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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: Paul Reddish on abandoning his dad in a service station loo!

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Project Scotland's chief executive is doing what makes him happy

What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at work?

Make a strong cup of coffee – and try and plough through as much as I can before everyone else gets in

What makes a working day great?

Being surrounded by such engaged, motivated and committed people who make my job so much easier!

And what turns you into the office Victor Meldrew?

Cold calling sales people

Being surrounded by such engaged, motivated and committed people who make my job so much easier!

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?

I once left my (blind) dad in a service station toilet, and forgot about him until I got back in the car to drive off and realised he wasn’t there! He took it in good spirits but the local service station staff were aghast!

What does your ideal weekend look like?

Quality time with my two awesome children, and a Sunday morning on the bike in rural Scotland with my cycling club.

Do you volunteer?

Lots – it’s the best medicine in life! I have two trusteeships and do a little sports coaching and youth work with young people when I can fit it in.

What’s your favourite film?

The Usual Suspects.

Would your 16-year-old self be impressed with where you are now?

I’m not sure! My 36 year old is me is quite proud of what I’ve achieved but the 16 year old me had quite lofty dreams and ambitions! Think he would say good start to life, but there’s much more to do!

Is this a rung on the ladder to success or your final destination?

Neither. Life’s there to live. Enjoy and embrace what you are doing. If you are no longer doing that, it’s time to find a new challenge. The only person qualified to measure your success is yourself – and the only benchmark is happiness and fulfilment!

Who has been your biggest role model?

My dad. If I achieve 10% of what he has in my life, I’ll have achieved amazing things.

Do young people get enough respect in society?

I think it’s getting better but there’s still lots to do. More must be done to ensure young people have their voices heard, are listened to and have a say in big issues. Until young people are consulted on all big decision that impact them rather than others deciding for them, we’ve still not cracked it. It’s great to see the progress we are making here, but whilst we are also a country that allows the sale of several thousand ‘Mosquitos’ – a young people loitering deterrent and we continue to insist that young people are mature enough to have sex and get married at 16 but not vote for their future, we have to recognise we’ve still a long way to go.

What was the last occasion you socialised with colleagues?

Yesterday! We had a fantastic team away day. I learnt my team included a Cross Country gold medallist, a choir singer and a relation to Brian Cox! … They are even more awesome than I thought on Monday Monday!

Is the voluntary sector a calling or an accident?

For me it’s just what I’m doing right now, but it was probably more an accident than a calling. As long as you are happy, and what you have does purpose you are in the right job and sector. I think the sense of fulfilment people get from the unbelievable things we achieve in the sector is pretty unique and special – I think it’s great people find their way to our sector in lots of different ways. It brings diversity of thought and leadership to what we do.

What would be your one piece of advice to young volunteers?

Do whatever makes you happy, and the rest will fall into place.

Which Brian Cox?

Before Monday’s away day, I would have said the scientist, but feel a loyalty now to say the actor (hope Lisa’s reading this!)