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Trustees Week: an interview with Jude Turbyne

7 November 2022

As part of a series of Q&As to mark Trustees Week, we hear from Children in Scotland’s Chief Executive about being a board member of the Corra Foundation – and what she’s learnt from the experience

Name: Jude Turbyne

Current ‘day’ job: CEO of Children in Scotland

Charity that you’re a trustee of: Corra Foundation

Role: Deputy Chair and Chair of the Audit Committee

Length of time on the board: Since 2018 – coming up for four years.

Why did you become a trustee?

I am very passionate about trying to have a positive impact in the world. Since I was a child, I couldn’t understand how we could allow our world to be so unequal and to have such distressing levels of poverty. Since leaving university, I have volunteered for, worked for and studied the charity sector and have seen the difference committed individuals and organisations can make. I very much believe in what the Corra Foundation is doing and wanted to play my part by putting myself forward as a trustee.

What’s the best thing about it?

I love the Corra Foundation – what it stands for and how it does what it does. It is also a very reflective and learning organisation. The board is a space where there is the opportunity for healthy and interesting discussions on a whole range of topics. But perhaps my very favourite thing is the people I get to work with.

The trustees come from a variety of different professional and personal backgrounds and bring different perspectives to our discussions. It has been a happy, intellectually challenging and constructive place to be. I like the feeling of that collective responsibility – finding ways of coming to a shared conclusion even if we don’t all agree 100%.

What kind of challenges has the charity faced that you’ve been able to help with?

The charity has been going through a period of change. During my time a new strategic plan has been developed, and I feel I have been able to contribute in a small way to the direction of the organisation.

How does being a trustee support your own personal or professional development?

I suppose, for me, I feel that being a trustee is something that I now have a moral duty to do. The charity sector has supported me as a volunteer and as a worker. I have had an amazing and interesting life, and I have felt part of a movement that is much bigger than me. So I want to give back.

But I have also experienced a lot of development through being a trustee. It has helped me develop a really good understanding of what good governance looks like in action and has contributed to my learning around some of the key issues that the Corra Foundation works on. In fact, I feel as if I learn something every time I sit around the board table. It is properly fulfilling.

About the interviewee

Jude Turbyne joined Children in Scotland as Chief Executive in August 2021

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Corra Foundation

Corra works to strengthen and amplify people’s voices and their power to make change

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Podcast: equal partners

Listen to our recent discussion of the strategic importance of young trustees

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Trustees Week

Celebrating achievements and opportunities to connect, train, learn and develop

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“We must not lose sight of our collective goal”

Marking her first anniversary as our Chief Executive, in the first of a two-part blog Jude Turbyne takes stock of how poverty is impacting on families now – and why working in the children’s sector gives her hope 

I have now been with Children in Scotland for just over a year. It has been a fulfilling time, during which my admiration for my colleagues within the organisation and across the children’s sector has been strengthened. So, I feel I should be celebrating but, rather, I find myself a bit gloomy.

I came into post during the pandemic. At the start of 2022, it felt as if we might be on a more positive journey away from Covid, and that we could start to build actively on the learning from the previous two years. There was a sense of hope that we could step out of crisis mode and settle into a new positive rhythm. However, we have moved from that phase into one where the external environment is increasingly hostile.

Crisis impacts

There have been a lot of insightful pieces written over the past few months highlighting how the cost-of-living crisis is having a devastating impact on families that are already vulnerable and illustrating how many other children, young people and families are sliding inexorably towards poverty.

Citizen’s Advice Scotland, for instance, estimates that one in 10 people in Scotland currently have nothing left after covering the essentials. A Save the Children briefing clearly illustrates the way in which stagnating incomes coupled with the massive hike in costs is likely to have a serious impact on families.

The Living Without a Lifeline report just published by One Parent Families Scotland shows the impact the crisis was already having on single parent families and the cloud of deep anxiety that many families are currently living under. The Scottish Government estimates that one million households across Scotland will be living in fuel poverty.

An unacceptable choice facing families

Action is needed. We had awaited with interest the Westminster emergency fiscal event last week. However, as outlined in the joint statement by the Children’s Commissioners for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, this did not result in the targeted action required to support the children, young people and their families who are facing this winter with inadequate resources and increasing anxieties.

Rather it focused its policies on those who already have more than enough, believing that somehow their wealth would magically trickle down to families and young people living in vulnerable situations. It is simply not acceptable that there will be families this winter that are having to make a choice between food and heat.

We will push for better responses to the immediate crisis, but we must never lose sight of the ultimate goal, which is creating a more resilient Scotland, where our children, young people and families are lifted out of poverty and are not in danger of slipping back.

