Find out more about the Children in Scotland staff team, their areas of expertise, and get in touch.
Helpline Officers – Enquire
The Enquire helpline is staffed by four helpline officers with an average of over eight years experience on the helpline.
The team has previous experience in primary teaching, voluntary sector family support, Citizens Advice, and ASL mediation.
In order to staff the helpline all advisers complete initial additional support for learning modules and then ongoing CPD on all areas of policy, legislation aand practice related to additional support for learning.
Please note: the 'info@' e-mail address is for all inquiries.
The 0345 number is the helpline number.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0345 123 2303
Jeni Bainbridge, Policy Officer (Participation And Engagement)
Jeni's role is to consult with children and young people and engage them in participative work on a wide range of issues, which seek to influence and shape the work of the policy team and the wider messages emerging from Children in Scotland.
Jeni is the co-lead for Scotland's Children’s Sector Forum and she supports our European work with Eurochild, with a particular focus on participation and engagement.
Jeni’s previous experience includes being an advocacy worker for children and young people with additional support needs.
Email: email@example.comTel: 0131 313 8834
Laura Bennison, Administrative Co-ordinator
Laura joined Children in Scotland in 2012 as a volunteer before becoming an employee.
Laura’s varied role includes co-ordinating Children in Scotland’s recruitment process, maintaining HR records, providing assistance and information to our growing membership base and administering its records on our data base. This is in addition to the core administrative and reception functions of an extremely busy office.
Laura’s experience gained through volunteering has contributed effectively to her work in recruiting and supporting our volunteers.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 313 8850
Jackie Brock, Chief Executive
Jackie Brock joined Children in Scotland as Chief Executive Officer in July 2012, following .12 years' experience across various posts and departments in the Civil Service, most recently leading Curriculum for Excellence, as Deputy Director of Learning and Support. Jackie has experience across Scotland’s children’s services including, additional support for learning, health and wellbeing, foster, kinship and residential care, youth justice and child protection inspections.
Prior to the civil service she worked in local government and the third sector.
Jackie’s key priorities are improving educational attainment, tackling child poverty and improving the early years.
Email: email@example.comTel: 0131 313 2322
Jacqueline Cassidy, Head Of External Affairs
Jacqueline joined Children in Scotland in 2010 as Head of Communications and Practice Development and is now Head of External Affairs.
Her role involves developing relationships and partnerships with a range of external stakeholders.
Jacqueline has a background in third sector management, think tanks, public affairs and communications.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 313 8821
Sally Cavers, Manager - Enquire And CHANGE: Childcare And Nurture, Glasgow East
Sally has managed Enquire, providing information and advice about additional support for learning for ten years. Enquire has a helpline and range of publications and online sources for parents and carers, children and young people and practitioners.
Sally acts as the National Co-ordinator for Scotland on the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education, an independent organisation established by European Union member countries to work collaboratively on the development of provision for learners with special educational needs.
Sally also manages Children in Scotland’s pathfinder project in Glasgow called CHANGE (Childcare and Nurture, Glasgow East), an exciting partnership project with Glasgow City Council and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health to look at what childcare is needed in Calton/Bridgeton, Tollcross/West Shettleston, and Parkhead/Dalmarnock and to come up with a workable way of putting in place better services.
Email: email@example.comTel: 0131 313 8802
Julie Dickson, Book Keeper
Julie has been with Children in Scotland for 15 years.
Julie assists the Finance Manager in operating and maintaining Children in Scotland’s accounting and financial reporting systems and leading the wider staff team in complying with our financial procedures. Julie’s day-to-day duties include effective operation of sales and purchase ledgers, credit control, customer liaison and effective operation of our banking systems. Julie also supports the wider administrative function through front office, reception and customer care duties.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 313 8818
Grant Douglas, Enquire IT Officer
Grant graduated from Napier University with a BSc in Computer Science, before going over to the US to explore how they achieved disability rights.
He has worked in various organisations seeking to achieve equality for disabled people in housing, voting, education and health.
Along with his role at Children in Scotland, Grant works on a freelance-basis for Talking Mats as a Project Officer, and is a Disability Equality Trainer with Capability Scotland.
