We caught up for a chat with Ross MacGregor, the funny and super charismatic fundraising and events co-ordinator at Perth Autism Support.
Ross's typical working hours are Monday to Friday office hours with the odd evening or weekend thrown in to help with events. He absolutely loves his job and this passion is fuelled by all the great work the charity does to support children and families throughout Perthshire - He even quit his beloved coffee for a month, there's not much he wouldn't do for the charity!
1. What does a typical day at work look like for you?
The usual morning starts by collecting the day’s newspapers from High St News just before 9am, then sitting down in the office to check emails and scan the papers to see what’s happening on Planet Perth. My days vary after that as sometimes I will be emailing and phoning people or businesses who may want to help raise funds for PAS, other days I’m out & about in town promoting our latest projects and keeping in touch with local business community or planning the next PAS fundraising events … Every day is different. It keeps me on my toes!
2. What signals the start of your weekend / days off?
When I leave the office and start the walk home up the Glasgow Rd, knowing that when I arrive at my house I will be pounced upon by our Labradoodle puppy. She is pleased to see me because I usually take her for a huge walk around Craigie/Oakbank to let her burn off some of her manic puppy-energy. Although she has way more energy than I do, so this just succeeds in tiring me out. Time for a seat & coffee (or maybe a Guinness) after that. Possibly a takeaway too. I love a good curry but I’m partial to a traditional chippy too.
I’m making myself hungry typing this … Next question!
3. What makes for a perfect night in?
A few years ago I may have said that a perfect night in involved having friends round for a bit of a party, playing music and staying up late - but I’m a bit old for that nowadays and much prefer a cosy night with my beautiful wife Annabel, watching something like True Detective on TV. We like all of these gritty crime dramas and have now seen so many we can normally figure out the twist in the tale by the second or third episode. I’m also a horror film fanatic but I have to watch them when my wife goes out as she thinks they’re rubbish!
4. What makes for a memorable day or night out?
I love going out for a meal and a few drinks. There are plenty great places to eat & drink around Perthshire whether it’s a posh night out or pub and a kebab on the way home. Going to the cinema is a favourite too. Recently, I went to see Batman Vs Superman and thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes – I’m a big kid at heart! Of course, coming home and relaxing is always good too.
5. Tell us about the weekend you’d love to live again?
The weekend that always springs to mind was back in November 2010. There was a HEAVY snowfall and it was so bad that we were completely snowed-in for two days! It was great. I loved being ‘stuck’ in the house with Annabel and our wee boy, Jackson, who was nearly 4 at the time. Heating cranked up and plenty DVDs to watch. We just shut the world out and enjoyed spending real quality time together. I even managed to persuade my wife to watch John Carpenter’s The Thing, which is the best/worst horror film to watch while snowed in … You’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen it. Although it did make me look over my shoulder quite a lot when I eventually had to venture out into the snow to trudge to the shops.
6. And now your best ever day at work?
This would be our Sapphire Ball! Recently we organised a successful charity ball out at Perth Race Course in aid of Perth Autism Support. Over 100 guests had a great time and raised a lot of funds for the charity. The music was provided by The LMS Band who donated their services for the evening and photographer Sead Kahrimanovic took the brilliant photos which can be seen on our Facebook page. It was brilliant to see months of planning come together and a mixed gathering of the business community all chatting, dancing and networking away. A good night was had by all, as they say.
7. Any workday or weekend rituals?
No rituals as such, but I need to start the day with a cup of coffee. Without this I feel very strange indeed! During the month of March, I gave up caffeine as a fundraising challenge following a dare in the office. I thought it would be easy. Maybe a wee headache but no problem. I was mistaken. For a whole week I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. Headaches, nausea, exhaustion, sweats, chills. Nightmare! The symptoms did ease off over the course of the month but I sure was glad to get to the 1st of April and sink a hot coffee the second I opened my eyes!
8. What’s in the perfect day off breakfast?
I love a good fry up! I rarely eat any breakfast on work days but if I have nothing to do early on a weekend a fry up really hits the spot! I’ve never been known for having the healthiest of diets but hey – I’m still growing! (yeah, yeah!)
9. Any words of wisdom for us?
Of course I’m full of wise words (in my opinion). I always come back to this gem though – It is better to stay silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Good advice about thinking before you speak. I should probably keep it in mind more often!