Welcoming the Child Payment increase

That is why the announcement of the raising of the Child Payment to £25 in November is particularly welcome: the evidence already shows that this payment has the potential to impact on child poverty rates. We need more measures like this that will support systemic change.

Last week we held a timely Children Sector Strategic and Policy Forum where leaders across the sector took stock of the situation. It is important that we invest in the right things. We know that money is tight in all sectors and so we need to prioritise those actions that will have the biggest, sustainable impact.

We are currently processing all the different announcements that have come out from Government in Scotland and Westminster, digging into the complexities of the situation now, and seeking to develop clear policy approaches that can have a real and sustainable impact for Scotland’s families. We will continue to reflect and write about our approach as we develop these collective responses.

Pushing for change

I started saying that I felt gloomy, and sometimes it is hard not to. But the children’s sector in Scotland is full of wonderful organisations and individuals that are committed to making Scotland a better place for our children and young people.

Putting our collective effort into pushing for and making the necessary changes can make a difference. And, that does, indeed, give me hope.


About the author

Our CEO Jude Turbyne has worked for a number of charities and in the development sector

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Judith Turbyne appointed as new Chief Executive of Children in Scotland

22 June 2021


Dr Judith Turbyne is to be the new Chief Executive of national charity Children in Scotland.

Currently a senior manager at the Scottish Charity Regulator, she will start in the post on 30 August 2021.

Judith said: I am delighted and excited to be taking up this wonderful appointment. I am passionate about challenging inequality and working for a more just society, and I will bring this passion to the role of Children in Scotland’s Chief Executive.

“It is a key moment for positive policy change for Scotland’s children and Children in Scotland is in a great position to play a very significant part in this over the coming years.

“I look forward to meeting and working with the staff, Board, members, partners and children that are so integral to the success of the organisation.”

Judith brings substantial experience of the charity sector to the role. Much of her professional life has focused on international development, working with charities challenging global poverty and inequality.

She worked in Latin America and the Caribbean, in local frontline organisations and with multinational funders, before moving to Dublin to become CEO of the international development organisation Progressio Ireland.

Judith joined the Scottish Charity Regulator as Head of Engagement in 2013 and is currently Deputy Chair of the Corra Foundation.

Welcoming her appointment, Maureen McGinn CBE, Convener of Children in Scotland’s Board, said:

"The Board of Directors of Children in Scotland is looking forward to welcoming Judith shortly into her new role. She brings us experience, clear vision and commitment to social justice.

"We are confident Judith will apply all her skills and talent to improve the lives of children and young people by listening to their voices and making sure these are heard, and working determinedly with our members, staff and stakeholders."

Judith will be Children in Scotland’s third Chief Executive, following Jackie Brock who held the post from 2012 until earlier this year, and Bronwen Cohen who led the charity for 19 years from its formation in 1993.

Media contact:
Chris Small,


About Dr Turbyne

Judith is currently a senior manager at the Scottish Charity Regulator

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Children in Scotland Chief Executive Jackie Brock to step down from role

3 March 2021

Children in Scotland’s Chief Executive Jackie Brock will be stepping down from her post in the spring.

Announcing her decision, Jackie said:

“After more than eight very happy years as Children in Scotland’s Chief Executive, I am moving on to explore new opportunities and interests. It has been my privilege to work for Children in Scotland and its members.

“I am particularly proud that we have weathered this past year brilliantly. We are in an excellent position to plan now for new leadership to develop our long-term, sustainable future.

“I will remain as Children in Scotland’s Chief Executive until May when I am pleased to say that I will be taking a short-term role with The Promise team as their Chief Operations Officer with oversight of the transition to a new legal entity.

“My sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone I have had the pleasure of working with during my time as Chief Executive, with particular thanks to the wonderful individuals who make up our staff team and Board of Directors, past and present.

"I hope that we can and will continue to work closely together in the future.”

The Convener of the Children in Scotland Board of Directors, Maureen McGinn CBE, added:

"Jackie has been an outstanding leader of Children in Scotland but we respect that the time is right for her to move on and for us to develop and progress with a new Chief Executive.

"We will announce open recruitment arrangements for the Chief Executive role in a few weeks."

Arrangements, which have been approved by Children in Scotland’s Board, will be put in place to cover the period following Jackie’s departure, with responsibilities shared by three department heads in the charity’s Leadership Team.

Sally Cavers, Head of Inclusion; Simon Massey, Head of Engagement and Learning; and Amy Woodhouse, Head of Policy, Projects and Participation, will assume the roles of Joint Acting Chief Executives from 1 May until a new Chief Executive is in post.

"A chance to redistribute power"

Launching our 2021-26 Manifesto, Jackie explains why we must turn towards a wellbeing economy

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