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Deborah Finlayson Manager/CEO


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To contact this candidate email [email protected]

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Telephone:  07921848545 Email: [email protected]


Personal Statement

I am an assertive, adaptable person who thrives in a challenging busy environment. As a diplomatic leader who performs well under pressure, I am a quick learner and an effective multi-tasker.  I enjoy martial arts training and teaching, and reached British Championship level, I then went on to discover motorcycles and have a full bike licence.  More recently I have rescued and rehabilitated rottweilers and in spare time do training classes 121 for all types of dogs.


April 2019 – Present

Private consulting – Glenrothes furniture project, Glenrothes special project audit and marketing advice, including funding applications.  CLEAR Buckhaven, community project, business audit and recommendations, review and update policies and processes to protect business and staff and volunteers. Instant Neighbour, Aberdeen social enterprise – business audit and recommendations in line with Health & Safety requirements, Revolve Standards, marketing and merchandising advice, customer service training and tender applications.


Oct 2016 – April 2019

Social Enterprise Furniture ReUse General Manager – responsible for operational and strategic direction, budget setting and control, turnover £770K, business aims to combat poverty and promote social inclusion through offering of volunteering opportunities and work placements, through sale and recycling of furniture. Working closely with board implementing strategic direction and business plans. Creation and monitoring of budgets and business operational plans. Forging strong working relationships with stakeholders and other potential key partners within networks. Identifying and securing new income streams and where possible, funding. Planning for sustainability investment that satisfied OSCR regulations.  I introduced a range of new processes and procedures to enhance business performance while meeting KPI and driving a culture of change throughout the organisation over three sites. Culture change was essential for all members involved to feel included and valued; operating an open-door policy to address burning issues promptly, providing a better customer experience.  Working closely with finance officer ensuring all reporting and legislative reporting completed effectively and on time. Volunteers, some staff and placements were individuals from hard to reach parts of the community, e.g. Some had never held down a job, or had been out of work a long time so constant on the job coaching and guidance was key to improving their confidence and having an effective team.   While in post as GM, held post of non-executive director on boards of CRNS (Community ReUse Network Scotland) July 2017-July 2018 and ReUse Network (national network) till April 2019.  A change in family circumstances led me to leave to have more flexible time with family.  I am now able to get back to full time work.


Jan 2012 – July 2016

British Red Cross Service Manager – Ensuring that the appropriate standards, good practice and legal requirements are incorporated into quality Health & Social Care programmes that meet the needs of beneficiaries and values the work of the volunteers.  Day to day management of HSC programmes, including recruitment, training and development of staff and volunteers.  Manage planning and delivery of services, prepare HSC outcomes reporting and operational business plans.  Identify opportunities for expansion and development of programmes, in line with the corporate plan, working with other voluntary and statutory agencies, identifying funding opportunities where appropriate. Lead on discussion with external partners in respect of contracts and service level agreements.  Actively promote and publicise the work of British Red Cross, seeking so-operation work where appropriate.  Completion of assessments, including risk assessments for service users and staff.  Set and manage budgets in line with business planning.  Effectively participating in stakeholders’ engagement through local area forums, identifying opportunities to contribute to reshaping care agenda across Fife, Forth Valley, Perth & Kinross, Tayside and Angus.  Health & Social care programmes currently managed are Transport Support, Mobility Aids, Family Tracing, Therapeutic Care, Support at Home and Assisted Discharge.  This post became redundant through area restructuring.



Jan 2011- Aug 2011

Project Manager Since becoming Project Manager I doubled the number of hours of business, actively promoting a new branch of the company, engaging with service users, regulatory bodies, and referrers, I also improved staff attrition and implemented better terms for support workers which provided a more resilient staff resource upon which to grow. As Project Manager I was responsible for the day to day management of Customer Care Supervisors and Support Workers within the Operations Team. Working to ensure that service delivery standards remain high and comply with all necessary legal, regulatory, quality and policy requirements.  The role also ensures that staff resources are managed effectively and that customer service standards provided to both service users and customers remain high at all times. Key responsibilities included – Managing service user involvement in line with agreed participation strategies, quality initiatives and regulatory requirements. Carry out care assessments, staff supervisions and service reviews. Oversee and actively participate in care reviews, case conferences and care planning meetings to promote a high quality of service delivery to service users. Manage and implement all relevant quality initiatives, health and safety and other regulatory requirements. I left due to redundancy that occurred through area re-structure.


Sep 2008 – Jan 2011

Marketing Executive for a retail wholesaler, distributer and owner of convenience retail stores. Main duties and responsibilities include executing the marketing strategy by maintaining the company’s corporate identity and communications; production of a weekly communications bulletin, assisting sales teams with new retailer inductions. Co-ordinate materials required for new stores and tracking of retail services which are all main footfall drivers. Manage complex relationships with independent retailers and managers of company owned stores, working closely with sales teams to support them to meet agreed targets. I contribute to the development and promotion of the brand, aiming to maximise revenue through strategic promotion, and provide feedback through line managers of all retail services and their performance. To inform all retailers and staff of the latest developments communicated by service providers. To explore and act upon any existing or future opportunity to increase the groups portfolio of services. I also looked after the group’s complaints, from initial contact through to resolution.  In carrying out these tasks, I worked well with service providers, National Account Managers, internal departments and various press as well as members of the public. Good understanding of the current market challenges for retailers and their consumers. I actively, creatively promote existing and new services and products by being able to successfully translate the marketing message. I am able to think quickly and respond appropriately, marshalling resources available, to benefit the company, and ultimately the customers.



2015 SVQ 4 Health & Social Care
2006 BA Marketing & Business Management Abertay – Dundee
2012 ILM (Institute of Leadership & Management) Engaging with volunteers, Attracting & Recruiting volunteers, Induction, Supporting & Developing volunteers, Leading & Communicating with volunteers, Planning & Implementing Change with volunteers

2013 British Safety Council – Level 2 Award in Fire Risk Assessment

2001 British Sign Language Level 1

1993 SCOTVEC Certificates in; Employment Law, Computer Database and Word-processing, Elmwood College Cupar

1989 City in Guilds in Care, Peckham College, London