Board of Directors
The Action Group is run by a voluntary Board of Directors. The Board members are mostly parents, carers, and service users who make decisions about the running of the organisation.
If you are interested in joining the board, you can find out more here.
Founder member of The Action Group in 1976
Joined the Board in 1987 when The Action Group was incorporated
It has been a privilege to be part of The Action Group since the early days and see it grow year on year, providing an increased range of service for those who need them.
My specific interest in services for children and adults with a learning disability stems from my developmental role in Social Work during the earlier days of the Lothian Region. I have always had an interest in securing additional resources through encouraging a strong voluntary sector contribution.
I qualified as a Social Worker in 1971 and held different roles both in London and Edinburgh over the course of the years. Just before retirement in 2007 I was a Community Care Team Manager in Midlothian.
Other Information: It has been a fascinating journey since 1975. The group has evolved continuously in the face of new challenges that emerge year on year. Being part of these developments has been a privilege, both to see the number of people in receipt of the service grow substantially, as well as giving employment to hundreds of people. We have to remain optimistic that we can continue to make substantial progress over the coming years when no doubt we will face many more challenges to maintain a quality service.
Vice-chair and secretary
Joined the Board in January 2001
I had been given excellent advice by the Advice Services and at that time, joined The Action Group. I then turned up at an AGM when they were looking for new Board Members.
I am the Board link for Real Jobs, Administration and HR.
My specific interest in services for children and adults with a learning disability is because my daughter, Sacha, (age 39) has been disabled since birth. She went to The Engine Shed from 1999-2002 and now works part time for NHS Lothian.
Outwith the Board: I am retired. I am also Honorary Secretary of the Scottish Destination Management Association.
Joined the Board in December 2013
I have been involved for six years with a school for children with moderate to severe support needs and became Chair of the Parent Council. I saw at first hand the difficulties that all parents face even when they have good support in raising their children and preparing them for adult life. My own son has moderate learning difficulties and has been a user of the Transition Service that The Action Group provided in Falkirk. Now that he no longer attends school I wish to use my acquired knowledge and business experience to further the work of The Action Group. I am the Board link for Real Jobs in Falkirk and Learning & Development.
I am interested in education provision, furthering employment opportunities and developing the services that parents/carers need to support their loved ones with learning difficulties. I am currently experiencing the transition process of my son as he goes from school to adulthood.
As Senior Manager I have experiences in organisational development, sales and marketing and contract negotiation with government bodies, these all underpin how services are developed and delivered.
Outwith the Board: I am a parent/Carer having previously been a Senior Manager within the Pharmaceutical Industry, working for major multinational companies.
Other Information: I am a co-opted member of Carrongrange High School Parent Council with special interest in the development of a new school.
As Senior Manager I have experiences in organisational development, sales and marketing and contract negotiation with government bodies, these all underpin
Join the Board in April 2008
When did you join the Board?
Co-opted May 2016 Approved at AGM October 2016
Why did you join the Board?
Introduced by Cynthia Anderson Having retired in December 2015 I was seeking opportunities to offer my experience in finance, governance and accounting to boards of trustees charged with directing social enterprises in Edinburgh
Do you have a specific role on the Board (eg Chair, Treasurer)?
Audit Committee membership Have been approached to be Treasurer
What services are you linked to?
What is your specific interest in services for children and adults with a learning disability?
None though I was well aware of the existence of the Action Group and of its legacy of excellence and service delivery
What is your job role outwith the Board?
Retired Member of boards of other organisations North Edinburgh Dementia Care Manor Estates Housing Association Treasurer of St Anne’s Church, Corstorphine
Joined the Board in August 1987
Joined the Board in October 1991
I joined the Board to try and help the work of The Action Group in developing services for people with learning disabilities.
I am the Board link for the Advice Services.
Interest in all services for children and adults with learning disabilities fostered by being the father or a daughter with Down’s Syndrome, who has benefited enormously from The Action Group’s services for many years.
