POVERTY ALLIANCE - Key Persons
- PROGRAMME MANAGER, OXFAM
- Living Wage Accreditation Officer
Anna provides guidance and advice to employers on Living Wage accreditation criteria and processes and works closely with employers in the Hospitality, Technology and Construction sectors.
Anna moved from Finland to Scotland in 2014 to study Sociology and Social and Economic History at the University of Edinburgh. She then went on to complete a master's degree in Gender History at the University of Glasgow, whilst working as an intern with the university's external relations. Alongside studying, Anna has worked part-time in a variety of roles from hospitality to administration. As a teenager, Anna spent two years living in New Zealand where she developed her love for travel. On a weekend you are likely to find her exploring the Scottish Highlands or Glasgow, her new home town. With dreams of travelling to South America, she is also trying (not so successfully) to grasp the basics of Spanish.
- Policy and Parliamentary Officer
Ashley joins us after working for the Scottish Green Party as a Policy Officer for the Scottish Parliamentary 2021 election. Her role involved producing the 2021 manifesto including sections on housing, land reform and protections for the Gypsy/Traveller community.
Prior to this she worked for the National Union of Students and led on the #NotStayingNotPaying campaign which resulted in the introduction of new legislation protecting student renters in private student accommodation.
Outside of work you can find Ashley completing her Masters degree in Public Policy, volunteering in the member defence team with Living Rent Tenants' Union and posting far too many pictures of her cat, Maisie.
- Living Wage Projects Coordinator
Christine has an honours degree in Geography from the University of Strathclyde where she took a particular interest in geopolitics. Christine then went on to join the British Red Cross Refugee Services where she supported refugee and asylum seeking women in Glasgow during the ante and postnatal stages of pregnancy. She then spent just under two years working in the third sector, supporting people in the homeless system in order to secure permanent housing, integrate them into their new surroundings and deal with the daily challenges caused by acute poverty.
Christine has a young son who enjoys the outdoors, so in her spare time they like to go on adventures together. After said adventures, Christine likes to unwind with a glass of red wine.
David has worked for Scottish Drugs Forum since its inception in 1986 and in the field of drugs, alcohol and homelessness for over 30 years in England, Ireland and Scotland. He is on the UK Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, where he has been leading a review of the harms caused by cocaine.
He served on the Ministerial Drug Task Force in 1994, played an active role in the former Scottish Advisory Committee on Drug Misuse and, since the creation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, he has been a Secretary to the Cross Party Group on Alcohol and Drug Misuse.
An active member of the European Civil Society Forum on Drugs, David is a regular media commentator on issues relating to problematic drugs use in Scotland. He has contributed to a number of publications on drug use in Scotland.
- DIRECTOR OF CHARITY
Laura joined the Poverty Alliance in 2019 as a Research Officer.
Her areas of interest include participatory and peer-led research and she has worked on a range of projects including an evaluation of Universal Credit in Glasgow, research on lived experience of poverty in Edinburgh and supporting community organisations to develop their own evidence to make change through the Knowledge is Power project.
She has a PhD in criminology from the University of Glasgow.
Outside of work, she enjoys planning day trips and adventures and visiting new places.
Eilidh is the Policy and Parliamentary Manager at Engender. Having joined in 2018, Eilidh leads on the Engender's engagement at both the Scottish and UK Parliaments and covers a wide range of policy work, including social security, women's representation in public life, the economy and women's human rights. She previously worked in public affairs consultancy in Edinburgh, supporting a wide range of clients from the third and private sectors with political monitoring and strategy development. She studied Law at Aberdeen and holds a Master's degree in Public International Law from the University of Amsterdam.
- Scotland Director for Christian 's Against Poverty
Emma is Scotland Director for Christian's Against Poverty (CAP) a UK wide debt help and anti-poverty charity. Emma has worked for CAP for over 7 years leading teams, projects and service and policy development. Previously she worked in senior leadership in disability and Higher Education and also worked for the Equality Commission in Northern Ireland. Emma is deeply passionate about tackling the injustices of poverty and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Emma speaks widely on the subject of debt, money management and how we bring about change to see local communities flourish. Emma's a contributor for BBC Radio Scotland's Thought for the Day and a board member for Serve Scotland. Emma is married to Niall; they have three children and all live in the rural Scottish Borders, enjoying outdoor life.
