Find out more about the Children in Scotland staff team, their areas of expertise, and get in touch.
Find out more about the Children in Scotland staff team, their areas of expertise, and get in touch.
Bill Alexander is an Associate with Children in Scotland, working on leadership in children's services with the Scottish Government, and contributing to the Mental Health Task Force.
Bill has been a volunteer, practitioner and manager in children’s services for 40 years. Most recently, he was Director of Care & Learning with Highland Council.
He is known for his involvement in strategic developments with a range of partners, and led the GIRFEC pathfinder in the Highland Partnership, as well as the integration of children's services within the Highland Lead Agency.
Jackie leads Children in Scotland, with particular responsibility for supporting all our staff in their work to improve children’s lives. She is accountable to our Board of Directors and membership for the successful implementation of our strategic plan.
Jackie has worked in London and Scotland in local government and the third sector. Prior to joining Children in Scotland she worked in the Scottish Government.
Jackie is chair of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Scotland Advisory Committee, a member of the Scottish Council for Development & Industry’s Policy Committee and a non-executive member of the board of Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
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Jacqueline is a member of our Leadership Team. Her role involves developing partnerships and projects with a wide range of external stakeholders.
She also supports our fundraising and business development activity. She is currently particularly focused on participation and engagement, education, inclusion and professional development. Jacqueline was previously Head of Communication and Events.
She has experience across third, public and private sector including as a Director of a young people’s charity, and Head of External Affairs at the Social Market Foundation think tank.
She has held numerous board positions and is currently on the board of St Andrews Students’ Association.
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Sally is part of Children in Scotland’s Leadership Team and has responsibility for bringing together and developing the work that is delivered by both Enquire and Resolve.
She is also supporting ongoing improvement within the organisation by leading development in programme management.
Sally joined Children in Scotland in 2006. She has almost 20 years’ experience of working in the children’s sector with a focus on improving support and services for children with additional support needs.
She represents Scotland as National Co-ordinator on the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education, sits on the Advisory Group Additional Support for Learning and contributes to an assessment panel for a charitable trust.
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Alison leads on developing and maintaining PAS information, including website and social media activity. She organises events including the bi-annual conference.
Alison also leads on specific projects and was seconded to The University of Edinburgh to work on an evidence into action research project.
She previously worked in the policy department at Action for Children.
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Lisa is part of Children in Scotland’s Communications team and leads on engagement with our membership. She has responsibility for ensuring that Children in Scotland members have access to relevant, robust and high quality information, and have opportunities to actively contribute to our programme of work.
Lisa joined Children in Scotland in March 2018. She graduated with an MA(Hons) in Theology & Religious Studies and Politics from the University of Glasgow in 2012. She has worked previously at the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability, and is passionate about accessible communication.
Lisa is a Trustee at Zero Tolerance, a national violence against women prevention charity. She is also a volunteer with She’s En Scene, a community cinema for women based in Glasgow. She also worked for six years as a volunteer youth worker at Trans Youth Glasgow, a service for transgender young people run by LGBT Youth Scotland.
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Julie assists Valerie Harty, Head of Finance and Central Services, in operating and maintaining Children in Scotland’s accounting and financial reporting systems and leading the staff team in complying with our financial procedures.
Her day-to-day duties include effective operation of sales and purchase ledgers, credit control, customer liaison and our banking systems. Julie also supports the wider administrative function through front office, reception and customer care duties. She has worked at Children in Scotland for 15 years.
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Grant develops and maintains Enquire's websites and suite of databases as well as providing IT support to the Enquire team.
Grant has previously worked in various organisations seeking to achieve equality for disabled people in housing, voting, education and health.
In addition to his Children in Scotland role, he is CEO of S'up Products Ltd. The company sells the S'up spoon – the spoon for shaky hands – that Grant created as a result of personal need.
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Jennifer is a member of the Communications Team and editor of our bi-monthly Children in Scotland Magazine. She leads on all aspects of the magazine, from planning and commissioning to editing and layout.
Jennifer also provides communication support for the organisation, including producing web content, press and media activity and design work.
Jennifer has a degree in Public Relations and Management. She started her career working in PR for an independent firm specialising in food and drink and lifestyle clients. She then worked for a political communications company where she led on children, family and social issues.
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The Enquire service’s Helpline Officers listen and respond to questions and concerns from parents, carers, professionals, children and young people about additional support for learning.
