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Volunteers’ Week 2019: celebrating committee and board members

Muirhouse Housing Association board members, Bob and Laura, discuss their roles. 

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To mark Volunteers’ Week 2019, SFHA is celebrating the invaluable contribution committee and board members make to the housing sector. 

Today’s board members are from Muirhouse Housing Association (MHA).

Bob McDougall, Chair

Bob joined the MHA Board in 2015 and took on the role of Chair at a particularly challenging time for the housing association. Bob is ‘officially’ retired but leads a busy life as a statutory appointee on the boards of two housing associations as well as being actively involved as a board member with others.

He is a former CEO of two larger housing associations and has extensive experience of working at senior level in local government.

Bob is currently a mentor through the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Mentoring Scheme as well as an assessor of the Institute’s Fellowship Membership application process.

Bob is also a member of MHA’s Audit and Risk Committee, Staffing Subcommittee and is a board member of MHA subsidiary Muirhouse Homes.

How long have you been on the board?

Since 2015.

Why did you join?

I was retiring and wanted to keep involved in the housing movement.

What do you enjoy most about being on the board?

Helping people to improve the quality of their lives.

What is the most difficult aspect about being on the board?

Trying to keep everyone happy when individuals have differing opinions and objectives.

Why would you recommend joining a board?

It’s something intangible around ‘giving something back’.

Laura Calder

Laura is an audit manager, with a background in quality management and performance. She has extensive knowledge of registered social landlords and is experienced in governance and scrutiny matters.

Laura has a post-graduate diploma in Housing Studies and nearly 10 years’ operational experience in housing.

Laura is also a member of MHA’s Audit and Risk Committee.

How long have you been on the board?

Three years.

Why did you join?

At the time I joined, MHA was in high engagement. I wanted to volunteer my time and experience to help strengthen governance and help improve the services MHA provides.

What so you enjoy most about being on the board?

Working with tenants, staff and fellow board members to make real changes to vital community services.

What is the most difficult aspect about being on the board?

Sometimes, we have a lot of information to read in preparation for board meetings. I always make sure I set time aside, so I can review and scrutinise the papers properly.

Why would you recommend joining a board?

It provides an excellent opportunity to make a positive impact on a local community, families and peoples’ homes, while meeting new people and learning new skills.