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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: Donald MacLeod can’t see the day charities aren’t besieged and unable to cope

This news post is over 7 years old

The government needs to do more, sitting on a board has become a bit of a gravy train for some and Eastenders makes him sick. Donald MacLeod, co-chairman of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland (NRS) holds no punches

What time do you wake up?
Ah that depends on what time I get home. Around 10-10.30am at the weekend if working the night before, about seven if not.

What is your morning routine?
Up, coffee, fag, papers, coffee, fag. I then consider going to the gym and on the odd occasion I actually go. I drive or take the train to the office and try to be in about 10.30am. I’m usually there till 6.30pm. As the owner of a Holdfast Entertainment group which looks after three clubs, Director of Triple G Music live music promoters, convenor of Glasgow Licensing Forum, Sunday Post columnist and of course co-chair of Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Scotland I’m not short of things needing attended to.

Does your charity have a high turnover of staff?
No. We have quite a small, stable core of managers and staff who have been with us for some time.

How often do you all socialise together?
Not often given the time consuming demands placed on everyone. We all meet of course at our open days and we try and have at least two staff bonding days a year.

We would all be better off if government did more. Then there might not be so many charities who in some cases are besieged and unable to cope with the societies demands

Should there be a cap on charity chief executive pay?
As a non-paid fundraising chair and co-chair of the board of management for NRS, a volunteer for a better word, I, like most of the public, cannot understand why some charities pay out such huge sums not only to their charity chief executives, directors and non execs. Obviously if you wish to stay ahead of the game, remain competitive with an ever growing number of other charities you might have to pay top whack for highly skilled individuals. I also do not expect everyone who works for a charity to be an unpaid volunteer, of course not. Sadly though it seems that for quite a few individuals sitting on a board has become a bit of a gravy train and that has to stop. Recent press and media attention on this subject has muddied all the good work those concerned have done and made the public a lot more sceptical. I doubt a cap would work but who knows. I reckon the charity regulators should become a lot tougher here and draw up a robust set of guidelines that all charities have to abide by.

Is it better to work for a big charity or a small charity?
I wouldn’t know, I have only really ever been with NRS. I don’t regard it as work though, more a challenge and ultimately a joy to be part off.

Are boards the strength of the third sector or a thorn in its side?
If you have the correct board in place, do’ers not shirkers, a board that has an eclectic mix of skills, views and knowledge from people who not only talk the talk but walk the walk then undoubtedly it’s a strength. And they should only be thorn in the side to all those who obstruct and stand in their way.

Would we all be better off if charities did more in our society?
We would all be better off if government did more. Then there might not be so many charities who in some cases are besieged and unable to cope with the societies demands. Sadly I don’t see that day ever coming, well not in my lifetime!

What was the last thing you did that scared you?
Having to visit the hospital for a worrying groin pain. Thankfully I got the all clear. My last electricity bill also scared me.

What’s your favourite album?
I don’t have one favourite but most of Bowie’s albums, especially Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane. I love Rammstein and AC/DC when I want to head bang.

Which do you prefer and why – Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin?
I hate them all but I suppose Facebook. It’s just so bloody addictive, you can’t help looking in to see what your supposed friends are saying and if they agree with your posts or not!

You’re home, fully fed with your feet up – which comes first Eastenders or emails?
A terrible choice here, would have to be emails as I would rather boil myself in oil than watch that garbage. I get the boak just thinking about it, it’s so rank rotten!

Brian Denis Cox or Brian Edward Cox?
Come on are you serious here, Brian Denis Cox, the man is a total legend. That other one is a totally boring starry eyed leg end!



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