By day, Paul Sharkey is a branch manager of Marks & Spencer. Off the clock, he is a long-standing volunteer and member of Perth Strathearn Round Table, having joined in the year 2000.
He's been involved with many events over the years, from cycling the world's largest bicycle (a 26 seater?!) for charity throughout Tayside and Fife; to organising donor clinics for Anthony Nolan; to organising fireworks nights with attendences of thousands.
I'm inspired generally by people who are compassionate, energetic, sincere and who care about others as much as for themselves.Indeed, it is thanks to the tireless organisation and work of volunteers at Perth Strathearn Round Table, that we have all been able to enjoy the stunning fireworks displays at South Inch over the years - including this year's which was once again organised by Perth Strathearn Round Table!
We loved chatting to Paul to find out more about him both in and and outwith work.
1. What signals the start of your days off?
I work one weekend on and one off, so on alternative weeks the fun starts the minute I get into my car, hear the roar of my M4 and turn up the volume listening to Radio2 Drivetime and All Request Friday! I love photography and nature so catching a sunset or a sunrise is such a fantastic feeling - it really can lift your spirits. I'm happiest when chilling listening to music; working in the garden or watering the village displays.
2. What might people be surprised to know about you?
I am a spiritual person and have a deep inner faith that drives and sustains me. One of the most amazing things I've ever done was attending the requiem mass for Pope John Paul 2 in Rome, and receiving communion from the soon to be Pope Benedict 16th.
3. What is at the top of your bucket list?
I so love to travel, and experience new places and people. I've been lucky and travelled widely but there is so much to see and do. Recent highlights include New Zealand; Brazil; Machu Picchu in Peru. I'd love to travel timelessly one day around the world continent to continent - Michael Palin style perhaps incorporating every F1 Grand Prix!
4. What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
Back in the 80’s whilst at school delivering a ‘free’ newspaper at a penny a time. I'd deliver 500 in all weather for a £5!
5. Who or what inspires you?
I'm inspired generally by people who are compassionate, energetic, sincere and who care about others as much as for themselves. As a child my elder sister inspired me. In adult life my Nana inspired me. In latter days seeing my parents fight ill health and retain a sense of humour has inspired me a lot.
6. Tell us about the day you’d love to live again?
Oh, I've had many - typically somewhere on my travels - serene; beautiful and profound where I can immerse myself in that feelgood moment. Tangibly, Manchester United repeating their 1999 Champions League/Treble was an incredible day.
7. What’s the best part about your job?
Helping a customer in need or a member of staff through a personal difficulty or troubled time. Making a real difference and being able to exercise wise discretion - and doing the right thing for the right reasons.
8. Complete this sentence; the best things in life are….
Free. All around you is the natural world. From the birds to the bees; to the sun shinning on your face - our natural world is just such a wonderous thing.
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