Belfast Telegraph

'I love the feeling that I'm ready for anything'

Q&A: Siofra Healy

Q: What's the best piece of business (or life) advice you've ever been given?

A: My parents encouraged me from an early age to follow my passion and what I enjoy doing. Reflecting on the people I have worked with and respected most, their advice was to continue learning and in this business to never get complacent.

Q: What piece of advice would you pass on to someone wanting to get involved in community funding/CSR?

A: I would encourage them to get involved. Whilst it's hard work, it's also hugely satisfying and rewarding and there are many opportunities to develop your career and transfer skills.

Q: What was the best decision you have made in your career?

A: To continue to develop, try new things and learn new skills. I completed an MSc in executive leadership four years ago and having worked in the sector for 20 years, this has broadened my perspective and opened up several doors into leadership positions.

Q: If you weren't in this job, what would you be doing?

A: Definitely something that involves a challenge and connecting people.

Q: What was your last holiday? Where are you going next?

A: My last holiday was in Clochghlas, outside Burtonport in Co Donegal. My husband Peter spent many summers there as a child and we have continued the tradition with our family. I have family in Rosscarbery, west Cork and that is where we're off to next.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests?

A: When I have got some spare time I really enjoy running or walking and I try to fit this in two to three times a week - usually early in the morning, before everyone is up. It's my me-time. I love thinking through the day ahead and the feeling you get of being ready for anything.

Q: What's your favourite sport and team?

A: I enjoy running and we're a sporty household generally. All my children play football and hurling for St Enda's - my favourite team.

Q: Have you ever played any sports?

A: Hockey as a teenager.

Q: If you enjoy reading, can you recommend a book?

A: I don't get much time to read but I enjoy a good book or two on holiday. I would recommend Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy. Professionally, anyone interested in leadership in the voluntary sector should read Jim Collins, Good to Great and anything by Ken Burnett.

Q: What's the biggest change you've witnessed in CSR over your time working in the sector?

A: Most obvious is increased professionalism and regulation but also how much more engaged businesses now are with communities and the increased value and effort placed on CSR. It's so much more than publicity and PR, it's something deeper that taps into and aligns with the culture and values of the business.

Belfast Telegraph

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