Grant is the proud inventor of the S'up Spoon - the spoon for people who have shaky hands'.
Email: email@example.comTel: 0131 313 8801
Jennifer Drummond, Communications Officer (part-time)
Jennifer joined the Children in Scotland team in September 2012. She started her career working in consumer public relations before taking up post as a senior conference researcher and developer for Edinburgh-based political communications organisation, Holyrood Communications, where she led on children, family and social issues.
Jennifer provides communications support for Children in Scotland, including handling press and media enquiries and supporting our campaigns. She is also Editor of our monthly magazine.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 313 8823
Catherine Garner, Learning And Events Officer
Catherine joined Children in Scotland in August 2016, following three years' working in higher education - formerly as Project Officer with The Open University's Widening Access team and latterly as Employer Liaison Officer with Edinburgh Napier University.
After graduating from the University of Edinburgh with an undergraduate degree in Applied Sport Science, Catherine spent almost six years living in Paris. This included three years working at UNESCO Headquarters, as Programme Assistant within the organisation's Division for Freedom Expression and Media Development. During this time, she was involved in the organisation of a number of high-level events, including the first and second UN Inter-agency Meetings on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. Catherine recently returned to higher education to undertake further studies, graduating in 2015 with a Masters degree in Marketing with Events Management.
Email: email@example.comTel: 0131 313 8826
Lynn Gilmour, Communications Officer – Digital Lead
Lynn joined Children in Scotland in 2004, and has worked across both communications and events in that time. She now has particular responsibility for digital output and social media, alongside marketing and membership support.
After obtaining a MA(Hons) in History and Scottish History from the University of Edinburgh and completing postgraduate study in Journalism at Napier University, Lynn has worked as a journalist, editor, sub-editor and blogger on a range of local and national publications. She also has experience as a press and PR officer and events co-ordinator, on both a permanent and freelance basis.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 313 8830
Valerie Harty, Head Of Finance And Central Services
Valerie is Children in Scotland's Head of Finance and Central Services and joined in October 2015. She previously worked for Coram Children’s Legal Centre, originally as their accountant and more recently as their Head of Finance and Operations. Valerie completed her training contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers, becoming a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland in 2010.
Valerie is responsible for the day-to-day management of Children in Scotland's finances.
Email: email@example.comTel: 0131 313 8851
Tracy Hope, Business Development Officer
Tracy joined Children in Scotland in April 2016 as the Business Development Officer. Her role focuses on developing new relationships and securing a sustainable future for the charity. In particular, Tracy is the key contact for our members, ensuring Children in Scotland meets their needs.
Tracy has significant experience in membership support and development through her previous experience at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, where she was Assistant Development Manager before moving to the Scottish Business Resilience Centre as Head of Marketing and Membership.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 313 8829
Linsey Hunter, Events Co-ordinator
Linsey has worked with Children in Scotland since 2013 as part of the Development team. She is responsible for dealing with all queries regarding publications and event bookings. Linsey also looks after magazine advertising and exhibition space at our larger events.
Previous to this, Linsey completed her Modern Apprenticeship at NHS Health Scotland in which she attained her SVQ Level 3 in Business Administration.
Email: email@example.comTel: 0131 313 8828
Elaine Kerridge, Policy Manager (Participation And Engagement)
Elaine was a teacher for over 18 years and most recently was Principal Teacher of Pupil Support at Linlithgow Academy.
Elaine comes with a wealth of experience, particularly with regards to health and wellbeing and young people’s rights and participation - this includes everything from managing a caseload of 400 pupils, teaching PSE, running the school buddying system and delivering staff CPD on GIRFEC. She has also recently finished a secondment with Education Scotland where she was responsible for developing national guidelines and resources for practitioners, relating to Health And Wellbeing.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 313 8840
Cathie MacDonald, HR & Office Manager
Cathie joined Children in Scotland in October 2000.
Her responsibilities include developing, embedding and monitoring the core administrative functions across the organisation, including human resources and providing guidance and support to managers and staff. She was previously responsible for our membership base and retains a keen interest on how we work with, and for, our members.
Cathie introduced a volunteer programme to the organisation and in the past has held various volunteer positions working with children and young people – with a particular interest in inspiring young people to have confidence in, and a love for, the great outdoors.