Outwith the Board: I am Emeritus (Retired) Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology).
Joined the Board in October 2012
I joined the Board of Directors after becoming involved with the Have Your Say Group. Being a Board Member and the link to the Have Your Say Group gives me the chance to help to make sure that people who use The Action Group services, have more say in decisions that are being made in the organisation and have information that is important to them.
I think that it is really important that people who use the services are treated with respect and are given proper support and information so that they can make choices and decisions about their own lives.
I am a Champion for Mental Health and spend a lot of time in support of Contact Point, a user of Action Group services and have been a member of People First Scotland for over 20 years.
Dr Adel Traki
Joined the Board in January 2017
I knew from meeting with Linda Tuthill that a huge amount of work has been done for many people with additional needs throughout the country. It would be a pleasure if I could get the chance to help in matters which I am good at.
I have good experience in dealing with Autism, mainly with Aspergers. This experience could be introduced as worthy advice to other families with similar circumstances.
Outwith the Board: Recently I have just finished my PHD in Petroleum Engineering and now have an ECDL certificate. I am now looking forward to helping The Action Group in their supporting needs.
Joined the Board in October 2015
Despite my New York accent I have been in Edinburgh for over 40 years. I first came in 1974 to study special education and did a teaching practice at St Crispin’s School, and at the Autistic Unit then based at the Royal Mile School. I followed the development of The Action Group closely never imagining how much they would expand and grow from strength to strength, nor did I imagine that my daughter, who was not even born then, would be an adult user of their services!
I bring to the Board my experience as a mum of a service user, alongside my professional experience as a special education teacher and registered social worker. Additionally I have a history of working in senior management positions in the voluntary sector and of being a Board member for the Edinburgh and East of Scotland Deaf Society (now Deaf Action) and the Scottish Throughcare Aftercare Forum. I hope that my experiences in executive management, service development and delivery, strategic planning, risk management and governance contribute to the ongoing success of The Action Group.
I am the board link to the CAATS Service.
Out-with the Board I am Director for the Fostering Network Scotland.
I welcome the opportunity to work with The Action Group as they continue to develop and grow, with a particular interest in their decision (and what this means in practice), to offer services to adults who do not have a learning disability but who need mental health support. I look forward to my time on the Board.
Joined the Board in August 2014
For some time I had wanted to do something to put back into the community and I felt joining The Action Group Board gave me the perfect opportunity to help people less fortunate than myself.
My cousin has learning disabilities and watched the difficulties both she and my aunt faced dealing with these and would like to help people find an easier passage than they had.
I am the Board link for Marketing and Communications.
Outwith the Board: I am the Marketing Director of Mediacom Edinburgh and we are part of the largest media planning and buying agency in the UK.
Joined the Board in May 2014
The Action Group has been a huge part of my life since I was very young. I have seen firsthand the good it can do and the help it can give families and vulnerable individuals. I joined the Board because I want to ensure that good work continues. I feel the experience I have gained in my working life in both politics, as a Senior Government Minister Advisor and Head of an MP’s Constituency Office and Business, a Company Director, can help The Action Group not only maintain its excellent standing in the industry but develop it further.
The Action Group provide a full Housing Service and Support for my eldest brother Thomas who has severe learning difficulties and a range of disabilities from birth. I feel very strongly that as a society we must do all we can to support the most vulnerable members of our community to the highest possible standard. Therefore my interest is to make sure The Action Group continue to provide services for vulnerable people and support those families who need it most. I feel my job as Board Member is to make sure the organisation continues to set those standards and adapts to modern life and the needs of its service users.
Outwith the Board: I am a Director/Owner of a Print and Design company based in Edinburgh and Glasgow called MC Squared. We provide a wide range of print and design services.
Join the Board in April 2008
I joined the Board because I saw how much The Action Group helped my daughter in encouraging her to successfully live independently, assist with employment prospects, assist her with benefits advice, and to live a full and safe life. I hope to help The Action Group service users and members to achieve their goals.
