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Mel Hogg, TSI Chief Officer, Voice Pillar

Mel is our fantastic Chief Officer, it’s her job to make sure things are running smoothly and that the team all have the support they need to work towards the organisation’s goals. She leads on the Voice pillar which is all about gathering views, listening to the needs of the sector and championing communities in Perth and Kinross. 

She has extensive experience in the third and public sectors having started out as a police officer before moving into charity work. 

In her own time, find her on her Peloton bike, spending time with her family or watching one of her favourite movies. 

Hi Mel, can you tell us a little more about your role?

My main responsibilities are leading and supporting the team to achieve the objectives set out in the TSI work plan. Another huge part of my role is building relationships with third-sector organisations, identifying gaps and considering how we can best assist to fill them. 
My job is all about ensuring that the third sector is considered in community planning and policymaking by the local authority and government.

What’s your background and how did you come to work with PKAVS?

My background is in policing and I spent a good few years as a response police officer in Forth Valley. More recently I moved to work with Barnardos and Perth Women’s Aid to support women who had experienced domestic abuse. 
In these roles, I was mainly responsible for supporting women as well as the strategic side of things, looking at building the service and connecting with other organisations. I have a passion for identifying gaps and working to resolve them so my role with PKAVS is a dream for me!

What is something that you really love about your job?

For me it’s about making sure that I get feedback from the community, hearing what they actually need and being able to meet those needs through collaborative working and facilitating partnerships. 
It’s hugely satisfying to work towards a goal such as getting a policy change put in place to help people and to watch people reap the rewards of that hard work.

What are the main challenges facing the third sector in Perth and Kinross at the moment?

Funding, funding, funding. I don’t think there’s anything as big as funding!
Rural communities often have less provision of services so it can be difficult for them to work collaboratively and often organisations find themselves working in siloes. There is a challenge around bringing people together better. 
Another pressure on the sector at the moment is a lack of volunteers which is something really every organisation is currently facing.

What’s your favourite way to have downtime away from work?

Exercise! I used to be into CrossFit but these days I have a Peloton bike and, aside from spending time with my family, cycling is my favourite way to have some downtime.

What piece of advice would you give your younger self?

It’s okay to get it wrong and make mistakes along the way as long as you learn from them. 
I still tell myself that!

What’s your favourite day of the week? Why?

My favourite day of the week is Sunday, which is a controversial one, but I love a slow Sunday morning just chilling in pyjamas and cooking a nice breakfast.

What’s your favourite movie? Why?

I have a few favourite movies and they’re all pretty different. Firstly, I’d say The Dark Knight, the Batman movie with Christian Bale and Heath Ledger. I think that movie has some of the best acting I’ve ever seen – I watch it all the time! 
The other two are the original Matilda and Beauty and the Beast. They were some of my favourite movies growing up. My mum has told me that when I was little, I demanded to be called Belle and I would carry a little book basket too. 

What project or goal would you love to work towards with PKAVS in the next year – five years?

I think my biggest goal would be to look at a way in which we could abolish competitive funding completely and promote collaborative working. 
In terms of internal goals, I would love to build the team up enough in numbers to the point where we could have a dedicated member for each type of charity and organisation, for example, minority groups or advocacy work. That would allow us to really dedicate proper time and energy to each community’s individual and specific needs. 

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