As part of our look back over a year of the Interim Executive Service, we have a guest blog from one of our placed Interims, James MacBain. Below James' reflects on his 8-week placement earlier this year...

With one year of ACOSVO’s Interim Executive Service already ‘in the bag’, we thought it would be a good time to reflect on how the service is going, some of the core learnings, and what we aim to achieve going forward.


This blog was written by Stijn Dirckx, our most recent Belgian intern who has been working with ACOSVO over the past three months. He shares his experience being in Edinburgh for the first time, working in the third sector and explains how seeking discomfort can be beneficial. 

You’ve probably heard about our leadership exchange programme, but do you know the idea came from an exchange I took part in with a Serbia leader though the Euclid Network. 


So how could I refuse when around 10 years later I hear about the opportunity to do an exchange with Russian NGO leaders – and could also offer the opportunity out to ACOSVO members. 


Guest blog from Martin Crewe, Director, Barnardo’s Scotland



A small group of Scottish directors of UK charities met this week to discuss ‘the challenges and opportunities of leading a cross border charity’.  The discussions ranged wide and covered both the rational and the more emotive – a ‘head and heart’ approach so characteristic of the charity sector.


“Mentors clearly make (and experience) a life changing difference for individuals.”

Two weeks after ACOSVO’s first cross-sectoral mentoring conference in conjunction with the Law Society of Scotland, Phili Wetton, ACOSVO’s Engagement Manager, and mentoring programme co-ordinator, reflects on the event and the impact mentoring has for individuals, no matter what stage of life they are at.

It all started with a question, “do you want to do your internship in Belgium or abroad?” Easy question if you ask me, of course abroad! So I applied for an intern position at ACOSVO. I had never been in Scotland before, but wow what I’ve been missing.

In this leadership blog Pat reflects on her experience on the second leg of the CSC Leaders programme in Kuala Lumpar.

Info on CSC at  The programme involves one week in London and one in another part of the commonwealth with almost 80 leaders from a wide range of countries and sectors.

See blog on first leg for more details on CQ and core and flex which are concepts which underpin the learning.


In the last couple of blogs ACOSVO Chief Executive, Pat Armstrong has been reflecting on her long term leader journey and also looking to challenge herself as a leader. In this blog she talks about how she tried to do just this by volunteering with the Glasgow Games. 

Barnardo’s Scotland Director, Martin Crewe contributes this blog (with a little help from ACOSVO Chief Exec, Pat Armstrong) discussing being a long term leader...