To contact a specific staff member, please see below for their details. For general enquiries and how to find us, see contact us To contact a member of our Board of Trustees, please contact the office
Anna is our Awards Coordinator, giving support on all three awards to youth workers, parents and anyone who wants to run the awards. She organises moderation and training events, and is very impressed by all the cool things young people do as part of their awards.
Anna joined us from Girlguiding and can still be found volunteering in her local Guides units, or off on an adventure with her friends – mostly because she worries that she comes across as someone who does nothing but hang out with small people in blue…
Catherine is our finance officer and joined the dedicated team in 2016. Catherine has worked in finance for the past 30 years with the past 16 years in the charity sector. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering, spending time with family and walking her springer spaniel Harris.
Gemma is our Office Administrator & Events Coordinator and if you’ve ever visited or phoned us, has probably been the cheerful person you dealt with! Gemma gained her Business and IT HNC at Edinburgh College. Joining us in 2013 as Office Administrator, Gemma has also gained a Modern Apprenticeship in Business Admin while taking on the Events Coordinator role. Gemma says she loves learning about youth work and playing her part in young people and youth worker’s achievements. When not holding the fort at Youth Scotland HQ she’s a lover of a good Disney film.
George is our Senior Awards Development Worker, and is lead on Youth Scotland’s range of youth awards. George has recently been instrumental in taking our new Hi5 Award through a successful pilot and exciting launch. Prior to joining the team in 2005, he delivered youth work programmes to young people deemed to be at risk of, or involved in, offending behaviour. Before making a career change in 2001, George was owner and managing director of an automotive business. When he’s not fielding the rest of the team’s car-related questions, George can be found raising chickens or rustling up a mean cocktail for staff parties.
Ian McLaughlan is celebrating 30 years working in Scotland’s Third Sector in 2018 having been chief officer of three national membership organisations in the children and youth work sectors. A graduate of the YMCA George Williams College and City University Business School, Ian was appointed Youth Scotland’s chief executive in 2013 and says that he is privileged to lead a vibrant youth work organisation that supports the development of community based youth work across the country.
Jo has been working in the third sector for over 15 years, initially running young people programmes for a number of homeless organisations within Edinburgh. She moved to Youth Scotland in 2008 and has worked on various projects since including Girls on the Move, Bike Club, Network Development, Stand Up to Sectarianism, Young People Taking the Lead and her current role for Generation CashBack. In her spare time Jo can be found out and about on her bike, up hills or messing about on the water. She is still adjusting to the Scottish climate...
Julie has worked for a Local Authority in the Youth Learning Service for 21years, where she supported a large team of staff to deliver youth work in schools, while promoting wider achievement through the Awards. She joined Youth Scotland in 2014 where she designed and developed new training opportunities to up-skill practitioners in all things Awards. Recently Julie has been supporting Achievement Generators to help raise attainment through Hi5 and DYA in local youth groups, while they work towards an accredited award.
Julie is our other Julie and other Development Worker (Training and Youth Work)! Her background is as a Manager of a Youth Project and After School Club for over 10 years, Health Improvement Practitioner (Sexual Health and Relationship) most recently for YouthBorders for 4 years and a regular Youth Scotland freelance trainer. A woman of many hats, Julie is also a Personal Trainer and Holistic Therapist! Julie is motivated by what ‘lights the fire in your bellies’ - what motivates you and how can she tap into that so to realise your full potential!
Kevin started out in the traditional print industry before seeing that digital looked like it might be worth a look. He’s since spent over 15 years working in the web technology field in various communication and marketing roles for agencies and household name blue chips. Joining Youth Scotland met a long-held goal to join the Third Sector and contribute to something bigger. He’s still routinely proud and staggered by the amazing work happening in Youth Scotland and the youth sector in general. When he’s not fretting about this website, he’s usually being subjected to Frozen by his toddler or running long distances (to escape Frozen).
Kobi has worked in education and youth work for the last 12 years, specialising in working with vulnerable groups of young people. Joining us from Mindroom in Edinburgh, Kobi has been focused on growing the Money for Life programme, bringing tailored, practical financial education to young people across Scotland. A big football fan, Kobi likes to muck in as a volunteer coach with his daughter’s local school team. He tells us he’s in the ‘tracksuit manager’ mould…
Laura is a Development Worker (Training and Youth Work). She loves getting to design and deliver training to a wide range of organisations throughout Scotland. Prior to joining the Youth Scotland team, Laura already worked in the youth work sector, where she delivered health and well-being training. She has also worked in youth clubs and as a detached youth worker, and has been a youth worker for over 5 years. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering at her local dog shelter, binge watching TV and eating lots of cake (preferably together).