My specific interest in services for children and adults with a learning disability is to promote as much independence living as possible.
Outwith the Board: I am a retired accountant.
Our senior manager and development manager team
Our senior manager and development manager team work hard to support all the work we do. If you have any ideas or suggestions please feel free to get in touch and let them know.
I have worked in the voluntary sector for 30 years, using my passion and skills to work with and for the people we support to have the equality and high quality services they deserve. Politically and emotionally I am drawn to tackling inequality issues for those who cannot always speak up for themselves. I have worked for the last 20+ years for The Action Group, at various levels of management, managing all service types. As the CEO I will continue to steer the organisation to be reliable and solid, as well as innovative and forward thinking. I have a passion for leading and managing people, teams and organisations, to provide the best services possible and to put those we serve at the center of all that we do.
I feel proud to work in such a user focused organisation, that achieves great things for users, even in difficult times. I am a Psychology Graduate (BA Hons); have an OU Management qualification; SVQ 4 and Registered Manager award; Diploma in Counselling and a Masters in Social Policy. (Both Edinburgh University) I am also a Counsellor
Senior Manager – Services
I have worked for The Action Group since 2001, spending the first eight managing frontline support services (various housing support, care at home, group homes, etc). Before coming here, I worked in a wide range of volunteer and paid roles in the care and support sector since finishing university and I am passionate about helping others achieve their potential and remove or find ways round the barriers in their lives. What I love about my current role is the opportunity to influence others and promote quality and best practice across all parts of the organisation. This includes such areas as policy work, external accreditations, complaints and formal investigations, communications, funding / tenders, self-directed support and user involvement. I also manage the Advice Services and the Learning and Development and Quality teams. My qualifications include: a degree in English Language and Literature (Edinburgh University), SVQ IV in Care / Care Management, Postgraduate Certificate in Social Services Leadership (Robert Gordon University) and a Counselling Diploma. In my spare time I am a volunteer youth worker and counsellor, with a love of gardening, running and reading!
Senior Manager – HR
Having joined The Action Group in 2007 as Recruitment Manager, I immediately felt at home within the organisation’s value-driven environment. Since then I have worked in various roles within the HR department and currently work part time as Senior Manager. As such, I have overall accountability for HR issues including recruitment, retention, and employee relations. Me and my team support managers across The Action Group to find great staff, treat them fairly, and help them do the very best work they can. My qualifications include an MA in Modern History and an MSc in Human Resource Management. In addition, I am currently undertaking a distance learning LLM in Employment Law at Northumbria University. My experience and skills in HR have been recognised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), of which I have been a chartered member for many years. Previous to joining The Action Group, I worked in retail management.
Senior Manager – Finance
Having graduated from both Edinburgh and Glasgow University I went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant and I have recently completed a Diploma in Payroll Management. I worked in practice in Edinburgh for around 10 years before joining The Action Group in 1998. I currently have responsibility for all aspects of financial and payroll management and reporting. I work closely with the treasurer and the audit committee to provide the board with the information they need to help them make informed decisions on financial matters.
Senior Manager – Quality
I joined the Action Group in 2017 as the Senior Manager for Quality. Before The Action Group I worked with Autism Initiatives as a Service Area Manager for 13 years. I have a huge passion and interest in Autism and the majority of my experience has been working with Autistic individuals. I chose social care as a profession in 1999 after deciding a career in Teaching was not for me and have worked in this sector developing my career vocationally since then.
I have responsibility for the Quality, Learning Development and Health and Safety departments.
My Qualifications are Registered Managers Award level 4, SVQ 4 in social care, Certificate in Learning and Development and a Postgraduate Certificate in Autism.
Outside work I have a love for the outdoors and I am a busy Mum to my two boys.
Development Manager – HACSS
I have worked for The Action Group now for over 20 years, and have a range of experience of both working in and managing services including Housing Support, Real Jobs and Advice services. Prior to joining The Action Group I worked in management with Sainsbury’s and with the United Nations. Following that I spent two years selling bicycles for people with support needs and four years working in a Respite Care Home before joining The Action Group. In 1996 As Development Manager I have responsibility for managing two Housing Support teams and the Casual Support Work service.
