Getting to know.....Eric

What do you believe sets our charity apart from others, and why do you feel it's important to support its mission? 

MCAS is really interesting because it seeks to support issues which cannot be easily defined, but which have an enormous impact on the health of individuals. Years ago, I was involved with the establishment of the Scottish Dyslexia Trust. The educational establishment in the late 1980s thought that specific learning difficulties (SLD) were merely an excuse for idleness or stupidity. Our mission was to convert that misjudgement into a real commitment by the education services to accept that SLD was a fundamentally real issue.  We succeeded – and that transformed Scottish education.  Now we have a chance to do something similar with MCAS 

Can you share a memorable moment or experience from your time as a trustee? 

Sadly not with MCAS.  We don’t meet that often.  It has no bearing on this question, but I have been the trustee of a range of charities, including the Tutu Foundation UK.   Desmond Tutu was a charismatic man and we, his British trustees, were desperately fond of him.  He was flying from Canada to South Africa, stopping off at Heathrow for a night and a morning to see us.  He arrived at the trustee meeting half an hour behind schedule, gave everyone a hug, then said ‘I think we will have communion!’ We were in the middle of discussing the finance… silence!  Undeterred, our Chief Executive rushed off to find half a bottle of red wine and a bun. The Archbishop, his daughter (Mpho, one of our trustees) and his ADC and son-in-law were all ordained. They spent the brief interval agreeing the form of service, then we all settled (including one of our trustees who announced that he was an atheist). The three Africans started with a 90second African chant, which was totally spell-binding: never to be forgotten. Then we took communion, Desmond washed his hands, gave us all a hug,, and left for South Africa.

What do you hope to accomplish or see achieved by our charity in the next few years? 

Financial stability and full recognition by the medical community


Stuck in a lift with…. Eric

What's your favourite thing about being involved with our charity? 


Can you share a fun or interesting fact about yourself that others might not know? 

I swam naked in the Buckingham Palace pool, then stood on the balcony two days later with the Queen 

Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of your work with the charity? 

I am the trustee of two other charities, one dealing with Overseas Development and the other with heritage issues in Scotland.  I write books, I train senior managers.  And I relish being Poppet (the grandfather – it’s what they call me) of five grandchildren. 

What's a book, movie, or podcast you've recently enjoyed, and why? 

I listen to Ukraine: The Latest every week day, and The Rest is Politics with Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart.  I read 110 books a year and am currently enjoying Charles Spencer’s biography of Prince Rupert. 

Is there a particular quote or saying that resonates with you and influences your approach to life? 

I have two: (1) Just do it and (2) Add a nought 

Can you share a memorable moment from your time volunteering or working with our charity? 

Yes, meeting our most successful fundraiser and his wife 

If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why? 

I’m very lucky to have met many of the political, royal and business leaders of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The only one I missed was Nelson Mandela  - my first choice today 

What's something on your bucket list that you hope to accomplish someday? 

I hate to say it, but time is running out. I will be 76 in a few weeks time….my ambitions to change the World are impossible to achieve in the normal time scale.   


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