Mandy started in youth work at her local youth group encouraging young women to participate in sport. She started with Youth Scotland as an admin assistant and has held many roles in her ever-changing journey with the organisation, eventually taking on the role of Operations Manager in 2004, where she is now responsible for all office administration, HR and IT. Mandy still finds giving young people opportunities through community based youth work the most rewarding part of her job. When she finally does leave the office, Mandy hits the gym, goes for long walks and is a keen cyclist. She’s believed to be the only person a Fitbit has ever told to do less activity.
Mark joined the staff team at Youth Scotland in March 2017, having previously worked in a range of roles in the third, public and private sectors. He brings with him experience of supporting youth charities and funding. He is really proud to work with a passionate team of staff who are all committed to making a difference in young people’s lives through youth work. When not at work, Mark used to compete in Taekwondo competitions but more recently has his hands full being a father!
Head of Youth Worker Programmes/ Quality Improvement (P/T)
Head of Youth Worker Programmes/ Quality Improvement (P/T)
As a member of the Senior Management Team, Michele Meehan supports work which changes the lives of the lives of young people in Scotland. She joined the Youth Scotland team in 2008, having had a variety of roles in the third and public sectors. When not championing community based youth work to anyone who will listen, Michele can be found trying to improve her baking skills or travelling the world.
Jim has over 30 years professional and volunteer experience in senior management and consultancy roles in youth work, youth enterprise, SME and local community and economic development. He led the professional team of Scouts Scotland for almost 19 years as Chief Executive before taking on the development role with the Awards Network, hosted by Youth Scotland. Jim received a Lifetime Achievement Award and Fellowship of YouthLink Scotland in 2016. Jim is a keen traveller and has lived and worked across the UK, Europe and as far afield as Russia!
Dona Milne is a Consultant in Public Health at NHS Lothian and works in the area of children and young people’s wellbeing and in the broader area of reducing inequalities. She is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health and an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health. She originally trained in Community Education specialising in young people and health followed by a period working in the voluntary sector and local government. Since then, her career has taken her to YWCA Scotland as Depute Director (Scotland) and for 7 years from 2001 she led the ‘Healthy Respect’ National Demonstration Project. In 2008, Dona was seconded to the Scottish Government Public Health Division, returning to NHS Lothian in 2010. In a voluntary capacity, Dona is currently Chair of the Children’s Parliament.
“I have a strong commitment to youth work demonstrated through my continued involvement since I began as a local volunteer almost thirty years ago. I have a particular interest in community based youth work, which is universal and open to all. I have seen the difference that youth work can make to the lives of children and young people and I would like to see it receive the same recognition that the formal education sector receives.”
My appointment with Youth Scotland is by virtue of my work in the Third Sector over the last 25 years, working as Finance Manager in the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) – the largest voluntary sector provider of Adult Education in the UK. I am passionate about the need for education and lifelong learning. For me, education throughout life is vital to improving peoples’ chances, expectations and futures. Changing lives through education and training in the youth and adult sectors promotes equality of opportunity and social justice. Education has a huge impact on lifting children, young people and families out of poverty. The mission and work of Youth Scotland and the WEA are well aligned to these challenges and to the current funding environment. I believe in Youth Scotland’s aims to create well rounded individuals through education and leadership and to support the youth sector through best practice and guidance.
In my personal life as a parent, I have been involved in youth work – helping at Scouts and Sunday School and being on parental committees eg as secretary of the James Gillespies’ Pipe Band and the Chair of the Edinburgh Mod committee.
Melodie is CEO of PEEK - Possibilities for Each and Every Kid which is an award winning charity working with thousands of youngsters across less advantaged communities in Glasgow and beyond offering opportunities to Play, Create and Thrive. She is a member of RankNet, and part of the Common purpose Alumni and has chaired several forums including the East End Youth Network. Her passion and experience for children’s play has been represented through her involvement in the development of the Go Play Outcome and Evaluation Framework as well as presenting to Scottish Government, Scotland’s first four Play Symposium Event, The Early Years Collaborative and many others. In 2013 she was crowned Herald Society’s Unsung hero of the year. Melodie is also a registered Arts Award Advisor and Trainer of the Award across Scotland.
"Developing, leading and believing in young people underpin my practice so, when the opportunity arose to become involved as a trustee of Youth Scotland I jumped at the chance. I firmly believe that all Scottish Young People have the right to quality youth work programmes whilst our work force have access to training and support. Youth Scotland offers this in abundance and I am proud to be able to contribute to this fantastic organisation."
Throughout much of his working life, David has been involved with young people’s organisations. He has also had an eclectic interest in other groups working for the betterment of our society and the natural environment as a whole.
David’s home is on the Isle of Skye but over the past twelve years, most of his manoeuvres have been centred on the Lochalsh Youth Community Trust which runs the Lochalsh Youth Club. Furthermore he does voluntary work for Scottish Wildlife Trust, Skye & Lochalsh Environment Forum, Sleat Community Trust Environment Group, Highland Biological Recording Group and the Scottish National Party. Connections with the latter, coupled with being on the Cross Party Group for Children & Young People, enable him to indulge in lobbying MSPs for the benefit of our younger generation.
"For me children and young people are the most important humans on the Planet. I was therefore jubilant when elected to membership of Youth Scotland’s Board in 2013. Since then I have been inspired and captivated by dedicated staff and colleagues keen to change the lives of young people for the better. I consider myself very fortunate to be serving the best interests of Scotland’s future generation through participation in excellence of Youth Scotland."
Douglas has been involved with youth work for most of his life, having been involved in The Scout Association growing up, this progressed on to an interest and passion for improving the lives of young people and working to ensure that young people have an equal chance in life.
Currently Douglas is the Manager at TD1 Youth Hub in Galashiels, which is a youth work organisation that works with those aged 11 – 21 year old offering support, guidance and opportunities for young people to shape their own futures. Prior to this he led a one to one support project for young people at the Y2K project in Mayfield & Easthouses in Midlothian, before Y2K he developed and established a detached streetwork project with East Lothian Council which covered the whole authority area, his career started in East Lothian as part of the Youth Justice Team.
“I wanted to join the board of directors as I believes I have gathered a great deal of knowledge and experience and see at first-hand the impact that youth work has on young people on a daily basis and feel passionate about ensuring that youth work is recognised throughout the country as a vital part of society”.
Emmie has spent the past four years involved in youth work. She began by getting involved in her local youth council, becoming chair and helping to deliver a mock independence referendum in Moray. Since then, she has become the Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament for Moray, representing the area nationally. She was a driving force in collecting young people's views for the Year of Young People in 2018 and continues to volunteer with Young Scot. All of her work came together to complete a Platinum Youth Achievement Award in August this year. She is now studying Community Education at the University of Edinburgh.
"My life was changed when I completed the Platinum Youth Achievement Award. The skills and experience I gained from the Award have helped to shape my career path and have helped to establish my place in youth work sector. I decided to apply for a Trustee position because I believe the opportunities Youth Scotland provide to young people in Scotland are fantastic and I wanted to play a bigger part in the process!"
Helen is a Charities and Personal & Family solicitor at Brodies LLP, Edinburgh. Helen has worked in private practice across the central belt for 7 years and her area of interest, passion and focus is advising on charity and third sector legal issues. Her work has included: setting up/merging/dissolving charities; advising on governance, charity tax, trading activities; administration of grant giving charities and dealing with a wide range of regulatory matters such as OSCR, HMRC and FCA related issues.
Building on the above, Helen is a firm believer that young people can realise their full potential through sports and wellbeing (or the arts or science…whatever takes the interest of each individual child/young person!). Taking sports as an example, young people get the chance to forge lasting friendships through teamwork, build confidence, develop physically and emotionally and learn skills that will equip them for the challenges life will throw at them – allowing young people to take their place in society as responsible, resilient and motivated young adults.
As a keen sports person (but not always the most successful!), Helen has seen the value youth work can bring to young people through exercise and she strongly believes we all have a part to play in encouraging young people from all backgrounds to develop, grow and achieve.
With a wealth of leadership, management and board-level experience, Jayne has established a career as a highly respected figure across voluntary, community and education sectors. Jayne has worked at a senior level for 20 years, with over 15 years as Director/ CEO within charities.
Appointed to her first Director/ CEO position at the age of 31, Jayne progressed to leading one of the largest and most highly regarded adult education charities in the country, when becoming Director at WEA Scotland.
Working closely with Scottish Government, Jayne has influenced numerous national policies and strategies, working tirelessly as a strong advocate for equality and social justice in Scotland.
Sascha is currently the Managing Director of The BIG Project a neighbourhood based youth project which recently received The Queen’s award for Voluntary Service. Although Sascha started out in teaching, her career has been focused in the voluntary youth work sector. Working in some of Edinburgh’s major youth projects - Citadel, CYP, and PYCP she knows from experience the difference good quality youth work makes to the lives of children and young people and believes it is vital to ensure their continued access to high quality youth services.
A founder member of The Lothian Girls Work Group, Sascha is passionate about ensuring that all young people have equal access to opportunities and is committed to ensuring work with girls and young women remains firmly on the agenda.
Sascha participated in a mentoring and development programme with Pilotlight and has for the past 11 years been a Trustee with Hopscotch Children’s Charity which provides respite breaks for disadvantaged children from across Scotland. She is also a member of Edinburgh Youth Work Consortium.