Chief Encounters: Kate Simpson

Messy sink

Kate Simpson, director of Neighbourhood Network, hates to see a messy sink but loves her freetime unplanned 

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25th July 2017 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

What is the first thing you do when you arrive at work?

I arrive around 8am and eat cereal while shifting through my emails. I always reckon this is the most important part of the day when you’re fresh and able to think and operate clearly.

What makes a good day at work?

I’m out most days so a good day is when it’s not raining and I get to spend the day with interesting people delivering interesting projects.  

How often do you socialise with colleagues?

Probably once a month or more. It’s a shared office space and while there are only three of us there’s about 20 in the building. There’s always some excuse for after work drinks!

Kate Simpson

Kate Simpson

What turns you into the office Victor Meldrew?

Folk who don’t clean up the kitchen after them. Tea bags left in sinks, milk on worktops…sometimes it’s like a student flat!

What was the last thing you did that scared you?

Cycling in Edinburgh. Competing with the trams is daunting, especially around the Haymarket area. I’m quite new to cycling so my confidence levels are a bit shaky.

What’s your favorite book?

The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco. It’s an epic novel. I never watched the film: the book was perfect. A film would just do it an injustice.

Who was the last person you kissed?

My mum. I always kiss her when I’m saying goodbye, even when she’s at her grumpiest.  

Are you social media savvy?

In a word: no! I don’t like it, I don’t need it and I don’t care. I don’t have a mobile phone outside of work. I read newspapers and books and watch the news on TV. I get by perfectly well, to the huge embarrassment of my daughter.

Is our sense of community dead?

Anything but. It’s more alive than ever. People are busier and more stressed but there are amazing acts of community kindness across the country.  It’s a myth to think the old days were better, kinder, easier. People just have different priorities. But our sense of community is very much alive and kicking – I see it every day.

What’s your perfect weekend?

Completely cutting off from work and doing unplanned things. I don’t like my freetime being organised or controlled. To me that’s not free.  

Did you plan to do a job like this?

Probably. I was a primary teacher who became a social worker via a two year sabbatical. I didn’t want to work for the public sector again so I looked at the voluntary sector. And her I am.

On a scale of one to 10, who important do you rate life?

Ten for my daughter’s sake; one for my own. Life is ephemeral and death is inevitable. We should embrace that fact more and liberate ourselves from notions of other worldliness.

Which Brian Cox?

Definitely neither.