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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

Andrew Burns


Andrew has been Convener of SCVO since January 2018, using his role as a trustee as a way of being able to use his skills to assist others, while also enhancing and developing those skills by broadening his own experience.  As well as his work with SCVO he is also a board member of the Accounts Commission for Scotland, is undertaking a part-time PhD at the University of Edinburgh Business School and is chair the Edinburgh Union Canal Society. 

Over an expansive career Andrew has worked across the private, public and voluntary sectors – most recently having been leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, a position he held until May 2017 when he stood down.   
In his spare time, Andrew loves working on his allotment-plot, is a keen cyclist and walker, and helps run a monthly informal walking-group.

Fiona Gillespie

SCVO Treasurer

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)!

Adam Lang

Head of Nesta Scotland

Adam leads the work of Nesta in Scotland, working across their missions, practices and partnerships to deliver impact against Nesta’s strategic objectives. Adam previously led Nesta’s work in Scotland with a focus on digital, data and technology driven innovation for social good. 

Adam joined Nesta after five years as the Head of Policy and Communications for Shelter Scotland, where he was part of the charity's UK senior leadership team. Adam is a Fellow of the RSA, a member of the Scottish Leaders Forum and sits on the Advisory Board for the Data Driven Innovation (DDI) initiative at the University of Edinburgh.

Adam has three young children and spends most of his free time trying to stop them from killing each other. When he gets the chance he enjoys cooking, reading, loud music, the cinema and single malt Islay whisky.

Sean Duffy

The Wise Group

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

The minutes of our Board meetings are available here.