Chief encounters: RNIB Scotland’s Campbell Chalmers

Bible again

RNIB Scotland's Campbell Chalmers on socialising with colleagues and taking inspiration from the Bible

21st June 2017 by TFN 0 Comments

What makes a good day at work? 

One where I am able to meet and speak with customers, volunteers and staff, and here about the difference RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) makes to the lives of blind and partially sighted people in Scotland.

Do you socialise with colleagues outside the Christmas party? 

I often socialise with colleagues when we are away on development days and at conferences; because RNIB is a UK-wide charity when we get together we often have to stay over so it is a good chance to catch up. 

What's the best thing that's happened this month? 

RNIB recently undertook an internal restructuring and my new area covers Scotland, the North East and North West of England. I recently successfully appointed three experienced network managers to lead the three networks in those areas. The role of networks is to connect and amplify the voice of blind and partially sighted people. Empowering and enabling a ground-up movement to see a real shift in power, creating a community and organisation that are connected to work as one. 

Campbell Chalmers

Campbell Chalmers

What's your favourite animal? 

It would have to be my pet rescue cat Bonny (now 17 years old); she is always able to create a sense of calm after a hard day's work. 

Do charities do too much in the health sector? 

No. This seems an odd question for someone who has worked in health for over 30 years. The need for sight loss charities involvement in the health sector is only increasing as we see increasing levels of sight loss with an ageing population and high rates of sight-threatening health conditions such as diabetes. 

Would your 16-year-old self be proud of where you are? 

I think so, at 16 I had an ambition to be a nurse to help and make a real difference to people; so I am lucky I am in a job where I still am able to do this.   

Is Facebook your friend or your enemy? 

Both; I am not on Facebook at home however RNIB is part of Facebook at work which I find is a really useful way of connecting with staff and volunteers who are spread geographically. It enables me to share messages, information and photographs of things I am part off. 

What's the best book ever written?

The best book every written would have to be the Bible; the sacred text forms the basis for the teaching and inspiration of my faith. 

What does your perfect weekend look like? 

Relaxing at home with family and friends and having time (and good weather) to potter around in my garden which I love. 

If you were your boss would you like you? 

Yes, I hope so; probably some of my annoying traits would irritate me! 

Is the third sector a calling or an accident? 

Definitely a calling; I've returned for a second time, to RNIB having previously worked for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland. 

What advice would you give your successor? 

To be prepared for shifting sands; the third sector is under constant change to meet its charitable outcomes under times of changing expectations, demands and resources. 

Is this a rung on the ladder to success or your final destination? 

I am probably not thinking of it that way; it is more about being in the best position to serve my purpose and that plays to my strengths and abilities. 

What's your favourite cause apart from your own? 

Our local town has an annual festival and procession which creates a great sense of community for everyone involved especially children; I always try and support it whole heartedly which often seems to involve me dressing up! 

Which Brian Cox? 

Brian Cox the actor - who can't help love a bit of bellowing! 

Campbell Chalmers is director of the Royal National Institute of Blind People Scotland.