- Director of the Scottish Community Development Centre
Fiona Garven is Director of the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC), which hosts the Community Health Exchange (CHEX), the Scottish Co-Production Network (SCN) and Participatory Budgeting Scotland. She is a Non-Executive Director of North Ayrshire Women's Aid. Fiona's main areas of interest are community led approaches to health and wellbeing, community empowerment and democratic participation.
- Research and Information Manager
Fiona McHardy is Research and Information manager and is responsible for the overall management and delivery of all research programmes. Fiona has been involved in poverty and social exclusion research, working at grassroots, Scottish, UK and European level for a range of funders including the European Commission, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Wellcome Trust and the Big Lottery Fund. She has an extensive background of research management and is experienced in applied social research and qualitative and quantitative methods. She is an expert in inclusive research methods and conducting research on sensitive aspects of poverty. She was part of the editorial team for the Poverty in Scotland 2016 book. Presently she is part of the editorial team for a forthcoming publication as part of the Academy of Government Reference Group on Inequalities at University of Edinburgh. Her research studies have been utilised in a range of policy settings including: local authorities, the Scottish Parliament, the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Outside of work, she enjoys going to the gym particularly kettlebell classes, and is fan of trying different types of gin.
- HEAD OF PROGRAMMES
- Director of Programmes
Hugh Foy is Director of Programmes and Partnerships for the UK Province of the Xaverian Missionaries. Hugh has a lifelong involvement in Trade Unionism and grassroots Justice and Peace activism. His professional background is in Social Work, Secondary School Teaching, Consultancy and Charity Sector Management.
In addition to being Vice Convenor of Poverty Alliance Board,he is currently a member of the Independent Poverty and Inequality Commission established by the Scottish Govt In 2015, and a member of the national steering groups of the Scottish Living wage campaign and Pax Christi Scotland
- Living Wage Accreditation Officer
Iain joined the Living Wage Scotland team at the Poverty Alliance in 2018. His main focus is to support larger private and public sector organisations to achieve accreditation as Living Wage employers.
Prior to joining the team, Iain held local authority and third sector economic development roles. He also spent ten years living and working abroad, and has worked in a global context for a major life sciences company. Iain has a BA (Hons) in Humanities with English Language. He is also a would-be cartoonist and happily lives in the countryside.
- Co - Chair of the Poverty Leadership Panel
Innocent has 15 years Community Development practitioner experience and has held various positions in the National Health Service (NHS) and the voluntary sector working with refugees, disabled people and patients' communities in Glasgow. For example working with the Golden National Hospital as the Equalities Officer he spearheaded the transformation of the Quality Patient Public Group into a ‘voice' of patients able to use patient, carers and public feedback as evidence to influence provision of the quality healthcare services at the Golden Jubilee.
Innocent has training in Community development, Race Equality and Human rights. Innocent's experience prior to coming to UK included campaigning for disabled people rights to access services, promoting their visibility and a right to be heard by government, service providers and the private sector.
Innocent is currently Co-Chair of the Poverty Leadership Panel. He is also Chairperson of Afro Scottish Social Heritage (An African local community group). The chairperson of the Community Activists Panel (Sottish Homelessness community) and an active member of TPA's Alliance's Community Activists Action Group.
Irena has been on the board of the Poverty Alliance for more than three years. She was previously a lecturer and retired due to disability. She is now the chair of Moray Disability Forum.
She has been involved in issues around social care integration with the NHS. She is concerned about the future funding for services for older people, as well as problems in the local economy including the use of zero hours contracts.
- CEO at FARE Scotland
Jimmy is the CEO at FARE Scotland where he has worked since 2003. He is passionate to reduce poverty and the symptoms, such as, unemployment, poor health and lack of community engagement which cause and effect poverty. Therefore Jimmy has worked for many years to encourage, support, enable and empower people to be connected to their communities, to act on their ideas, issues and interests.
- Director of Child Poverty Action Group
John Dickie is Director of Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland. John is responsible for promoting and influencing policies that will contribute to eradicating child poverty in Scotland, as well as the overall strategic development of second tier welfare rights support services that ensure frontline workers are able to support families to receive the tax credits and benefits that they are entitled to.
