Meet our Head of Policy and Improvement
Mel Lowe is the Head of Policy and Improvement at Redress Scotland and brings over 20 years of experience working in different roles across government. Before joining Redress Scotland, her work focussed on developing and supporting implementation of national approaches, and policies for children and young people with additional support needs.
We sat down with Mel to hear about her role and the qualities she brings to Redress Scotland. She also updates us on what the year ahead looks like at Redress Scotland.
Hello Mel. Tell us what it has been like working as the Head of Policy and Improvement at Redress Scotland?
My role and team are the newest in Redress Scotland and I’ve only been in post since the end of January. The role covers a wide range of areas: policy and improvement, communication, knowledge and research, and engagement, which means every day is different. I was initially on secondment to Redress Scotland but when the opportunity to apply for a role permanently came along, I jumped at the chance. I have found working at Redress Scotland to be an extremely rewarding experience.
What does a typical day in the life entail?
I wouldn’t say there is a typical day as my ‘to-do list’ can change quite quickly. At the start of the day, I can be busy drafting a key document for Redress Scotland and by the end of the day, I can be having a meeting with a group of survivors to discuss a piece of work that we are developing. Each is equally important, but time I get to spend hearing survivor voices and feedback is especially valuable to my role.
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
Without a doubt, the most rewarding part of my role is working directly with survivors. In my role, I am able to use the information that survivors give us directly about their experiences of Redress Scotland, to improve the way we engage with them, and others, in the short and long term.
We’re constantly looking to improve because we want to ensure that survivors feel heard at every stage of their journey. That is the most rewarding and important thing to me.
How does Redress Scotland ensure that survivors are treated well, with dignity, respect and compassion?
Our values are integral to everything that we do and how we work. During any of our interactions with survivors, we ensure we are thoughtful and considerate. We actively encourage survivors to provide us with their own experiences of Redress Scotland so that we can continue to improve the work we do.
What does the year ahead hold for Redress Scotland?
The year ahead for my team will include a real focus on building on our engagement work with survivors. This will help us to develop and improve the way in which we work.
We are also going to be increasing our communication with stakeholders making sure we are clear and transparent about the work that we do. We will shortly be publishing our next corporate plan, which sets out what we will do over the next three years. We want to use the corporate plan to ensure that the independent decisions we make are fair, transparent and of high quality and that this in turn enables survivors to have trust and confidence in the decisions that we make.
If there’s one thing you would wish for survivors to know about you, what would that be?
Being part of Redress Scotland has made me see that the personal values that I have are truly valued, lived and aligned with Redress Scotland’s values of dignity, respect and compassion. My values mean that I am very people focused and am extremely committed to ensuring that everyone is listened to.
What qualities – both personal and professional – do you bring to Redress Scotland?
Personally, I am optimistic which enables me to take on challenges and positively approach difficult situations. I always try to keep an open mind with a view to finding solutions. Integrity is also very important to me, and I try to stay true to being open, honest and transparent in everything I do.
Professionally I always take a collaborative approach to my work and try to maintain a positive attitude.
What are your interests outside of work?
My family keep me busy, especially my three children who are all at different stages in their lives. I love travelling, walking and exploring new places, whether it be in Scotland or far-flung places like Japan.
Is there anything else you would like survivors to know?
I am committed to truly understanding and using survivor experiences to inform and improve the work that we do at Redress Scotland, so that we can help more people on their journey to healing, and ensure that each individual or their loved ones feel heard and their experiences acknowledged.