Top award for charity founder

Published by Third Sector News

Written by Gareth Jones

A Scottish charity leader has been recognised by the country’s captains of industry.

Iain MacRitchie of MCR Pathways was named SCVO Third Sector Director of the Year at the Institute of Directors (IoD) Scotland awards.

The awards recognise creative and inspiring leadership at organisations of all shapes and sizes. This year’s ceremony took place online due to Covid-19 restrictions, with the awards presented by Grant Stott.

MacRitchie was recognised for his passion in supporting young people through the school-based mentoring programme. He founded MCR Pathways in 2007 to address the outcome gap between care-experienced young people and their peers.

He said: “It is a huge honour and privilege for MCR Pathways to be recognised in this way and to highlight all the fantastic work that goes on across the third sector.

“I have had a career in overcoming challenges but none more important and more needed now than ensuring our young people are determined by their amazing talent and potential and never their circumstances.

“What our third sector does each and every day drives both social and economic benefit and is inspired and inspiring. It takes a depth of motivation, commitment and resilience – values that will help transform our country and make sure no one is left behind. I feel increasingly passionate and humbled by what our sector does and the incredible impact it makes.

“We will use the awards and do whatever we can to ensure the third sector gets all the recognition, resources and respect that it so richly deserves. And for MCR Pathways, we simply won’t stop until there is no difference in the education outcomes, job choices and life chances of our care experienced and most disadvantaged young people compared to any others.”

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) chief executive Anna Fowlie said: “Iain is a worthy winner of the Third Sector Director of the Year. With MCR Pathways, he has made an amazing contribution to the lives of young people in Scotland. He has shown that voluntary organisations change lives and we can all learn from his exemplary leadership approach, his commitment and his dedication to making Scotland a better place.”

Sarah Deas, of the Bank of Scotland Foundation and Wellbeing Economy Alliance (Scotland), was named Non-Executive Group Director of the Year and Simon Milne MBE, of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, picked up the Public Sector Director of the Year. Lynne Cadenhead, of Women’s Enterprise Scotland, received the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion award.

Malcolm Cannon, national director of the IoD in Scotland, said: “In times of crisis, we still see an incredible amount of tenacity and drive shown by those leading Scotland’s business community. Creating and leading organisations that are built to thrive is vital in this current environment. With more external forces placing a strain on the viability of businesses like never before, they require leadership that can steady the ship, and that benefits their employees, customers and stakeholders – to whom they are responsible.

“We were overwhelmed by the number of entries this year, and our judging panel had the tough job of whittling down almost 200 entries to just 54 final contenders for our prestigious awards. Amongst our winners, we were most impressed by those who, despite their position, are not afraid to continually develop and actively encourage training to keep ideas fresh. By creating vibrant and positive cultures, leaders are motivating their teams to improve their organisation. This is no mean feat given current market conditions.”

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