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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Board of trustees

SCVO is governed by a board of trustees. Our trustees play a key role in making sure that SCVO stays true to its mission and values, serving the interests of our members and the wider voluntary sector.

Most of our board members are elected from our membership. 5 trustees - including our Convener - have been co-opted to bring special skill sets to the group. On this page, you'll find more information about our Board members.

Current board members

A headshot of SCVO's convener Richard Jennings taken against a sandstone brick wall.

Richard Jennings


Richard has been Convener of SCVO since December 2023 and brings a wealth of experience in senior leadership, governance and strategic planning to our organisation. As well as having a passion for the role of the voluntary sector in Scotland’s social and economic fabric and an understanding of the challenges the sector is currently facing, Richard has a strong track record in a variety of roles in the voluntary, public and private sectors. These roles include time at Volunteer Scotland, East Lothian Council, Places for People, and in professional services firms including KPMG and PWC, in both an executive and non-executive capacity.

Farha Jamadar

SCVO Treasurer

Head of Finance, Todd Doors Ltd

Farha Jamadar ACMA CGMA is a Senior Chartered Global Management Accountant within the commercial and construction industry, with a passion for charity.

An advocate for the development of technology in the future of finance and the changes it brings, ensuring technology and information is utilised in the most impactful way possible. 

Farha is currently in training to become a football coach for young girls. When she isn’t volunteering, she can be found jumping out of planes for amazing causes! 

Fiona Gillespie

Head of charities, Scotland, Rathbones Investment Management

Fiona’s career of almost 30 years has been in the investment industry managing portfolios for a range of different charities and other clients. Before heading up the charities team across Rathbones’ Scottish offices, she worked at Anderson Strathern Asset Management for a few years, and with Aberdeen Asset Management. Outwith her day job, she sits as a trustee on the board of three other organisations, all extremely interesting and focused on distributing grants for a range of causes and purpose.  

She is also active in working with Future Asset who look to promote the investment industry to senior school age girls as an interesting and rewarding career path. Fiona is a mum of one son in second year of Edinburgh University, who is almost grown up (but never in her eyes)!

Bushra Iqbal

West Of Scotland Regional Equality Council (WSREC)

Bushra Iqbal MBE has played a significant role in promoting equal opportunities and human rights through her work at the West of Scotland Regional Equality Council (WSREC), a national charity dedicated to fostering good community relations. With a career spanning various levels at WSREC, Bushra has been instrumental in the development of Equalities and Human Rights policies.

In her capacity as the Head of Strategy and Policy Development, Bushra collaborated closely with public, private, and voluntary sectors, fostering connections with sister agencies and organisations. She actively supported victims of discrimination, challenging employer policies and practices. Notably, she pioneered the successful Minority Ethnic Women Civic Participation Project, achieving commendable positive outcomes.

Bushra also served as a Diversity and Equality Advisor at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service for seven years and completed a secondment with NHS Education for Scotland. Throughout her career, she consistently integrated the principles of good community relations into her professional endeavours.

In 2008, Bushra's dedication to fostering positive human relations was acknowledged when she received the Member of the British Empire (MBE) honor in the New Year Queen’s Honour list.

As a community champion, Bushra founded the North Lanarkshire Muslim Women and Family Alliance in 1994, uniting diverse communities through collaborative projects with public and community organizations, yielding community benefits.

Beyond her professional commitments, Bushra cherishes spending time with her family and friends, indulging in her passion for gardening. An ambitious learner, she also enjoys exploring new computer hacks in her spare time.

Sean Duffy

The Wise Group
Sean currently serves as the Chief Executive of the Wise Group, where he has spearheaded a successful transformation encompassing technical, cultural, and financial aspects. Renowned for his positivity, dynamism, and innovation, Sean is a forward-thinking business leader with a proven track record of fostering values-based partnerships. His focus lies in nurturing impactful collaborations aimed at addressing some of society's most pressing challenges.

Prior to his role at the Wise Group, Sean held the position of Commercial Director at Newsquest Scotland. He boasts an impressive senior leadership background, having contributed significantly to organisations such as FirstGroup, National Express, and STV Group.

Sean is actively involved in various boards, including the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), St Andrews Links Trust, The Open University (OU), and the Advisory Board of Strathclyde Business School. Notably, he recently assumed the role of Chair at the Donaldson Trust, advocating for neurodiversity across governmental and societal spheres. Sean holds an MBA with Distinction from Strathclyde Business School.

Barry Sillers

Chairperson, Foundation Scotland

As the Chairperson of Foundation Scotland, Barry has invaluable insight across the many challenges and opportunities currently facing the voluntary sector in Scotland.

Barry brings the experience and learning of 30 years of public service leadership, across roles with the United Nations, NATO and the UK Armed Forces globally and the NHS and Policing in Scotland. This has had a focus on developing Strategy and the delivery of large-scale Transformational Change. Barry understands not only the value of well-judged and collaboratively developed strategic direction, and the progress which can be delivered through good governance, but also the need to both support and challenge an organisation, in order to deliver outcomes and value staff.

