Resolution 2: Appointment of New Trustees. Candidate Biographies
I am a father of three which makes me a proud dad on good days, but a frustrated parent on others! I’m fortunate that many of the misfortunes that can make being a great dad – money, health and so on – are currently all working in my favour. That makes me feel really appreciative of this and acutely aware that under different circumstances, being a great dad can be really, really tough.
My direct experience of greatest relevance is that I was a senior director at Prostate Cancer UK for seven years and looked after the ‘Men United’ and ‘Movember’ campaigns as part of my role. This means I have had extensive experience of engaging men on difficult issues, and know the power of the father-son and son-father dynamic. I believe these skills would help strengthen your board and offer you my guidance on how you can enhance what you do in particular areas.
As a director of National Trust for Scotland I know how important the interplay between directors and Trustees is. The best Trustees guide, not steer – support, not sneer. I would really want to be a Trustee for positive reasons because what you do as a charity matters and it’s clear everyone is committed to making a difference for all dads, particularly those in greatest need.
My first awareness of Dads Rock came in 2013. Having grown up in north Edinburgh and attended (the old) Craigroyston High School I am always keen to hear of any positive activity in the area, and the Academy grabbed my attention. I have continued to follow the charity’s progress and success.
My wife and I became parents for the first time in 2014 to girl/boy twins. The best, and at the same time, most terrifying experience we have shared together. We have grown together as a family whilst navigating all the challenges and learning that are commonplace for parents. As a dad who has tried his best to be an active friend and positive role model to his daughter and son, I still find myself looking for ways to improve and like many other dads occasionally doubt my skills as a parent.
I was lucky to be able to participate in the Father’s Network pilot employee workshops for new and expectant dads in 2015, and while I may not have accessed Dads Rock’s programmes, I absolutely recognise the importance of the support and encouragement being undertaken to improve the lives, and health and wellbeing of dads and families.
I have professional experience across many of the areas set out in the person specifications and attributes required for the trustee role. Having enjoyed 12 years in frontline public services and the past six years influencing Scottish Government policy and legislation, I can bring broad knowledge and intelligence to the Board that will assist in oversight of the charity’s governance and operational activities, as well as being able to proactively contribute to any future plans that Dads Rock may have in terms of new approaches or expanding programmes.
I am currently Sponsorship Manager of the Care Inspectorate and have established strong relationships with their Executive Directors and Board. Although a different type of organisation, I understand and appreciate the expectations and requirements for robust governance, budget oversight, and planning. My Scottish Government posts have also provided an opportunity to regularly liaise and collaborate with local authorities, health boards, third sector organisations, as well as supporting Cabinet Secretaries and Scottish Ministers.
As my children begin their next adventure in primary school, this affords me proper time to consider contributing to a forward thinking charity that I feel an affinity with. I thank members for considering me for the vacant trustee position.
My son and I were regular attendees at the Dads Rock Granton playgroup when he was younger. Not only did we have a great time, we both gained a huge amount from the activities. It provided me with the opportunity to share experiences with other dads in a similar position, and to build relationships and a support network. I understand the work Dads Rock do and, from a personal point of view, I know how important this is. I am now keen to use my skills to give something back to the organisation as a board member.
As a qualified accountant, with 13 years’ experience reporting to various boards of management, I consider myself to possess the skills to contribute meaningfully to the organisation’s governance and financial integrity. I currently work with Link, a group of housing associations and social enterprises, and my experience includes involvement in the preparation of funding applications, which can also be particularly useful experience in this role.
Board membership would also allow me to use my experience and knowledge in the charity sector, and to focus on the importance of fathers in childhood. I know it can be challenging to raise the required funds to carry out these activities, and I would welcome the opportunity to help meet this challenge and to contribute to the objectives of Dads Rock.