The team members come from various backgrounds, including teaching, policy, support work and other advice lines.
The team undergoes an extensive induction and continuous training programme to develop their knowledge and keep up to date with developments in the law relating to additional support for learning.
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Lynn is part of Children in Scotland’s Communications Team, with particular responsibility for the organisation’s digital and social media output. She also leads on communications for specific projects.
She is actively involved with our Participation and Engagement work and work on LGBT+ equality.
Lynn joined Children in Scotland in November 2004. She has 20 years’ experience working in journalism, PR, events management, schools outreach work and charity fundraising.
She is a qualified journalist and has worked in a range of roles, including reporter and editor, for local and national newspapers and magazines.
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Clair works closely with the NPFS team of volunteers, aiming to improve the parental engagement agenda in Scotland.
Her remit includes policy, projects, communications, events and policy.
Clair joined NPFS after returning to education to complete an MSc in Developmental Linguistics. She is passionate about early years development – in particular speech and emerging literacy.
She also volunteers as an advocacy worker for mental health service users.
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Valerie is part of Children in Scotland’s Leadership Team. She is responsible for Central Services’ functions and driving the sustainability of Children in Scotland through robust and proactive financial management.
Valerie joined Children in Scotland in October 2015. She previously worked for Coram Children’s Legal Centre, originally as their accountant and subsequently 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.
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Alison joined Children in Scotland in November 2017 as Policy and Participation Officer as part of the CHANGE: Childcare and Nurture Glasgow East project.
She has 30 years' experience of working in the Early Years sector in various roles including as a frontline practitioner, Senior Early Years Officer, Training Officer and Internal Verifier.
Prior to joining Children in Scotland, she worked within third sector organisations and the local authority. As well as being qualified in Early Years, Alison has a BA (Hons) in Humanities and a Postgraduate Qualification in Strategic Thinking: Systems for managing change.
Angela is the administrator for the Early Learning and Childcare Inclusion fund, which Children in Scotland administers on behalf of the Scottish Government. She also works on finance related tasks within the Finance team.
Angela has worked in administration and finance in the voluntary sector for a number of years, which included working in community education centres and, more recently, working with IDEAS, a development education organisation.
Angela administered the Development Awareness Mini-Grants in this role which IDEAS administered on behalf of DFID.
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Tracy focuses on developing new relationships and securing a sustainable future for the organisation. She is also the key contact for our members.
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 joining Children in Scotland she was Head of Marketing and Membership at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre.
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Lucy works as part of the Enquire team and has a focus on raising awareness of children’s rights to be supported and listened to, in particular those with additional support needs. This includes engaging with children and young people and generating opportunities for them to have effective and fulfilling participation in Enquire’s work – including the Reach website, social media and the My Rights, My Say service.
Lucy’s background mainly lies in education. She joined Children in Scotland in August 2018, bringing with her a range of experience from her previous role as a teacher, where she specialised in history. For many years she has championed children’s rights in schools, which she continues to do so in her current role.
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Elaine leads on our direct engagement and participation work with children, young people and families. This is often through our project work.
Elaine joined Children in Scotland in September 2016 and brings a wealth of experience in young people’s health and wellbeing, rights and participation.
Elaine was a secondary school teacher for more than 18 years. Most recently she was Principal Teacher of Pupil Support at Linlithgow Academy. She also enjoyed a secondment with Education Scotland where she was responsible for developing national guidelines relating to Health And Wellbeing for practitioners.
Elaine is a board member of Fast Forward, Edinburgh, and West Lothian Drugs and Alcohol Service, Livingston.
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Cat joined Children in Scotland in January 2019 as a Learning & Events officer. She has spent 16 years working in the education sector focusing on professional learning, outreach education and environmental education. She has a keen interest in equality and sustainability.
Previously, she has worked on community education programmes that supported asylum seekers, refugees, the Traveller community and disadvantaged young people.
As someone who enjoys the great outdoors, Cat combined her degree in natural resource management and postgraduate diploma to manage a forest education service where the rainforest was her classroom.
Having worked in Australia, Poland, Ireland and the UK, Cat brings a range of international experience to the team.
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Caitlin graduated with a degree in English and Politics from Strathclyde University in 2012, before completing a Masters in Equality and Human Rights at Glasgow University in 2013.
