I worked for The Royal Bank of Scotland for 35 years, initially in the Branch Network, before moving to Internal Audit where I worked for 6 years. I was then in Retail Marketing for 3 years. Following this, I moved to the Project Team, latterly delivering Regulatory projects where I was a Project Manager which included budget responsibility. I graduated from Napier University with a BA in Business Economics in 1996 and I am a Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (MCIBS).
I am passionate about enabling the full potential of people experiencing barriers to learning, training and employment. I have experience of governance with a number of charities and am presently Chair of Perth based Mindspace Counselling and Recovery College reflecting my commitment to improving the lives of people experiencing mental health issues. I led the Community Learning & Development Service at Perth & Kinross Council prior to retiring. Other senior responsibilities included: Community Capacity Building; Adult & Family Learning; Youth Work; Parenting Strategy and Gypsy Traveller Strategy. I also led a successful Community Schools’ initiative working with families. Prior to my career in communities management, I was Principal Teacher (Guidance) at Crieff High School. I worked with HMIe and Education Scotland as an Associate Assessor.
I am a retired solicitor. I worked with Shepherd & Wedderburn WS, before joining Standard Life where I worked for 26 years in various senior legal management roles until I retired in 2012. I was the company secretary of Standard Life Healthcare Limited. I was elected to the Council of The Law Society of Scotland to represent the Edinburgh Constituency in May 2014 and re-elected for a further 3 year term in May 2017. I am a member of the Society’s Management Board and also an employer nominated Trustee to The Law Society of Scotland Final Salary Pension Scheme. I am an elected Member of Fairmilehead Community Council and responsible for Planning matters. I am a supporter of the children’s mental health charity, The Place2Be. I have knowledge of the legal and regulatory framework affecting charities, extensive Board/Committee experience, and experience of organising seminars and other events, including obtaining sponsorship.
With 10 years in private retail and 4 years in the public sector, I took a career break to have my family then returned to work within the third sector where I remained for the rest of my working life. In particular, from 1995 to 2003, I was a member of Lead Scotland staff as an Organiser and Volunteer Development Officer. Lead supported me to achieve a Diploma in Volunteers’ Management via Dundee University.
I retired in October 2018 as the CEO and Board member of Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire (VAER), one of Scotland’s Third Sector Interfaces. I worked there for 15 years, supporting the Board and a team of some 24 staff and 120 volunteers.
I sat on various East Renfrewshire Community Planning Governance Groups and was involved in local grass roots organisations. As well as being a member of Voluntary Action’s Board, I also stood for two terms as a member of Voluntary Action Scotland’s Board. I believe in the power of ‘Collective Impact’; an approach which brings people together, in a structured way, to achieve social change
I have a personal interest and passion around disability, inclusion and equality and continue to be an active member in assistive technology and disability fields in my spare time. I am currently validating and strengthening my knowledge by completing a Masters of Science in Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) on a part time basis. I am currently employed as a Senior Transition Specialist (Project Management and IT implementation lead) after 14 years as the IT Disability Support Speciality at The University of Dundee. I was previously Chair of ATANET (Assistive Technologist Advisors in Higher Education). Previously I was an active management board member of the IT Can Help (ITCH) charity and regional support co-ordinator as an authoritative expert on assistive technology and led the volunteer training and development program.
I have over 35 years work experience in a range of sectors including education, management, workplace learning and third sector employability. I initially qualified as a Secondary School Teacher in Modern Studies and Economics and worked in that sector for 7 years. I then moved to the college sector as a Lecturer in Business and Social Subjects and also held various college management positions and worked in this area for 20 years. I was a Project Manager within the university sector and my last post was within the Third Sector as a Business Manager with Enable Scotland which I held for 7 years. I also have Board Membership experience having served on the SQA’s Advisory Council for 3 years, was a Board Member for the Community Support Fund through the Office for Disability Issues and am a current Board Member with the Bellshill Citizens Advice Bureau. I have a significant amount of experience managing funded employability and learning projects and working with a range of funding bodies including : European Social Funding, Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland and Department of Works and Pensions.
I am a qualified teacher with a postgraduate MA degree from Nottingham University. I also studied at Jordanhill College to obtain qualifications in Dyslexia from the Dyslexia Institute in London. I worked on a voluntary basis for Dyslexia Scotwest and later tutored students at St. Columba’s Independent School in Kilmacolm. Having volunteered for Lead, I went on to help adults with literacy problems in Inverclyde and North Ayrshire. I have been a Judge for Scotland’s Urban Regeneration Forum (SURF) and served on my local Co-operative Area Committee from 2001 until April 2015. I have been a Governor and am now a trustee for the Co-operative College in Manchester. I have recently been elected to serve on the Co-operative’s National Member Council. I sit on two Steering Groups :- North Ayrshire’s Fairtrade Zone Group and Paisley’s U3A.
I am the Chair of the RNIB Scotland Committee. I am retired after a career with Fife Council in a range of employment related roles. I am a director of Citizens Advice and Rights Fife and a member of several disability/equality organisations. I hold a joint honours and a masters degrees from Edinburgh University and am a qualified careers adviser and a chartered member of the Institute of Library and Information Professionals. Blind from birth, I have a keen interest in technology and am an experienced assistive technology trainer.
My career to date has mostly been in the education field and one of these posts was with Lead Scotland as Regional Manager East. In addition, I have been self-employed carrying out research and evaluation across private, public and third sector organisations across Scotland. At present I work at Newbattle Abbey College as the Adult Achievement Awards Co-ordinator and promote the Awards across different sectors. My experience includes building partnerships, managing projects and teaching SQA qualifications.
I’ve spent my professional career as a Community Learning & Development (CLD) practitioner, primarily working in Adult Learning, Adult Literacies and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). I have a BA in Community Education, M.Sc in Adult & Continuing Education and a PG Certificate in Adult Guidance. I have recently completed a HE Certificate in digital learning design. I currently work for the CLD Standards Council Scotland, the professional body for people who work or volunteer in CLD, of which I am also a Registered Member (M.CLDSC). I focus on supporting CLD professional learning and ensuring quality through our registration and approvals processes. I am a keen advocate of learning as a means to promoting empowerment, enhancing inclusion and achieving social justice.
As a volunteer, I run a support group for people with a rare degenerative brain disease through the Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Association and sit on the committee of my local community development organisation. I try to bring empathy, pragmatism, positivity and a smile to both my work and volunteering!
In my spare time, I enjoy reading, theatre, dog-sitting for friends (next best thing to having one of my own!) and exploring our lovely country with family and friends.
I have a background in strategic marketing with global brands such as The Royal Bank of Scotland, De La Rue and NCR. I was Director of Commercialisation at ITI Techmedia before becoming an independent commercialisation adviser working with technology startups to help them turn their ideas into commercial reality. For 5 years, I was CEO of a therapeutics startup. I am currently a Director of Entrepreneur Business School Ltd which allows me to indulge my passion for learning and knowledge exchange. I have mentored and coached over 40 spinouts, startups and early stage companies.