Into Work is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. There are 12 Director places on the Board. It meets five times each year. Into Work holds an AGM every November.
Our Directors bring a wide variety of skills and experience to Into Work, from people who have used our service to local business owners. Our Directors support and advise employees through the work of Board Committees for: Finance, Human Resources and Strategic Development.
I have been involved with Into Work since 1993, latterly as Chairperson of the Board for several years. I worked for IBM for many years, then ran my own business in Edinburgh employing over 50 people. I have been a proud supporter of the wonderful work of Into Work throughout this time.
My relationship with Into Work is a long one. My background is in training and when I worked as a Liaison Offer at Jewel and Esk Valley College (now part of Edinburgh College) I was involved in the discussions that led to the eventual establishing of the Into Work Resource Team, as Into Work was then known. I subsequently joined their Advisory Group and became a Director when Into Work became a charity in 1998. Before I retired I was also a long-standing member of the Scottish Union of Supported Employment and chair of the Lothian Employability Forum.
I had a great desire as a stroke survivor and lifelong Aspergers sufferer to help others with similar needs. I knew from direct experience the dedication and enthusiasm of team of employment advisers at Into Work.
I have both an IT degree and post-graduate Business degree and experience as an employer, all relevant in running the charity, and understanding the needs of service users.
As well as the above, I am also a former user of Into Work’s Acquired Brain Injury service. Into Work helped me to identify the type of employment that would suit me best after I suffered a major stroke and then was subsequently given an Aspergers diagnosis. Into Work were, and still are, keen to expand the number of volunteer directors who have direct experience of their services and/or business experience. As I have both I wanted to put that to good use.
I qualified as a Chartered Account in 2015 and have 6 years’ experience in external audit. I currently work for KPMG and specialise in financial services clients.
After graduating with a degree in sociology I spent a large part of my career in the public sector supporting disadvantaged groups, latterly focusing on working with people with learning disabilities.
I joined Into Work in 2000 to help develop a new specialist employment service for people with acquired brain injuries or Aspergers syndrome. As ABI team leader, I organised, co-ordinated and provided front-line delivery services. Over the years, I have advised and supported many service users to progress into employment.
I believe that the service provided by Into Work is invaluable, particularly in the current climate where opportunities for people with disabilities are limited. I was therefore very pleased to join the Board when I retired in 2014 to continue contributing to the long-term success of the organisation.
I have a background in Management Consultancy specialising in IT. I was also a Non-Executive Director at NHS Lothian for three years. I have been involved in various roles in autism related organisations for more than 20 years. I have been a member of the Council of the Scottish Society for Autism, a member of the Cross Party Group for Autism at the Scottish Parliament and was also a founder member of No 6, an organisation which provides services for adults with autism in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
I’ve been a Director at Into Work for over ten years now, and am also the proud parent of a service user who is now almost four years in employment in a job which Into Work helped him to acquire.
I understand that finding work can be both a daunting and rewarding experience and I’m keen that people feel they have adequate support to help them on this journey. I believe that Into Work play a crucial role in this within Edinburgh and the Lothians.
I currently work for Standard Life and have worked in a variety of HR roles including: Reward, Graduate Recruitment, Learning, People Consultancy, Talent and Organisational Development and some more generalist positions. I studied Human Resource Management at both Masters and Undergraduate level, I’m a qualified coach and a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personal Development.
I also have experience working in the recruitment industry which is particularly beneficial given the nature of Into Work.
I’ve been an active volunteer and fundraiser for many years and enjoy working with a variety of charities.