She worked in an eclectic mix of roles in the third and public sectors carrying out research, data analysis and assessing grant applications, before working as a reporter at political new media website CommonSpace.
Caitlin has also volunteered as Blog Editor for feminist charity The Young Women's Movement (YWCA Scotland) and writes on political and equalities issues in her spare time.
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Cathie leads on the organisation’s Human Resources functions and has a key focus on organisation and people development. She is a member of Children in Scotland’s Leadership Team and part of the Child Protection Review Group.
Cathie joined Children in Scotland in October 2000 and is our longest-standing member of staff.
She spends much of her home life participating in outdoor activities and is keen that children and young people have the opportunity to gain similar experiences.
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Joan works with the National Parent Forum of Scotland team of volunteers, providing administrative support and helping with communications and events.
Joan joined NPFS in September 2016.
Joan's background is in marketing, planning and project management. She has been working within the children's sector since 2012.
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Simon is part of Children in Scotland’s Leadership Team and manages the Engagement & Learning Department, consisting of the Communications Team, Learning & Events Team and the Membership Service.
He has a keen interest in equality and diversity, particularly LGBT+ issues and recently led the organisation through LGBT Youth Scotland's LGBT Charter of Rights accreditation. He is also a rep on the Workforce group of the Independent Care Review, a member of the Basic Income Cross Party Group and is part of the internal Children in Scotland Child Protection Group.
Simon joined Children in Scotland in September 2015 and has over 30 years' experience working in the children’s sector in various roles including volunteer, front-line 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 work in residential childcare settings. He is also a qualified practice teacher with experience of the social work education field and local authority workforce development.
Simon is a Trustee on the Board of Bright Light, an Edinburgh-based charity provide relationship counselling services.
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After previously completing a work placement with our events team, Emma joined them in June 2018 as a Learning & Events Co-ordinator.
Emma graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2018 with a BA(Hons) in International Festival & Event Management.
Prior to joining Children in Scotland she worked as a Receptionist and Box Office Assistant across South Lanarkshire Leisure & Culture’s venues.
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Laura’s varied role includes coordinating Children in Scotland’s recruitment process, maintaining HR records, providing assistance and information to our growing membership base, and administering its records on our database.
This is in addition to the core administrative and reception functions of an extremely busy office.
Laura started volunteering with Children in Scotland in 2012 and worked briefly in Policy and Events before settling full-time with Central Services. She has a degree in English Literature, and coordinates Children in Scotland’s staff book group.
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Karin is responsible for our Learning and Events programme, ensuring that our events are relevant and inspiring, and contribute to strengthening the knowledge of the children’s sector workforce.
Karin joined Children in Scotland in March 2014 from NHS National Services Scotland, where she was responsible for staff learning and development, including the management of their network of learning centres.
As a long-suffering girls’ sports coach, Karin has a particular interest in gender equality and children’s health and activity.
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Jane plays a key role in the delivery of the organisation’s participation and engagement work with children, young people and their families. She also helps to support our Children and Young People’s Advisory Group (CYPAG).
Jane joined Children in Scotland in September 2015 as an Assistant Policy Officer. She previously worked for Skills Development Scotland in its Government Liaison Team.
She graduated with an Honours degree in Politics and Sociology from the University of Glasgow. She is interested in youth representation and was a member of the Oxfam Youth Board and board member for her university’s Amnesty International Society. Jane has also previously been involved in helping to run Brownies and Rainbows groups.
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Sandra is the Mediation Manager of Scotland’s leading Additional Support Needs mediation service, RESOLVE: ASL, based in Children in Scotland.
Sandra leads on the development, delivery and management of Resolve, and is a member of Children in Scotland’s Leadership Team. She is committed to developing collaborative and supportive relationships to ensure Resolve as a national service brings about positive change for practitioners, families and young people across Scotland.
Sandra is also an experienced mediation supervisor, national course verifier and supports, trains and supervises other mediators. She has produced a range of national ASN resources and co-produced publications such as Communications Matters with the universities of Edinburgh and Manchester.
Sandra qualified as a mediator more than 17 years ago and over the course of her career has mediated hundreds of cases with positive outcomes in family, education, intergenerational and workplace mediations across Scotland. She is a registered mediator with the Scottish Mediation Network and has Certificates in Family Mediation, ASN Mediation and Education Law, Consulting Children in Mediation, and Workplace Mediation.
