnosed. Lack of a diagnosis makes those with coeliac disease feel very unwell, with frequent, unpleasant gastro symptoms, and in the long term can lead to serious health problems. It is vital we find these people.

What do you procrastinate over?
Filling in expense forms! I find them tedious and delay completion only to later wonder why I have not been paid anything!

Chief encounters: Myles Fitt on working for a charity close to his heart

If there is something you would like to do with your life, give it a shot. If it doesn’t work out, there is plenty time to do something else.

Is this a step on the rung to success or your final destination?
This is a charity close to my heart – my six-year old daughter has coeliac disease – and I am honoured to be in post and if what I can achieve here takes me further in my career then so be it.

Is it better to work for a big charity or a small charity?
I do not see any difference. The consistent feature for me has been the Scottish dynamic where the work is broad, intense, and multi-functional and so the size of the overall charity does not change that.

Are boards the strength of the third sector or a thorn in its side?
A strength undoubtedly. The insight and expertise offered by a strong, varied set of board members has a very positive role to play in the well-being of the charity.

Should organisations working in similar fields merge together?
A timely question as the breast cancer charity I previously worked for is shortly to merge with another charity! I think where two charities’ strategies and plans start to become the same, they should seriously be considering merging.

Should there be a cap on charity chief executive pay?
No, paying good money is part of the mix of ingredients required to attract the best people for the job. But given the salary is, after all, supporters’ money, then there is a massive onus on charities selecting the right candidate for the role.

Have you got thoughts on what you will do when you retire?
The three Gs – golf, grandchildren, and going to watch Dundee United FC.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
If there is something you would like to do with your life, give it a shot. If it doesn’t work out, there is plenty time to do something else.

Describe yourself as a drink…
People say I am very bubbly so it would have to be champagne!

Brian Denis Cox or Brian Edward Cox?
Brian Denis Cox for many reasons not least for putting my beautiful home town of Broughty Ferry on TV screens as Bob Servant.