• Community Learning & Development background specialising in participation and engagement with young people through youth work
  • Led the co-production of and the national young people’s volunteering programmes as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018
  • Key work in previous roles has included areas of equality and diversity, citizen engagement, and health promotion
  • Qualified trainer (suicide prevention) with lots of direct facilitation and group work experience
  • Strategic partnership experience across all sectors including Scottish Government, local authorities and local and national third sector organisations.  

3 things I’m good at or enjoy

  • I like to think that I’m an empathetic person and a good listener. I love listening to people’s stories – good and bad – and helping them work things through.
  • I am a critical thinker – and I love problem solving and working my way through quite complex issues or challenges in a human way. I’m a huge advocate for the human side of professional practice, and I really enjoy getting to know colleagues, partners and people I work with in communities as individuals.
  • I have two pugs called Angus and Oscar and I love getting up the beautiful Angus Glens or the stunning beaches on the east coast of Scotland with them for some exercise. Also coffee, I love coffee. Coffee brings a smile to my face at any time of the day!

Something I’ve achieved/proud of

I’m proud to have project managed the co-production and youth volunteering elements of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 – a year-long Scottish Government initiative that put young people in the spotlight of the nation. Watching young people grow into confident individuals and active citizens through providing an enabling, nurturing and loving environment was incredible!

3 things I’m not so good at

  • Switching off! I find it really hard to switch off – constantly thinking about what I could be doing at work, but sometimes just how I could be making a contribution in making the world a better place.
  • I’m not great at taking in lots of information at once through reading – I’ve never been hugely academic but if it’s an something that interests me, I tend to enjoy it more.
  • I’m also not great at all with numbers and my maths skills are very basic.

What I’m currently working on at Demsoc

My main area of work is on our local democracy projects which involves our work with governments and organisations, including civil society, to improve citizen participation within decision-making; including appropriate opportunities to cede power to citizens. These currently involve things like Public Square. I’m also working on some innovation and systems-thinking projects, helping organisations to reflect on their current ‘ways of working’ and adapt to meet the challenges currently facing our public sector.