I am the current Chair of the Board of Trustees and a Director of VAS. I have been involved in the charity sector for a number of years, most recently as Director of NAFC Marine Centre, which is a Charitable Trust. I have also been involved in fund-raising for charities, and I am hugely supportive of the work of Voluntary Action Shetland and its partners in the local community.
I have been actively involved in volunteering all my working life, serving on many committees and groups. When I was asked to join the VAS Board I readily agreed. It was only when being involved with the VAS board that I really understood how much worthwhile volunteering is being carried out in Shetland. Being retired I pass the time sea angling, reading and tracking my relations and building on the family tree.
I became a director of Voluntary Action Shetland because I have always volunteered and I want to support people doing the same. I can’t remember a time when helping people wasn’t part of my life. Growing up in Shetland, it is just the natural thing to do and I can’t imagine not doing my bit! Having worked in accountancy prior to retirement, I hope that my financial background can be of help to VAS.
My hobbies are walking, swimming, reading, knitting and socialising. I love being outdoors which is a blessing as I have a dog! I am a walk leader, my walking group meets weekly and it is great to combine socialising with exercise. I have been involved with Relay for Life since it started in 2006.
I have been a committee member of VAS for 20+ years and I held the post of Chairman for 4 years. I am retired from being a self-employed business advisor, with a particular interest in developing community led projects.
Apart from my role in VAS I am currently also a Director of three other voluntary groups - Shetland Heatwise, Shetland Care Attendants Scheme, Shetland Bike Project, and not to forget my leisure time I am secretary of Shetland Anglers Association and Chairman of Lerwick Dance Club.
I joined SCSS (Shetland Council of Social Service) in 1989 and continued as a Director of VAS. I was a founding member of Shetland Care Attendant Scheme (then Crossroads), and became Chairman, a post I still hold. I have served on various charitable bodies; Secretary of Shetland Pensioners Association for 27 Years; Member of Hjaltland Housing Association for 19 years; Community Councillor for several years, I also served on committees for Arthritis Care, and Shetland Hospital Friends. I received a British Empire Medal for services to the community in 2020.
I’ve been a director of Voluntary Action Shetland since 2018 and am still impressed at the amount of volunteering happening in Shetland. Like many folk in our isles, I have always volunteered, as taking on different roles and helping out is interesting, and makes our community a better and more vibrant place to live in. I have been involved in some of the bigger volunteering events in Shetland, such as the CATS (Community Action for Trauma Support) fundraising campaign which raised £1m for a scanner for the Gilbert Bain Hospital, and the Island Games in 2005. In both these events, I was involved in the PR and promotion side of things and I have tried to use some of my knowledge in that field to promote and highlight VAS projects. I have chaired the VAS Board and have also held the role of vice-chair. Participation in the VAS Board is also a voluntary role!
In my leisure time I like to spend time with my family and friends, reading, studying, and attending some of the many social events in Shetland, most of which are run by local folk volunteering.
After living in Shetland for 15 years I have seen first-hand impact of volunteers across the island. I believe that while volunteers have had an incredible impact so far we still have a major role to play in explaining just how integral they are within the community.
As a teenager, I volunteered for a local residential care home in Edinburgh and witnessed the benefits of people genuinely caring about people. With complete conviction, I believe in volunteering as a way to build skills, resilience and teach us fundamental life skills. As well as support those who are in most need within our community. This lesson was instilled in me both personally and professionally from my own voluntary experience.
It is human nature to help others who are in need and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a voice for this in Shetland.