John was previously Head of the Youth Unit at the Scottish Council for Single Homeless before which he worked directly with young people experiencing homelessness. John is a graduate from Aberdeen University in Sociology and Social Anthropology and holds a postgraduate diploma in Housing Studies from Stirling University. John lives in Edinburgh and enjoys walking, cycling and travel among other things
- HEAD OF C.PAG SCOTLAND
- Living Wage Administrative Assistant
Judit is responsible for supporting the Living Wage Scotland team with on-going and day to day admin tasks.
Outside of work you will find Judit either in front of the computer, playing video games enjoying the company of her friends from around the world or doing something crafty while watching a movie.
- Living Wage Scotland Manager
Lynn is responsible for day-to-day management of Living Wage Scotland, working with funders, key stakeholders and employers to ensure the project achieves its strategic aims.
Lynn joined the Poverty Alliance as Living Wage Accreditation Officer in June 2016, then led on the development and launch of the Living Wage Places scheme, which saw the first UK city and the first UK town to achieve the Living Wage Place recognition.
Prior to joining the Poverty Alliance, Lynn worked in a number of Third Sector roles with the Wisegroup, Energy Saving Trust and in a management position at Citizens Advice Direct. Lynn holds a degree in Public Policy from the University of Glasgow.
Lynn has a young son named Jack. When time allows, Lynn is a keen reader, enjoys watching movies and loves a good debate on social policy issues. She is partial to a good French Martini from time-to-time.
- HEALTH IMPROVEMENT PRACTITIONE
Meg joins us from the University of Edinburgh's Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability, where she led communications campaigns on climate justice, ethical and sustainable lifestyles and supported their range of events.
Prior to that, she was the Development Officer and a Trustee at the University of Sheffield Students' Union, where she led campaigns on environmental and ethical issues and was instrumental in the opening of the first zero waste shop at a UK university.
Outside of work you can find her foraging in her local woodland, wild swimming or volunteering in local initiatives to combat food poverty.
- Living Wage Project Assistant
Muireann joined the Living Wage Scotland team in July 2021 as a Project Assistant.
Muireann moved to Scotland recently from Belfast. They hold a MA degree in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice from Queen's University, Belfast and a BA (Hons) from NUI Galway. They have six years of experience mainly in Feminist and LGBTQ+ activism, and across the student movement on the island of Ireland. They have also worked in call centres, retail, and the hospitality industry.
In their free time, Muireann tries to work through their long to-read list and browses charity shops for the best second-hand finds.
- Policy and Campaigns Manager
Neil joined the Poverty Alliance in March 2018, initially as Policy and Parliamentary Officer. Prior to this, he worked in policy and public affairs roles for a range of charities.
Neil has an MA in Politics and English Literature and an MSc in International Politics from the University of Glasgow.
Outside of work, Neil can usually be found marathon training or enduring Partick Thistle matches.
- Living Wage Project Assistant
Peter joined the Poverty Alliance as Policy Manager in 2002, becoming Director in 2004. He is responsible for the overall day-to-day management of the organisation, ensuring that the Alliance is delivering the objectives set by the board and members. Peter also represents the Alliance in a variety of forums and networks, including Scottish Drugs Forum and the Living Wage Foundation's Advisory Council. He was Vice President of the European Anti-Poverty Network from 2012 to 2018. Peter is also Company Secretary on the Board of the Alliance.
Before joining the Alliance he worked at the Scottish Low Pay Unit, helping to campaign for the introduction of the National Minimum Wage.
- DIRECTOR OF SUSTAINABILITY
- Living Wage Accreditation Officer
Rachel gained her honours degree in International Studies from The Open University in 2017. She has spent the last 8 years working in luxury retail for Goldsmiths the Jewellers, progressing into management 4 years ago working in the flagship Scottish store and smaller stores. This allowed her to develop strong people skills working with a variety of people in the private sector.
Rachel is an avid reader and loves nothing more than curling up with a good book. But can be tempted away from this by the offer of a cocktail.
Sharon has worked in the third sector for around 20 years in both voluntary appointments as a trustee or director and in paid roles which have included Youth Employability, Youth Engagement, Social Enterprise Advisory role, Community Development and Business Development. Sharon's passion for the sector, led her to leave the private sector to do something that felt more fulfilling.
Sharon works at Fuse Youth Café in the capacity of Business Development Manager where she leads on the income generation activities, ensuring they also fit with the aims and mission of the organisation. Day to day sees Sharon directly supporting the staff, leading on the strategic development of Fuse, including the continual review of processes and improvements.