Noting partnership, knowledge sharing, learning and being collegiate as his cornerstone values, Barry believes in bold community ambition and progressive action aligned to the needs of Scotland’s citizens. The lessons of the pandemic showed Barry that collaborative teamwork, preparedness and resilience are key to turning survival into success, and so he looks forward to championing all of these as an SCVO Trustee.

Kim Atkinson

CEO, Scottish Sports Association (SSA)

Kim is a passionate and experienced leader, CEO, Chair and influential advocate of the sector’s power and potential.

Working across 13 Government teams and respected by all political parties, Kim brings extensive experience of sharing the member voice in developing policy, shaping strategy and informing national priorities.

As CEO (SSA) and former Chair (ACOSVO), Kim understands membership organisations and understands that SCVO’s role has never been more needed as the sector continues to face significant challenges and opportunities. Passionate about the potential of SCVO and our members, Kim is committed to playing her part in positioning the voluntary sector as Scotland’s first sector.

Gillian Reid-McKee

Assistant Director, Operations, Shelter Scotland

An experienced third sector leader, Gillian is inspired by the power of voluntary organisations and the collective impact of the sector. As the current Assistant Director, Operations at Shelter Scotland, she has been dedicated throughout her career to serving charitable purpose across social justice issues.

Skilled in developing strategy, embedding quality and delivering impact, along with experience in charitable governance, Gillian is committed to leading change in the sector with a focus on culture, development and delivery.

Previously the Committee Chair for Carers Trust Scotland, and currently a volunteer mentor within a secondary school, Gillian has now joined SCVO’s Board of Trustees where she is set to play her part in the continued development and strengthening of capacity, skills and visibility of Scotland’s voluntary sector.


Debbie Adams

Director for Scotland and Northern Ireland, The Conservation Volunteers

Debbie is currently director for Scotland and Northern Ireland for The Conservation Volunteers - a charity whose mission is to connect people with the lasting individual and community benefits of greenspace engagement while improving those spaces for nature and the environment. She has worked in senior leadership roles in the private and voluntary sector and started her career as a youth and community worker in Paisley.

From a young age, Debbie was involved in community organisations and knows the value of local volunteers creating opportunities for their communities. She was interested in being on the Board of SCVO because a strong voice for the sector has never been more needed. The organisation strives to represent, support and celebrate all shapes and sizes of the voluntary sector and each organisation is stronger by being part of that larger umbrella that SCVO provides.

Ashley Ryan


Ashley Ryan is the Director of ENABLE Works – one of the three pillars of the ENABLE Group. Leading one of the largest and most successful employment support teams in Scotland, Ashley is responsible for an income of £10million, 135 employees and her team supports more than 5,500 people who have learning disabilities or barriers to work to develop their employment skills.

Ashley joined ENABLE more than a decade ago and has worked in a variety of roles before her appointment as the Director of ENABLE Works in 2021.An innovative leader, Ashley heads up a dynamic and thriving department, with a reputation for excellence and a proven track record of success in pioneering innovative and inclusive programmes which support our clients to achieve well paid, sustainable careers.

Crucial to the success of ENABLE Works is the ongoing support the team provides to employees and employers to boost job retention with more than 650 paid roles secured in 2022/23. The team directly supports employers to adjust workplaces in practice while providing mentoring to employees with disabilities.

Furthering her commitment to the sector, Ashley sits on the board of the Third Sector Employability Forum Executive Group representing the voluntary sector in an advisory capacity to inform Scottish policy and procurement in relation to the employability and skills sector.

A passionate advocate for equality and social justice, Ashley is also a non-executive Director and Chair of Paws for Progress, an organisation which supports young people in custody to work with rescue dogs to help them to build better lives.

Awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship in Education from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, in 2023 Ashley will embark on an exciting international practice sharing research project, exploring successful approaches to inclusive education in USA.

Jonathan Christie

Chief executive, Cabrach Trust

Jonathan joined the SCVO Board in June 2022, relishing the opportunity to play a small part supporting and promoting Scotland’s vibrant, critically important voluntary sector. Jonathan is Chief Executive of The Cabrach Trust, a rural development charitable trust on the border between West Aberdeenshire and Moray. With responsibility for leading the trust’s community regeneration strategy, Jonathan leads a small team and associated programme of important projects, including start-up of a one-of-a-kind social enterprise, The Cabrach Distillery CIC.

As former Deputy UK Director at The Wood Foundation where he served for ten years, Jonathan has a wealth of experience in third sector leadership and grant making. Prior to which his early career focused on working alongside vulnerable individuals, groups, and communities across Scotland. In his spare time Jonathan can be found with his family up a hill, on a Hebridean beach, or coaching his son’s football team.

Board meeting minutes

Minutes of our Board meetings