Email: email@example.comTel: 0131 313 8813
Marion Macleod, Policy Manager
Marion started her career as a social worker with Lothian Regional Council and rose to the position of Principal Officer for Planning, Coordination and Commissioning). She then managed the Changing Children's Services Fund within Edinburgh Council's Education Department.
Most recently, Marion was the Principal Officer for Integrated Children's Services in Edinburgh, and has participated in a variety of national networks on children's services and worked with numerous voluntary sector organisations.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 313 8838
Simon Massey, Head Of Development
Simon joined Children in Scotland in September 2015 and manages the Events, Communications and Membership teams and the Grants Manager. He also leads on the International School Meals Day initiative and is a member of the Children in Scotland Leadership Group.
Simon has over 25 years' experience working in the children’s sector across the voluntary, statutory, private and independent sectors in various roles including volunteer, frontline practitioner, manager and consultant. He is a qualified social worker and has undertaken extensive child protection and post-abuse therapeutic social work as well as working in residential child care settings. He is also a qualified practice teacher and worked within the social work education field and local authority workforce development.
Prior to taking up his role at Children in Scotland, he worked at the NSPCC as a child protection consultant across the UK and managed the successful Safe Network service, providing child protection advice, information, training and resources to the voluntary sector in England.
Email: email@example.comTel: 0131 313 8822
Sarah McDermott, Policy Officer (Information, Analysis And Communications - Childcare)
Sarah joined the policy team at Children in Scotland in October 2015. Her current role as Policy Officer as part of the innovative CHANGE (Childcare and Nurture, Glasgow East) project focuses primarily on communications and analysis. CHANGE is an exciting partnership project with Glasgow City Council and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health to look at what childcare is needed in Calton/Bridgeton, Tollcross/West Shettleston, and Parkhead/Dalmarnock and to come up with a workable way of putting in place better services based on the expressed needs of communities.
Her previous role in the policy team involved monitoring and communicating policy developments, liaising with partners and elected members, working on consultation responses, supporting engagement events and contributing to the wider work of the policy team at Children in Scotland.
Sarah graduated with an Honours degree in Law with the French language, having studied at Glasgow University and Université Paul Cézanne in the south of France. Since graduating, Sarah has undertaken a variety of roles, and most recently worked at the Health and Social Care Alliance where her key focus was on carers rights, and supporting and promoting the voice of carers throughout Scotland.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 313 8833
Karin McKenny, Learning And Events Manager
Karin is an experienced learning and development professional who joined Children in Scotland in 2014 after 12 years at NHS Scotland.
She is responsible for all of the output from the learning and events department at Children in Scotland, including the Children in Scotland Annual Conference.
As a qualified sports coach, she has a particular interest in the health and wellbeing of children and young people.
Email: email@example.comTel: 0131 313 8825
Jane Miller, Assistant Policy Officer
Jane joined Children in Scotland in September 2015. Her current role in the policy team is to monitor and communicate policy developments, support participation and engagement activities with children and young people and contribute to the wider work of the policy team at Children in Scotland.
Jane graduated with an Honours degree in Politics and Sociology from the University of Glasgow. Since graduating Jane has worked in the public sector, and most recently at Skills Development Scotland. Jane has also worked with Children and Young people through her voluntary work in primary schools, early years and as an Assistant Leader, in training, at Brownies and Rainbows.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 313 8836
Sandra Mitchell, Mediation Manager
Sandra has been employed by Children in Scotland since 2003, originally as the Mediation Officer in Enquire for the pilot mediation programme and as an ASL Helpline Officer 2003/04.
For the past eight Sandra has established, delivered and managed Scotland’s leading Additional Support Needs (ASN) Mediation Services, RESOLVE:ASL, based in Children in Scotland.
Email: email@example.comTel: 0131 313 8844
Kath Paterson, Senior Administrative Assistant - Resolve:ASL
Kath has worked as Senior Administrative Assistant for Resolve since October 2007 on a part-time basis.
Kath helps organise mediations and co-ordinates with all the parties to arrange their meetings. She also keep Resolve’s paperwork up to date.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 313 8843
Nicola Pay, Senior Communications Officer (part-time)
Nicola is Communications Officer at Children in Scotland and her background is in journalism.
During her 10 years at Children in Scotland she has devised, written and produced many publications on a variety of complex subjects that have catered to policy, practitioner and commercial audiences.
Email: email@example.comTel: 0131 313 8849
Lewis Ritchie, Policy Officer
Lewis joined Children in Scotland in October 2014 after spending two years as an adviser to a member of the Scottish Parliament. He initially worked for Enquire before joining the policy team as a policy officer.
A graduate of law, he has a postgraduate degree in education and is currently pursuing a doctorate at Stirling University.
He is also a director of an Edinburgh-based immigration charity, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has been an adviser with the Citizens Advice Bureau for almost three years.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 313 8804
Chris Ross, Assistant Policy Officer
Chris joined Children in Scotland’s policy team in 2017. His role within the team is to monitor policy developments, liase with partners and elected members, support participation and engagement work and to contribute to the wider research and work of the policy team.
Chris graduated with a BA(Hons) in Politics from Strathclyde University in 2014 and then completed an MSc in Health Inequalities and Public Policy at The University of Edinburgh, where he focused on the impact of policy reform on health inequalities. Chris moved on to work with adults with additional support needs and has also worked with children and young people school in an after school setting.
Email: email@example.comTel: 0131 313 8839
Svenja Schulz, Learning And Events Officer
Svenja joined Children in Scotland in August 2016 as Learning and Events Officer and is responsible for the successful planning, organisation and delivery of our training and conference programme.
Svenja brings international experience in events and cultural management to the organisation. In Germany, she led an events team that provided educational events for children and families in socially deprived areas. At the Goethe Center in Atlanta, USA, she organised training courses and high-level events in collaboration with European Consulates, local businesses and schools.
For the past two years, Svenja has been working with the Scottish Government as a Policy Adviser and Engagement Officer.
Away from work, Svenja also volunteers as Chairwoman of a small charity that supports local community projects for children and young people in her hometown.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 313 8831
Chris Small, Communications & Marketing Manager
Chris joined Children in Scotland in November 2014. He leads the comms team, covering digital, publications, media and marketing.
Chris has worked previously as communications manager at the Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland; reporter for the Times Educational Supplement Scotland; publications officer at the University of Edinburgh; web editor at the Scottish Parliament; and sub-editor at the Scotsman newspaper.
He has also worked extensively as a freelance writer and editor, and was editor of the culture magazine Product for 11 years. He was communications officer at Children in Scotland from 2005-8.
Email: email@example.comTel: 0131 313 8824
Catriona Thomson, Senior Development Officer - Enquire
Cat has worked for Children in Scotland since 2004. She initially worked on the Opening Doors to Learning project and moved to Enquire as Information Development Officer in 2008 with responsibility for raising awareness of the Additional Support for Learning Framework and promoting Enquire services. Cat also contributes to participation and engagement work.
Prior to Children in Scotland, Cat worked on performance monitoring at the Drugs Misuse Information Strategy Team at ISD Scotland and as a Performance Review Manager at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 313 8803
Amy Westendarp, Information And Development Officer (Children & Young People) - Enquire
Amy’s role is to facilitate a child-centred approach to Enquire so that children and young people in Scotland understand their rights if they need support at school for any reason at all.
With a background of working with and for marginalised and minority communities – particularly children and young people, minority ethnic communities and families affected by homelessness and violence - Amy's goal has been to enable their access to services and appropriate support and to create opportunities for their voices to be heard through print and web media.
Amy also has a role as trustee for Kenyan street children's charity New Life Nyambene.
Email: email@example.comTel: 0131 313 8804
Amy Woodhouse, Head Of Policy
Amy joined Children in Scotland as Head of Policy in May 2015. She is responsible for leading and supporting the Policy Team in their work across a range of projects and policy activities.
Amy has 16 years experience of working in the mental health sector having previously worked for the Mental Health Foundation, Scottish Development Centre for Mental Health and Mind. Her areas of interest include long term conditions and mental health, mental health support for young people aged 16-25, peer support, looked after and accommodated young people and self harm.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 313 8810