5 minutes with…Andrea Finkel-Gates from Scotland’s Housing Network

Name: Andrea Finkel-Gates

Job title: CEO

Organisation: Scotland’s Housing Network

How did you get your current job / how long have you worked in your current role?

I’ve been in my current role for 16 months now, ten of those months have been during lockdown.  I think the passing of time is quite surreal during lockdown, we have been restricted to our homes for such a long time you would think that time would go by slowly but it has been quite the opposite, the hours, days and weeks just fly by in a blur.

What do you enjoy most in your role?

I come with a background in the education sector not housing, however, I have a strong moral compass and a sense of social justice.  I love seeing the work that our members do and the real impact that a good quality affordable home has on the lives of individuals and society as a whole.  There are more similarities than differences between housing and education

What is the craziest thing you have bought during lockdown?

I’m a spender not a saver in general, lockdown hasn’t changed that.  We have welcomed a new addition to the family during lockdown, a crazy cocker spaniel named Munro.

Have you signed up to any new mail order subscriptions? If so, what and why and do you think you will stick with it after COVID-19?

National Geographic magazine, I bought an Everest special edition during lockdown and enjoyed the quality of the journalism – and the brilliance in the photography.

What sort of mail do you receive at home?

Business mail, now we’re remote working.

What do you think direct marketing / mail / print will look like a year from now?

We receive so much electronically now it seems something of a novelty when we receive something via mail.

What is the greatest challenge your company has faced during this crisis?

Not being able to get out and about and see our members in person.  We miss the personal touch.

What has been your favourite act of kindness you have seen during this crisis?

There’s not a single act I can point out.  I do think that there’s a stronger sense of community spirit.

As a customer how important is personalisation to you?

Very, it makes you feel valued.

What is the most memorable campaign you can think of?


Are there any brands or professionals in your industry you admire?

The whole sector, for the difference that they make in the lives of all their tenants.