Sharon thrives on working for a small but vibrant organisation and leading a team of hardworking staff and volunteers who are passionately committed to making lasting change in the community of Shettleston.
Joining the Poverty Alliance during the Coronavirus lockdown Sinead brings her vast experience in office administration to support the team, having worked in both private and third sector organisations since completing her degree in Politics & Sociology.
- Community Participation Officer
Steven worked as a roofer for 6 years, and in McDonald's for 3 years. During this time, he volunteered in a variety of youth work. It was in doing so that Steven learned how much he enjoy working with people and decided to pursue a job doing so.
Steven graduated from Edinburgh college in 2016 studying Working with Communities, and then from the University of Edinburgh in 2020 studying Community Education. His dissertation focused on understanding Food Poverty, Food Banks, and their relationship with individual's dignity. This writing saw Steven pass with a First Class and was shortened into an article published in a respected online journal. This is an area Steven is passionate about determined in making a positive difference.
Outside of work Steven is involved with two community groups, predominantly working with young people. In his spare time, you can find Steven exploring Scotland's great outdoors, as well as staying indoors with a good videogame or horror movie. Also enjoys writing, reading and learning more about things he's passionate about.
- Manager of Spirit Advocacy
Susan Lyons is the Manager of Spirit Advocacy, a collective advocacy charity working with people with learning disabilities and mental illness across the Highlands. Sue has thirty years experience of advocacy and activism and is passionate about mental health, rural poverty, community empowerment and democratic engagement.
Sue is a graduate in Sustainable Development from UHI and is involved in research into rural poverty. Sue is also interested in Scottish History. She is a member of a medieval re-enactment group and can often be seen in a wimple in castles around Scotland during the summer.
Suzi joined the Poverty Alliance in February 2020 to work on Challenge Poverty week and to help build the Poverty Alliance's campaigns. Prior to this, Suzi worked as an MSP Researcher and then as a Community Organiser for the Labour Party.
Suzi has an MA and MSc in philosophy from the University of Glasgow.
In her spare time Suzi loves painting, dancing to Taylor Swift, and hanging out with her rescue Greyhound, Freddy.
- Founder / Director of Sikh Sanjog
Trishna is the Founder/Director of Sikh Sanjog the only Sikh Family Support charity in Scotland and Punjabi Junction Social Enterprise the first Sikh women's Social Enterprise in Scotland. She has over 30 years' experience working in the Voluntary sector. Graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in Community Learning and Development in 2007, in recognition of her services to the community, she is the first Sikh woman in Scotland to have received an OBE in 2014. Her work is centred on the thematic areas of Community Development Gender- Social Justice, Civic Engagement, Race Equality and Human Rights.
Her wealth of experience together with knowledge of ethnic communities in particular the women of the Bhatra Sikh Community in Scotland and their needs has resulted in her being asked to represent the Sikh Community in a variety of arenas both statutory and voluntary.
She is keen to continue to build links that can create pathways for women of all communities to participate in civic life. Her aim is to continue to break down barriers to learning, reducing the obstacles that get in the way of people receiving a service and improving communication between professions about the needs of Sikh and other BAME women. She would like to see the inequalities gap closed, especially in terms of disadvantage and exclusion relating to poverty, education, skills and training at all levels.
- Senior Fieldwork Development Officer
- Deputy Secretary and Director of Planning at the University of Glasgow
Uzma Khan is Deputy Secretary and Director of Planning at the University of Glasgow. Her role involves developing insights and analytics to inform the University's strategic approach in the context of planning, delivery and its long-term ambitions.
Uzma joined the HE sector in November 2020, after a long career as a professional economist in the civil service spanning 20 years. During that time, Uzma worked extensively across Scottish Government in a number of high-profile leadership roles covering a broad range of policy areas including lifelong learning, health, transport and economy. In recent years, she led on Scotland's Economic Strategy and in particular, developing the Government's approach to inclusive growth and a wellbeing economy. She has a strong interest in tackling issues of poverty, inclusion and addressing inequality of opportunity as the foundation for a strong and prosperous economy. More recently, as Strategic Programme Director for the Economy COVID Response Hub, Uzma was responsible for coordinating the immediate economic response and in developing Scottish Government's position on economic recovery.
- DIRECTOR OF POLICY