Staff Profile: Stephen Horsburgh – Project Officer

For this issue of the newsletter, we chose one of our project officers to answer a few questions about their job and life. Stephen Horsburgh has been at CLS for just over 10 years and consumes about 80% of office tea supplies. He also helps with project funding and he was partly responsible for our recent success of securing £2.9million in funding for our clients.Stephen Horsburgh

1. Describe your current role at CLS:

My role at CLS is Project Officer: this involves supporting the development of community projects, which can be very different, from welfare rights services in central belt to community woodland projects in the highlands and islands; my main input is to help groups find funding for projects and to help groups develop stronger proposals by assisting in consultation, research and business planning and identifying other partners to be involved.

2. What attracted you to this job?

In my final year of my course in Planning at Strathclyde Uni I studied community based regeneration and having worked with community and cooperative projects for 10 years, the role at Community Links covered the community development work I was interested in.

3. Describe the typical day of a project officer at CLS. If no two days are the same, provide some examples of what might be on your to do list.

Tea, find out what funding is needed, tea, find out who else needs to be involved to make project fundable, tea, search for funding, tea, contact clients to go through the various funding and project options, tea, fill out funding application, tea, keep fingers crossed!

but on a more serious note, my main role is to support projects secure funding and as the type of projects and locations can be very different my work load is varied also. Some projects can also be at very early stages so I might be involved in helping with research or consultation to establish the need for the project and developing the details of how the service might work. Other projects might be more advanced and my work would focus on working with the client to confirm details of the project, who else needs to be involved to make it work and help them complete funding applications – or to support continuation of projects. I can also be involved in working with groups to help them spend the grant money to deliver the project.

4. What is the most challenging part of your job?

Finding funding which is becoming more competitive, juggling projects, switching from work in Argyll to work in Glasgow.

5. What is your greatest work accomplishment?

Although a relatively small project, the work I have enjoyed the most was Rosneath Community Woodland as I was involved in helping a development trust improve their community owned woodland, from their very first idea to improve the wood helping them to secure support of the community, volunteers, youth group, school and other groups and helping secure funding for community projects to improve and make better use of the woodland.

6. What is your worst habit at the office?

Butting into folks conversations and drinking too much tea!

7. If you weren’t doing this job, what would you like to do? 

I could happily live outside, so the work I would like to do would probably have something to do with the outdoors – like a gardener or shepherd!

8. What is your life like outside CLS?

Most of the time I would be spending time playing with my boys that are 6 and 8, sharing my poor football skills with them and trying subtly to indoctrinate them into hill walking and Partick Thistle!

9. What would be a perfect day when you’re not at work?

Hill walking on a sunny day in Scottish munros followed by a real ale or two in a nice old country pub! Someone would have to drive me home after!

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