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Anthony joined Children in Scotland in July 2017 as part of the CHANGE: Childcare and Nurture Glasgow East project.
Anthony’s background is in frontline childcare, primarily out-of-school care in Glasgow East.
Working in a voluntary sector organisation, he spent 16 years covering all job roles, from support worker to deputy service manager. He has a degree in Childhood Practice from the University of Glasgow.
Anthony also has experience in workforce development and delivering training to staff in regulated childcare services.
Neil is Project Manager for Food, Families, Futures which addresses food poverty and its links with education and wellbeing.
Neil had a 30 year career with Police Scotland, much of which was focused on problem solving with communities.
He later worked with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games team to fully involve people across the city and latterly became a Community Development worker in the East End of Glasgow.
Shannon joined the Engagement and Learning department in June 2018 as an administrative assistant. However, her role will be varied as she also works to support the membership team and business development.
Shannon graduated from Queen Margaret University in 2018 with a BA(Hons) in Event Management. Her dissertation focused on the work of the Third Sector and this inspired her to join Children in Scotland.
Prior to joining Children in Scotland, Shannon had an internship with Apex Hotels which involved moving between each department within their head office. Alongside her internship she worked with Edinburgh First as an events support assistant, giving her experience of arranging and scheduling meetings and conferences.
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On a part-time basis Alison supports Resolve: ASL’s manager Sandra Mitchell with the delivery and management of the mediation service, organising and co-ordinating mediations and carrying out administration.
Alison joined Children in Scotland in May 2017. She has many years’ experience of project management and administration and has worked in the third sector for more than seven years in variety of roles, as both employee and volunteer.
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Emma works within the Policy, Projects and Participation Team and has a focus on participation and engagement work with children and young people. This includes working with the Children in Scotland advisory group, Changing Our World and as the lead on the Children’s Views Service component of My Rights, My Say.
Emma joined Children in Scotland in September 2017 and brought with her a range of practice experience from the statutory and voluntary sectors. Before moving to Edinburgh, Emma trained and worked as a children and families social worker in London. She has also worked as a teaching assistant, a project worker with young carers and as part of a children’s rights team. Children’s rights have always been a key focus in all of her work.
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Chris’s role is to monitor policy developments, liaise with partners and elected members, support participation and engagement work, and contribute to wider policy work.
Chris joined Children in Scotland’s policy team in 2017. He 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 welfare reform on health inequalities.
Chris has worked with adults with additional support needs and with children and young people in an after-school setting.
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Svenja joined Children in Scotland in August 2016. She 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 a 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.
Prior to joining Children in Scotland, Svenja worked with the Scottish Government as a Policy Adviser and Engagement Officer.
Away from work, Svenja volunteers as chairwoman of a small charity that supports local community projects for children and young people in her hometown.
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Leading Parenting Across Scotland with particular responsibility on policy and research on issues which affect families in Scotland. Accountable to Parenting Across Scotland's partners and trustees for the successful implementation of our strategic plan.
Clare has worked in the public, private and voluntary sectors in Scotland and Indonesia. She has worked for the Scottish Refugee Council, Shelter and Citizens Advice Scotland among others.
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Chris leads our Communications Team, covering digital, media engagement, marketing and our bimonthly magazine.
His strategic responsibilities include taking forward our 25 Calls campaign and developing our digital communications.
Starting his career as a sub-editor at the Scotsman newspaper, Chris has more than 20 years’ experience in journalism, communications and marketing. He has worked previously as Communications Manager at the Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland, reporter for TESS, publications officer at the University of Edinburgh, and web editor at the Scottish Parliament.
He has also worked extensively as a freelance writer, editor and consultant, and was editor of the culture magazine Product for 11 years.
Chris joined Children in Scotland in November 2014, having been Communications Officer with us from 2005-8.
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Cat’s role is creating strong partnerships with organisations working with and supporting children of additional support needs and their families. Cat leads on developing accessible advice and information about Additional Support for Learning and promoting Enquire to parents, carers, professionals, children and young people. Cat’s particular interest is supporting families to work in partnership with schools so children have the support they need to get the most from school.
Since joining Children in Scotland in 2004 Cat has worked on a range of projects about listening to and providing information to families, including the Esmee Fairbairn-funded project Opening Doors to Learning.
