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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.

Fraser Hudghton of IoF Scotland on why he wouldn’t want to be his boss

This feature is about 8 years old

Fraser Hudghton of IoF Scotland on why he hates sticky toffee pudding and on why he wouldn't want to be his boss

What time do you wake up?
My alarm goes off at about 6.30am but until my first cup of coffee I definitely wouldn't describe myself as awake.

What is your morning routine?
If I'm feeling particularly enthusiastic I'll go for a run along the Union Canal by where I live, failing that it's more coffee and straight to the emails then the office.

Is lunch a five minute sandwich at your desk or do you find time for yourself?
Definitely a five minute sandwich at my desk. Lunchtime for me varies anywhere from 12 till 4 depending on what's on the agenda but if I don't eat I get particularly grumpy so colleagues usually demand I get food immediately!

What do you procrastinate over?
The more time I have to play with the more likely I am to procrastinate over stuff that needs doing. I need to be kept busy otherwise it's a typical last minute scramble. I am known for sending emails and working at very odd hours of the day, so staff and volunteers occasionally find themselves receiving dozens of questions and requests in one go.

Fraser Hudghton
Fraser Hudghton

What makes a good day at work?
If I can leave the desk feeling that I've ticked everything off my list I can relax. That feeling of having stuff left over still to do is awful. If we've managed to pull together a particularly successful event or training session it feels like a job well done.

If you were your boss would you like you?
Probably not. I had a conversation with a fellow charity in our office recently about the benefits of having staff who offer different perspectives to your own and I'm sure that's the key to making the best out of any task in hand. I would probably be described as “forthright” and working with someone like myself would to me be a big challenge.

How often do you socialise with colleagues outside the Christmas party?
I think it's very important to build dialogue and relationships outwith the work environment - it means you genuinely feel part of a team that's important to you. Increasingly, I find myself organising social events for all the charities that work in our open plan office but that means everyone is looking out for and helping each other during the day as well - which can only be a good thing.

What's the worst job you've ever done?
When I left school I did a summer job in a factory putting sticky toffee puddings into cardboard boxes. At the start I enjoyed the free cakes we'd get home each day. By the end of the summer I never wanted to see another dessert.

Why do you work in the third sector?
The value your work carries, unlike certain other sectors, is genuinely motivational. Meeting so many people fundraising for charities across Scotland who absolutely believe in what they do, and have their beneficiaries central to every task, is incredible to witness and be part of.

Should there be a cap on charity chief executive pay?
In general I'm not a fan of ordering charities to have artificial limitations on how they are structured - that takes time away from charities carrying out bread and butter work for people in need. Where bad practice exists and boundaries are overstretched it tends to get found out and action taken. With so many people involved and volunteering to make charities a success, instances of inappropriate practices are extremely isolated. For those in high public places who criticise charities work, I'd certainly like to see a mirror put up in front of them to see just how credible their own activities were - and how very transparent charities are by comparison.

Do you think charity fundraisers have been treated unfairly over the past year?
There's no doubt 2015 has been a very tough year for fundraisers. But most important in the whole debate is maintaining public trust. Every fundraiser I meet and speak to does their work absolutely believing it will help someone or a vital cause. When stories of bad practice appear it's hard not to feel resentful that some have let the side down. Coming out of that we need to make sure that charities and fundraisers in Scotland are even more transparent in all their activities - reassuring the Scottish public that all we do has our donors and beneficiaries at its heart.

Describe yourself as a drink ...
A boss of mine years ago told me you should never trust a man who drinks gin & tonic. For that reason alone I'd probably be a Deuchars IPA. Trustworthy and a firm fixture in Edinburgh.

What's your favourite album and film?
My music taste is wild and varied but if it had to be one it'd be PJ Harvey's Let England Shake. Best movie would have to be Disney's Jungle Book - a childhood favourite.

Brian Denis Cox or Brian Edward Cox?
I love my science but I find Brian Edward Cox far too enthusiastic. I was born in Tayside too so Brian Denis Cox gets my vote!



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