A LEADING energy charity, Scarf, has demonstrated its commitment to supporting people and businesses in the north-east by bolstering its senior management team and completing a major recruitment drive which has seen headcount rise by 50%.
With offices in Aberdeen and Dundee, Scarf delivers a wide range of energy efficiency advice and specialised programmes focused on reducing fuel poverty, promoting energy efficiency, lowering carbon emissions, and implementing renewable technologies.
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The award-winning social enterprise has made a hat-trick of key appointments in recent months.
Tricia Gray has been appointed HR manager. She held senior human resources management roles within global recruitment companies before entering the oil and gas industry and relocating to the Netherlands to assist in implementing HR and ISO 9001:2015 systems for a drilling company. She then moved to Dubai in 2018 before returning to the north-east in late 2021.
Michael Marley has joined as Home Energy Scotland centre manager, which Scarf delivers under contract from Energy Saving Trust. Previously, he held customer service roles with SSE and OVO Energy before moving into supporting vulnerable households through the Warm Home Discount scheme and helping launch the vulnerability support and guild service.
David Sims has been named Scarf’s new commercial and contracts manager, following 15 years in senior positions within the finance industry and third sector. Since joining, David has helped oversee the number of projects undertaken by Scarf more than double as well as become more diverse in nature with short specific projects complemented by longer-term support contracts.
The creation of the new management team coincides with a 50% increase in overall headcount from 60 to 90 since late 2022 – with Scarf having recruited across all levels of the organisation in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Dundee, Perth and Kinross, Angus and Moray.
A significant increase in demand from businesses and households across these areas has led to this expansion following the award of additional Scottish Government funding to deliver a range of energy efficiency advice services, while further job creation is anticipated during 2024.
In January, Scarf named Susan Mackie as its new chair, following the appointment of Lawrence Johnston and David Mackay as joint CEOs in 2022.
Susan Mackie commented: “I’m pleased that the new leadership team and senior management structure have now been finalised and look forward to working with colleagues and fellow board members to develop and deliver the strategic direction as Scarf continues to expand over the coming years.
“The diversity of strengths and talent possessed by new and existing colleagues at all levels gives me enormous confidence as we drive the organisation forward whilst continuously improving our working practices and delivery of key services.”
Scarf has issued more than 2,400 crisis grants to north-east homes this year, funded by local councils and the organisation’s own resources. Since the pandemic, more than 8,000 grants, worth over £700,000, have been provided to businesses and individuals that have engaged with Scarf’s services.
Against the backdrop of unprecedented pressure on energy bills and increased fuel poverty, the social enterprise has received more than 6,200 enquiries from concerned north-east households since April.
Lawrence Johnston said: “Despite the challenges facing the country, the Scarf team continues to find new and innovative ways to support increased demand for our services – something that demonstrates the value we place in building and maintaining positive, long-term relationships with our stakeholders and service users.
“These latest changes represent a strategic step forward for Scarf as we look to fulfil our growth ambitions. We’re pleased to be in a position to create new job opportunities across Scotland and showcase the important work we do as an organisation to make a genuine, lasting difference to people’s lives.”
Scarf’s founding mission was to make a practical difference to people living in fuel poverty, reduce inequality, and develop better living and working environments. Since 1985, it has offered free and impartial energy-saving advice to help people and businesses lower their fuel bills and carbon emissions.
The social enterprise was awarded silver accreditation by Investors in People in 2021 and has been listed numerous times as one of the Sunday Times’ best not-for-profit-organisations to work for, most recently in 2019.