Previously Cat worked with the Drugs Misuse Information Strategy Team at Information Services Division Scotland and as a Performance Review Manager at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
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Jemma works within the Policy, Projects and Participation team and has a focus on work with children and young people. This includes working with the Children and Young People's Panel on Europe and as the lead on the Young Media Voices project.
Jemma joined Children in Scotland in July 2018 and brought with her a range of experience from the voluntary sectors in the UK, India and the Netherlands.
She graduated with an MSc in Sociology from the University of Amsterdam in 2015, and has a BA (Hons) in Politics from the University of Glasgow.
She has previously worked at YWCA Scotland - The Young Women's Movement, and is passionate about digital advocacy and engagement.
Vicky took up the Senior Policy Officer (Connect) post of the National Third Sector GIRFEC Project in April 2018. The NTSG Project sits within the Policy, Projects and Participation team. She is responsible for supporting the third sector and partners to facilitate and strengthen work which enables the third sector to play a full role in the development and delivery of Children’s Services.
She has 17 years’ experience in the third sector. Before joining Children in Scotland, she spent 5 years in Barnardo’s on the GIRFEC project to support Third Sector Interfaces and local children’s services forums to consolidate their involvement in children’s services planning and delivering Getting it Right for Every Child.
Vicky has a community development background. She has extensive experience of managing partnership projects including a health collaborative between three voluntary organisations; a joint initiative between a Carer centre and Day Care Services; a racial equality organisation as well as a local project in Edinburgh.
She is currently a trustee and a member of the Finance sub-committee at West Lothian Drug and Alcohol Service.
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Laura recently took on the role of Senior Policy Officer as part of the National Third Sector GIRFEC project.
Her role specifically focuses on the engagement side of the project. This involves undertaking research and supporting local Third Sector Organisations to engage with children, young people and families in service design and delivery.
Laura has a background in Primary Education and has worked in both City of Edinburgh and West Lothian Councils. She is also currently undertaking a Counselling and Psychotherapy Diploma. Her passion is to work to support equality for children and families who are disadvantaged because of their circumstance or background.
Laura has volunteered for a number of NGOs both in Scotland and abroad and previously sat on the board as a trustee for a charity supporting children in Uganda – Kids Club Kampala.
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Amy is responsible for Reach www.reach.scot, which empowers young people to use their voice, share their stories, and understand their rights to support so they can overcome barriers to education such as poverty, mental ill health, home life issues, disabilities or being from a minority community.
Amy is part of Enquire and works closely with colleagues at Children in Scotland to challenge inequalities, champion the participation of children and young people and improve access to support. She is particularly interested in using digital communications as a platform for young people to have their voices heard.
Her career has focused on developing communications and partnerships to raise awareness of social justice issues for marginalised communities in both a local and international context. This has seen a particular focus on children, young people and women affected by poverty, barriers to education, racism, homelessness, health inequalities and gender discrimination. As well as working for diverse UK charities, she has volunteered for NGOs in India, Kenya, Mexico and Ecuador.
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Jacqueline’s varied role includes day-to-day administrative support for the Enquire service; responsibility for the design and maintenance of Enquire information resources (online and print); service reporting and evaluation; and administrative support to the Enquire Advisory Group.
Jacqueline studied architecture for three years and has an HND in photography.
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Amy is part of Children in Scotland’s Leadership Team and heads the organisation’s policy work.
She has overall responsibility for the organisation’s participation and engagement activity with children and young people. She has shared responsibility for project development and oversees a portfolio of Children in Scotland projects.
Amy joined Children in Scotland in May 2015. She has a particular interest in children and young people’s mental health, stemming from 16 years working in the mental health sector for a variety of national third sector organisations.
Amy has extensive experience of managing qualitative research, evaluation and development projects at national and local levels. She is a keen supporter of child rights and evidence-informed policymaking and practice.
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Louise is currently Project Manager for the National Third Sector GIRFEC Project (Getting it Right for Every Child Project). The project aims to support the third sector’s involvement in embedding shifts in culture, systems and practice to ensure Scotland’s children have the best start in life.
Louise previously held policy, information and project management roles in other teams within Children in Scotland.
Louise’s background lies mainly in local government in a range of policy areas including health inequalities, poverty, social inclusion, housing, area redevelopment, governance, and community planning. Louise has also worked with Audit Scotland and worked in a voluntary capacity with another children’s charity.
She is a graduate of both the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow.