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about us

our volunteers and trustees

Volunteers are at the heart of everything we do.  We involve more than hundreds of volunteers across our range of services, in many different roles

Volunteers are at the heart of everything we do.  We involve hundreds of volunteers across our range of services, in many different roles. Whether they’re welcoming members of the public, serving on our board of trustees, promoting equality, delivering shopping to people who are isolated as part of our Community Taskforce Volunteers project, or running activities for patients at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, we value every single one of of them.

Become a Volunteer Edinburgh Trustee

This year we have vacancies for up to four new board members. We’re looking for people of all backgrounds, ages and experience to join our board of trustees, to help guide the organisation and achieve our goals. To find out more take a look at the Nomination Pack. The closing date for applications is Friday 20th May.

Our trustees

Our trustees provide strategic vision and governance. Let’s not forget that they are volunteers too.

If you are interested in joining the board of trustees, a nomination pack is available under Some Useful Resources.


John Lawrie

John Lawrie Convenor

John has taken part in voluntary activities all his adult life and has a firm belief in the value of volunteers both to society and to the individuals volunteering.  He is a trustee of the Cyrenians and has also served as a trustee (and as chair) of Edinvar Housing Association, the Samaritans, Telephone Helplines Association and Penumbra. John was an investment manager for Scottish Provident and was for four years an Edinburgh City Councillor.  He was awarded the OBE in 1990 and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the City of Edinburgh in 2012.

Albert Paterson

Albert Paterson Vice Convenor

Bert has over 30 years experience in a variety of international executive and board level positions in the Life & General Insurance and Family Takaful (Islamic compliant) industries. Whilst serving in Turkey, India and Indonesia Bert had direct experience of the benefits gained by providing opportunities for staff to volunteer their time and skills and, now that he has returned to Edinburgh, is pleased to be able to continue to encourage the benefits of volunteering as part of the Volunteer Edinburgh board.

Mike Reid Treasurer

Mike is an accountant and Head of Corporate Services at Relationships Scotland.

Edward Hibbert

Edward has been a Trustee since 2010.  He has worked for many years in IT, and now does IT work for the third sector.  He is particularly interested in how technology can create virtual communities and since 2005, has been involved in Freegle, a voluntary movement which helps keep usable items out of landfill by giving them away to people nearby.  This has given him experience and interest in the joys and challenges of volunteering.

Laura Morrison

Laura Morrison

Laura is a solicitor specialising in employment law at Dentons UK and Middle East LLP. She has volunteered in various capacities since her student days and is involved in organising and participating in a number of volunteering opportunities as part of Dentons’ CSR initiatives. Laura first joined the board in 2007, serving for six years, and rejoined the board in 2015.

Tanya Howden

Tanya has a Computer Science background specialising in Digital Education, designing and delivering engaging and creative lesson materials to change stereotypes about coding and tech careers. Originally from the Highlands, she started volunteering in high school with the local youth club where she was Chairperson for a year before moving away to study at university. As a strong women-in-technology ambassador, most of her current volunteer work involves leading STEAM workshops for community groups, including supporting Heart of Midlothian FC to launch their ground-breaking Digital Skills Programme.

Rebecca Neish

Rebecca is Partnership and Event Sales Manager at The Balmoral. Prior to this she was the Events Manager at the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and part of the Inspiring Communities Group, which works to bring together business and the third sector in mutually beneficial partnerships. Having volunteered in various capacities since her school days, Rebecca is pleased to be able to advocate the benefits of volunteering to all stakeholders through her position on the Volunteer Edinburgh board.

Una Phelan

Una is a chartered accountant and spent a number of years with one of the Big Six accountancy firms, both in the UK and overseas, specialising in SME advisory and latterly Corporate Finance. Over the last 20 years she has been self employed, starting and developing a number of businesses in a variety of sectors. She is currently studying for a Diploma in Transformational Coaching. Over the years she has volunteered with numerous organisations including in treasurer positions, grant funding applications, administration, fundraising and event planning. In her professional life she has had an involvement with Charity Governance.

Karen Filsell

Karen has worked alongside or managed volunteers for much of her working life, most recently in adult and children’s hospices. Karen has been chair of the Association of Volunteer Managers – the national body for hospice volunteer managers.  She previously ran St Albans Volunteer Centre, working closely with other Volunteer Centres in Hertfordshire to promote volunteering, leading on their relationship with sports organisations. Karen was most recently Volunteer Services Manager at St Columba’s Hospice.  Karen is passionate about unlocking the potential that volunteers can bring to organisations, and about how volunteering changes the lives of volunteers.

Trustees serve on the Board in a personal capacity and do not represent the interests of any other organisation.  Their background is given for information only.