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.
Our trustees provide strategic vision and governance. Let’s not forget that they are volunteers too.
Professor Joe Goldblatt is Emeritus Professor of Planned Events at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. He is the author, co-author, and editor of 40 books in his field. He is also Chair of the Edinburgh Interfaith Association and serves upon several national boards.
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.
Mike is Finance and Resources Manager at Redress Scotland. Mike has served on the board of Volunteer Edinburgh as its Treasurer since its inception in 1999.
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.
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.
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.
Myles is currently Head of Airport Operations and Resilience at Edinburgh Airport. Throughout his career Myles has specialised in operations, partnering with organisations to plan and prepare for the unexpected. This has included working with charity and volunteer programmes, most notably Heathrow Travel Care who provide humanitarian assistance to assess, advise and assist anyone in, or potentially in difficulty. Having recently partnered with the volunteer programme at the airport in response to the Ukraine crisis, he has been taken aback at the commitment of Edinburgh volunteers and would like to play a greater role in serving the local community.
Iain is delighted to be joining the Board of Trustees at Volunteer Edinburgh and hopes his knowledge, skills and experience of the health, social care and third sectors will be tested to the full. Originally a trained nurse working in orthopaedics, trauma and accident and emergency he then managed nursing services at a senior level before taking up a position as assistant director of operations in an acute hospital down south. Changing career direction in 2007, Iain moved into the management of mental health independent advocacy services. Iain is currently Interim CEO of Partners in Advocacy, living in Edinburgh with his husband and two-year old dog, Isla. When he gets the opportunity to relax, he enjoys walking, cycling (half-heartedly!) and being a Scottish Rugby super-fan!
Louise is Head of Membership Development and Growth at Girlguiding Scotland where she works in partnership with volunteers to design and deliver programmes that respond to challenges around volunteer and young member recruitment and retention. Through this work she sees the difference volunteering makes to young people, adults, communities and organisations, and she is passionate about promoting the benefits of volunteering.
Bethany is the Director for Edinburgh Food Project (EFP), a local charity with over 250 volunteers. Having joined EFP as a volunteer herself, she moved on to become their first Volunteer Manager before taking over from the founder of the charity. She is grateful for the opportunity to be able to use this experience as a Trustee for VE.