In Mach 2015 Clare de Bolle became Chief Officer at YouthBorders, a charity which helps young people to ‘thrive in the Scottish Borders’ through membership, training and representation. Clare and her husband Jean are TRI Cap members.
1. Where is home?
For the past 12 years I have lived near Kelso.
2. What was your first job?
European Policy Adviser, Confederation of British Industry based in Centre Point in London. I then went on to Head up European Affairs for CBI and spent 6 months in Brussels during the British Presidency of the EU, representing the voice of British Industry.
3. What part did your education play in deciding your future career?
I studied European Business Studies with German at Hull and Munster in Germany – part of my studies included European Policy and I suppose that led to an interest in the EU and the impact on business. I fell into the post at CBI after returning from a gap year. I had always wanted to use my languages and work in a European or international sphere and had been looking at Marketing. However, once I started work at CBI, I realised I loved working with business and policy makers in influencing best outcomes for businesses, small and large at a national and European level. We also travelled quite a bit as a family and I count that as an important part of my education.
4. When did you join TRI Cap and what motivated you to become a member?
I have only recently become involved with TRI Cap but have always been interested in putting something back into the community and, whilst my husband Jean is the more active TRI Cap member, I do take an interest in the start-ups and types of businesses discussed and also what investments might be needed. TRI Cap’s underlying motivation to help businesses in the Borders certainly appeals to me.
5. How and why did you become involved with YouthBorders?
I am passionate about promoting the interests of young people, particularly in our region, to give them the best opportunities to lead fulfilling adult lives. The role with YouthBorders brings together the skills and experience I have acquired over my business career and I feel privileged to be able to work so constructively for better outcomes.
6. What keeps you involved?
Youth work builds up the self- confidence, respect and self-esteem of young people; in other words the soft skills that are so much harder to quantify but are essential to allow a young person to find what they are good at and to engage with their community. YouthBorders’ role in this crucial work is to facilitate our members in everything they do, providing advice and support on issues and practicalities, training and project expertise. We help develop best practice and partnership work, identifying funding areas which benefit all our members. We represent the voice of our members and young people at a strategic level and work hard to ensure that their voice is heard and taken into consideration, building contacts, understanding and networking opportunities and influencing policies.
7. What annoys you in life?
Not much! Professionally I don’t like inefficiency. Generally – IT! It gets the better of me too often!
8. How do you relax?
With a full time job, three teenage boys and 2 dogs there is little time to relax but I love yoga, walking the dogs and spending chilled out time with the boys – even if it means watching yet more sport on the TV!
9. Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions?
I am very lucky in that my role in YouthBorders has enabled me fulfil my unfulfilled ambition! I have had some wonderful opportunities in my life and have always wanted to give something back. Working with this highly successful team brings immeasurable rewards. They help to build young successful learners, responsible citizens, effective contributors and most of all confident individuals. I believe we are making huge strides in reducing inequalities and helping young people thrive and be proud of what they are achieving on a daily basis. This is something of which I am immensely proud.
10. What advice would you give to any aspiring young business people who are just starting out?
This applies to businesses and young people alike: sometimes a risk is worth taking and if you really believe in something then go for it, take every opportunity and remember to network. But also make sure that you respect opinion, listen to others, especially those who can give you sound advice and take a good perspective.