In Your Shoes - Jenny PatersonAll members Prev: Caroline Rochford Next: Keith Haggart
Jenny joined Breakthrough in March this year having previously been the director of the National Autistic Society Scotland. Originally from Co. Antrim in Northern Ireland, Jenny moved to Scotland 25 years ago to study sociology and social policy at Stirling University. She has worked in the third sector for 20 years and has held senior leadership roles in some of the largest social care charities in Scotland. Jenny is currently a trustee of the Scottish Womens Autism Network (SWAN), and has just been appointed to the board of the Associciation for Real Change UK (ARC UK) and to the role of chair of ARC Scotland. Jenny is passionate about social change and doing work that makes a real difference. When not working Jenny loves having family time with her husband Allan and two children Alex (9) and Anna (7). She is also surreptitiously plotting to relocate to Dundee and has been known to enjoy a glass or two of NZ Sauvignon Blanc.
GOOD MORNING SCOTLANDMonday 01 October 2018
My morning started at 7am when I stepped off a flight from Kuala Lumpur having taken part in CSC Leaders, the flagship programme from Common Purpose that brings leaders from across the Commonwealth from the private, public and not-for-profit sector to learn from one another and build Cultural Intelligence (CQ). I first took part in CSC Leaders in 2016 which significantly shaped my leadership journey and it is no coincidence that I have ended up leading Breakthrough - we’re all about cross-sector working which is the core of Common Purpose.
Aside from being freezing, I’m still very much downloading my experiences in KL and there’s every chance I’ll share some of my reflections here but today is all about trying to stay awake past tea time and catching up with my kids, who took all of 8 seconds after I walked in the door before asking what presents I’d brought home for them…
AGE IS BUT A NUMBER…Tuesday 02 October 2018
Against the odds I managed to sleep until my alarm went off at 6am and I was back at my desk in sunny Dundee by 8am. Still very much reflecting on last week’s adventure and so thankful to have had the opportunity to take part.
Malaysia is in a new era as they’ve had a change in Government for the first time in 61 years. I absolutely love that the election was won through engaging with young people. The incumbents had the mass media in their pocket but no control over social media which the opposition used to reach unprecedented numbers of people. Last week I met Syed Saddiq at a reception with the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, who at 24 is the youngest Government Minister in the world and a real inspiration to young people in his country. Syed’s boss, the PM is 93 which just goes to prove that age is but a number…
JET LAG AND UNICORNSWednesday 03 October 2018
Woke up unamused at 4.30am and gave up trying to get back to sleep and was at my desk in Breakthrough HQ by 7am. Many cups of strong, black coffee were consumed which helped set me up for productive internal meetings over the course of the day with HR and the learning and development team. I also met with Ellis Watson, chair of the Breakthrough board of trustees. Anyone who knows Ellis will perhaps understand that I couldn’t ask for a better chair and he is a fantastic source of support to me in my role but I also often leave our meetings thinking ‘what just happened?’
I rushed home to take my 7 year old to hockey in Stirling and afterwards baked a cake that needs to look like a unicorn by Friday. That I missed her actual birthday last week because I was away is a whole other blog entirely…
MEETINGS AND MATCHMAKINGThursday 04 October 2018
I had a brilliant morning with the four newest members of Team Breakthrough and it left me buzzing after hearing about the overwhelming response they’ve had from young people and also how welcoming the staff in each school have been. After lunch the team had a really successful matching meeting during which we use the profiles we’ve developed of young people to match them with prospective mentors and today we made 6 matches! Scott, our coordinator in Baldragon Academy practically skipped out the door.
I received a letter from Fiona Duncan, the chair of the Independent Care Review, to thank me for meeting with her a few weeks ago. Fiona also asked me to arrange an event to enable Breakthrough’s young people have their say in changing the care system for the better, which is such an exciting opportunity for them and something to look forward to.
HAPPY FRIDAYFriday 05 October 2018
I worked from home today, partly because ‘Operation Unicorn’ kept me awake until the wee small hours but mainly because I have a board report to write and I *really* need to crack on with it.
I was thinking today that it’s already been 3 weeks since the V&A opened which was huge for our young people who not only had a ‘sneak peek’ tour on the Friday and a private meeting with Nicola Sturgeon and tickets to the 3D festival but the following day 3 of them were the first ‘offical’ public visitors to the V&A – a weekend they will never forget!
One 13 yr old told me afterwards, “People like me never get asked to do anything like this, we get skipped over because we’re in care but I’ve had a great experience.”
I rarely need reminding why I do what I do but when moments like that come along they really are priceless.
Happy Friday everyone.