Development Manager – HACSS West Lothian and Edinburgh
I have a background in Art further education and social care day centres. I have worked for The Action Group for over 21 years, initially starting as a support worker and progressing through management to my current post as Development Manager. I have an SVQ level 4 and am qualified and registered as manager for the West Lothian services. I am responsible for two of the Edinburgh HACCS teams as well as development and new growth across all of the West Lothian services, which includes both adults and children’s work. I am part of the Health and Safety Committee within the Action Group and committed to ensuring we develop and maintain safe working practices across the organisation.
Development Manager – HACSS Edinburgh
I worked predominantly in the Management and leadership of retail motor trade for more than 15 years prior to joining TAG in 2001 as a support worker. This was a career change influenced by being a parent and carer for my youngest son who has a learning disability. Whilst at The Action Group, I have worked across Children‘s services, Real Jobs and Adult services in a variety of roles and ranges of responsibility. Currently I have responsibility within new service development, primarily within our Edinburgh Housing and Community Support Services (HACSS).
Previously I have worked in the semi conductor industry as an equipment technician for 20 years and due to decline in this industry and plant closures, I decided it was time for a career change. I have worked for The Action Group since 2009. I started as a Support Worker in West Lothian and then progressed to Assistant Team Manager in 2011. I held various manager roles within the company since 2012. At present I am the Development Manager for 3 Edinburgh HACCS teams and responsible for the line management of Real Jobs Falkirk.
Development Manager – CAATS
I have worked for The Action Group since 1998. I started as a support worker in group living and have worked in many different teams across The Action Group. I have been a manager for 10 years starting in adults services and moving to my current position in children and adults transition services (CAATS) in 2008. I oversee services in East Lothian, Midlothian and Edinburgh for CAATS and am the registered manager for these services. I am also the registered manager for the Play Scheme in Edinburgh.
Advice Services Manager
I am passionate about rights and equalities. Before joining The Action Group I worked as a personal assistant for a disabled woman and volunteered as a Citizen Advocate and Advice Worker. I began work with The Action Group in 2001 (starting in Real Jobs and then moving into Advice shortly after). I became Manager of the Advice Service in 2007 – moving into a Developmental role in 2011. I am responsible for the strategic and operational development of the Advice Services. This includes:
• Securing funding for Advice Services
• Managing 4 managers
• Developing quality systems within The Advice Service
• Ensuring that relevant knowledge from The Advice Service is shared with the Board/SMT/Wider Organisation
• Progressing organisation wide work streams (such as the Equalities Strategy) I have a degree in English Literature (Cardiff University)
Learning and Development Manager
I started work with The Action Group in 1995 as a Support Worker within one of The Action Group’s care homes. I then became a Team Leader and the service changed to housing support services/care at home, before moving over to Learning & Development firstly as an SVQ work place assessor and internal verifier, and then as a Training Officer. As Learning & Development Manager alongside Dale Goodfellow, I manage the day to day running of the team in organising and delivering a wide range of training courses, development support and SVQ’s to all staff in the organisation. This is done through traditional classroom methods as well as in small team groups. 1:1 or online.
Learning and Development Manager / Quality Manager
I started with The Action Group in 1994 as a Casual Worker and became a Support Worker, then Team Leader before ending up in the Learning and Development department. I spent many years here before joining Helen Walton in the newly formed Quality Department. While still in that role, I jointly took over the day to day management of the Learning and Development department with Louise Brunton. In my Learning and Development role, I work in a team to organise and deliver a range of training courses, development supports and SVQs to all staff in the organisation. This is done through traditional classroom methods as well as in small team groups or 1:1. In my Quality role I work with staff teams and managers as part of a problem solving and discovery approach when errors or issues become evident. I also play a part in the development of organisational policy and key quality systems.