Our team

Staff / Directors / Governors / Patron

All our staff, volunteers and Board of Directors are dedicated to supporting and helping our organisation to bring the highest level of care to our clients.

Our staff

Working hours
Rhona Hunter Service Manager Tuesday – Friday
Sally Lynch Practice Lead Monday – Thursday
Louise Wilson Social Worker Wednesday – Friday
Lara Wierzoch Social Worker Monday – Friday
Fiona Stewart Social Worker Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
Jennifer Milligan Social Worker Tuesday – Friday
Audrey Darling Office & Business Manager Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Debbie Law Administrator Tuesday – Friday
Kirsty Gray SeniorAdministrator Monday – Thursday
Dorothy MacAlister Shop 1 Monday and Tuesday
Tom Greathead Shop 1 Wednesday – Saturday
Neil Gascoyne Shops Manager Monday – Friday
Lorraine Dunn Shop 2 Monday & Saturday

Our Board of Directors

Andrew Gibb – Chairperson

Formerly Family Law specialist, Partner legal firm 43 years and past President of Law Society of Scotland. Married 2 grown up children.

Simon Cocker – Vice Chairperson

Joined May 2018 – After 30 years holding senior positions in Financial Services sector, now spends a lot of his time working in the 3rd sector by being a Trustee for a Scottish Eplilepsy charity, fundraising for a charity supporting older people in Scotland as well as being an Explorer Scout Leader.

Val Clarke – Company Secretary

From the 1970s onwards worked as a generic social worker subsequently specialising in children and families social work with a particular focus on fostering and adoption work and staff development through practice teaching and SVQ assessment and moderation. Moved into the regulation of care services in 2002. Now retired and joined the Birthlink Board in 2016.

Angela Harris

Joined August 2020 has a wealth of senior leadership experience having been the Head of Scotland at Breast Cancer Care. Has created successful partnerships with NHS health boards across Scotland and also worked closely with the Scottish Government and leading funders. Have lived experience of adoption and I’m married with a grown family of my own.

Alasdair MacDonald

Teaching Fellow in the department of Genealogical Studies at the University of Strathclyde. Specialises in the use of DNA for genealogy research (including adoption). He is administrator of the Scottish DNA Project and a member of the Register of Qualified Genealogists (RQG).

Fiona MacKay

Joined August 2020 – professional Operations Manager, working in the private, public and charity sectors, for over 10 years. Specialising in Project Management, operational process improvements and strategy building. Fiona also brings extensive experience in managing HR, Accounts, IT and Administrative functions.

Gregor McKenzie

Qualified in Social Work in 1984 and recently retired in 2017. Primarily worked with children and adolescents who were Looked After by the Local Authority. Developed and managed Throughcare and Aftercare Services working in partnership with both Statutory and Voluntary Agencies.

Alex Stobart

Joined Birthlink in 2012 and is the Director responsible for Finance.

Linda McLeod

Joined September 2020. Linda is a senior manager whose work in education spans 30 years and includes university, college and community settings. Her commitment stems from the belief that education changes lives. Skilled in strategic development, policy, planning, collaborations and mergers. She also has lived experience of adoption.

Governance

Overall management

Birthlink’s overall management is appropriate to the organisation’s needs as a result of an active Board of Directors and a dedicated Director responsible for overseeing finances. It has a robust system of financial control and monitoring, manages its funds effectively and has systems to attract funding to support its work. It has its accounts externally Audited. A sub-group of the Board is responsible for identifying grant application possibilities and is supported by a consultant who ensures that central government and local authority grant opportunities and applications are pursued. The resource and information management is overseen by the Board. Birthlink reviews its processes, policies and procedures in light of emerging regulatory requirements and legislation, including Health and Safety, and amends its policies to suit. It takes advice from Peninsula Business Services on HR & H & S. There is appropriate and adequate insurance in place. Birthlink takes, learns from and acts on feedback. There are regular meetings where issues are identified, actions set and taken. The Board and the Staff have the necessary time and experience to fulfil their obligations.

Our Patron

Irvine Welsh agreed to  become our Patron prior to celebrating our Centenary so it was with great pleasure that we made this announcement on the evening of our celebrations on the 19th November 2011. He donated several signed copies of his most popular books which enabled us to raise even more funds for Birthlink. Whilst he now lives overseas we know he does return to his roots in Edinburgh, sometimes to follow his local football team. 2013 was a great year for Irvine with the release of new books, movies and various book tours. In Irvine’s words:

‘Birthlink is an organisation which brings people together, when often cruel circumstance has parted them. Ultimately, all we have in life is each other, so I’m proud and honoured to be a patron of this wonderful charity.’

Irvine Welsh, Birthlink Patron