Name: Lydia Strachan
Job: Director, Confident Conversations
Industry: Charity and Fundraising
Class of: 2000
What do you do?
I’m currently Director of Confident Conversations, a charity which supports parents and carers while they are in hospital with their child. I founded the charity in 2020 after I spent 16 months in hospital with my eldest daughter. To do this, I took a career break from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, where I had been working on foreign policy and communications for 15 years.
How did you get to where you are today?
I got hooked on politics early – I am just old enough to remember the fall of the Berlin wall. I did Modern Studies at Standard Grade and Politics at Higher, worked for an MP, interned in the US Congress and got a degree in Politics. After graduating, I was pretty much only qualified to work in politics and public policy! I applied for the Diplomatic Service Fast Stream and went from there. Following the birth of my eldest daughter, I realised there was a big gap in support for parents in hospital and I wanted to do something about it. A Diplomatic professional skill set works well in the charity sector too.
What is a standout memory of your time at The High School of Glasgow?
There are so many! My favourite is debating all over Scotland under the watchful eye of Mrs. Thompson (and nearly losing her in the corridors of St Aloysius’ College). She spotted my naturally argumentative temperament and channeled it into something constructive.
What one piece of advice would you give to current pupils and recent leavers as they look to their futures?
You don’t need to know what you want to do with the rest of your life. I could never have imagined the path my life has taken. There have been so many surprises (mostly good!) and I’m so glad I’m here. Be open-minded and take – or make – new opportunities.
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