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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.

Meet the trainers

We've hand-picked a great selection of trainers to guide you through our courses. Find out more about their backgrounds and interests here.

Anja Kirchhof

A native German with a diploma in business management and work experience as a project manager in a German research organisation, Anja relocated to Edinburgh more than a decade ago. After a career break to raise her family, she dusted off her management skills through a CMI Level 5 certificate in Management and Leadership. Anja joined The Challenges Group in 2021 to support women to return to and progress in work after a career break.  

Now providing CMI training herself, Anja is committed to improving management and leadership practices especially in voluntary sector organisations, because better leaders & managers make better workplaces make happier employees being more productive in working with purpose.

Anja's current courses: Managing with purpose: a CMI recognised course for voluntary sector managers and leaders and Introduction to project management.

Anne Whiteford

Anne has been training in the voluntary sector for many years, starting as a volunteer trainer in Scouting and then working professionally for Scouting at UK and world levels for over 20 years, where training was a key element of her role. She really enjoys training, helping people learn and making the learning as real and appropriate for the participants as possible, so that they can apply it in their back home situations.

Anne has been providing training for SCVO for the past 7 years, covering topics such as volunteering, trainer training and managing projects.

Anne's current courses: Train the trainer: a training toolkit and Meeting today’s volunteering challenges.

Chaka Bachmann

Chaka is a seasoned equity and inclusion consultant and social justice researcher with a wealth of experience in facilitating cultural change among senior leadership teams and wider organisation, as well as leading large-scale research projects. She has delivered comprehensive in-depth inclusive cultural change programmes to a range of clients, including Girlguiding, Alliance Magazine, Quakers, Citizens Advice, and MSF UK (Doctors Without Borders). Chaka has a particular interest in exploring how multinational companies navigate and implement Global LGBT+ EDI practices in challenging regional environments.

As an intersectional activist, Chaka has been committed to social justice and community creation from a young age. Growing up in a dual heritage home and identifying as a queer Femme has profoundly influenced her empathetic and accountable approach to cultural change. Chaka creates spaces that encourage deep reflection and active engagement, empowering participants to drive the change they wish to see. Her work focuses on unpacking the dynamics of privilege and power, fostering new places of belonging, and inspiring lasting transformation.

Chaka's current courses: Introduction to equity, diversity and inclusion within charities 

John Bonnar

John is a highly experienced trainer, evaluator, facilitator and consultant to the sector. He trains on strategic topics such as project management and contracts and service level agreements, in addition to practical ones such as report writing, time management and minute taking. He created the first contracts course in Scotland, which is updated and refined after each delivery based on contributions from participants. He has a wealth of real-life examples to back up his materials. “I learn from participants on every course I deliver and I build that learning into my materials.”

John's current courses: Be report writing ready, Effective minute taking virtually and beyond, Time management in the workplace and How to win contracts and Service Level Agreements.

Lawrence Broadie

Lawrence is the co-owner and managing director at Electrify, a creative communications agency that works almost exclusively with not-for-profit clients in the voluntary and public sectors.

He’s worked with SCVO for over five years delivering specialist marketing & comms training in his customary energetic style, consistently receiving fabulous feedback from delegates.

At the heart of Lawrence and Electrify’s approach is storytelling, because in the voluntary sector there are so many extraordinary stories to be told. Along with his brilliant team, Lawrence is highly experienced in developing campaigns that pack a punch developing compelling concepts, powerful multi-platform content and giving people the best possible opportunity to react.

Lawrence's current course: Comms and marketing made easy

Lesley Morris

Over the course of 25 years in the public sector as a communicator and people manager, Lesley became passionate about supporting others to discover their own unique strengths and empowering them to lead with efficiency, authenticity and compassion.   

Following a two-year career break, she made the move into the voluntary sector, joining The Challenges Group in late 2021 to deliver upskilling and training, employability skills and management and leadership, with an emphasis on good practise, positive workplace culture and building confidence.  

Lesley's current courses: Managing with purpose: a CMI recognised course for voluntary sector managers and leaders and Introduction to project management

Lindsay Linton

Lindsay has been working with SCVO for over 10 years delivering the Plan, measure and report social impact training.

She believes that helping voluntary sector teams and their leaders to make social impact evaluation everyday practice is one of the most satisfying things she could do professionally. Lindsay loves having a front row seat as pieces of the jigsaw fall into place for folk who attend her course to gain practical ‘how to’ knowledge that they’ll take back to the office to evaluate their project. She asks, what’s better than that?!

Lindsay's current course: Plan, measure and report social impact

Lynn Houmdi

Lynn Houmdi has worked in and led purpose-led businesses and not-for-profit organisations since leaving the UK Civil Service in 2012. She joined the Challenges Group on the basis of a shared interest in the barriers different people face to finding and progressing in meaningful employment. As well as facilitating training on management & leadership and project management, Lynn run’s Making Work Work, a suite of programmes, which she co-created with the Challenges Group to support women find meaningful work that works around all the other commitments and enjoyment of life. 

Lynn's current courses: Managing with purpose: a CMI recognised course for voluntary sector managers and leaders and Introduction to project management

Mark Douglas

Mark Douglas is a partner in Blue Ptarmigan specialising in helping people perform better in the workplace. Mark has extensive experience in the delivery of training and development both ‘face to face’ and online in voluntary sector organisations. He has specific expertise in management & leadership development, teamwork, personal resilience, unconscious bias, equality & diversity and coaching. He has had a wide ranging career working in the public, voluntary and private sectors. Outside of work he is a keen cyclist, hill walker, skier; in fact anything outdoors. And on the dark winter nights he can be found in his shed tinkering with old cars and motorbikes. 

Mark's current courses: Introduction to people management: essentials for team leaders, supervisors and managers, Adapt and develop your management skills: managing people in the modern world and Building personal resilience and self confidence

Pam Judson

Pam has been working in fundraising as a consultant and trainer for over 25 years. She works with fundraisers, management committees, volunteers and staff across the voluntary sector to strengthen their fundraising capacity. This might include strategic planning, governance for fundraising, proposal writing and research as well as developing membership and friends' schemes and individual giving programmes. In addition, she has been a trustee for two Scottish grant making trusts and assessed a wide range of grant applications for several funders. 

Pam works towards creating sustainable fundraising solutions for organisations and training is one key part of this process.  She strives to make the learning as interactive as possible with hands on activities and participatory methods. Then when the training is completed, organisations and individuals can continue with the work themselves in a more structured and directed manner. 

Pam's current courses: Get started with fundraising: building capacity to raise funds and Develop your fundraising skills: thriving funds in difficult times

Pamela Redpath

Pamela became a trainer 20+ years ago to fill a gap for straightforward, understandable finance training that dealt with the reality faced by the charities and community groups that she was working with. That remains the basis for all of her finance and governance training. She has been delivering iterations of All Things Financial for SCVO for a long time now; financial policies and regulations change but the fundamental challenges remain as great as ever. Her training aims to remove the fear factor from finances and give non-financial people the skills and confidence to deal effectively with it all.

Pamela's current courses: All things financial: building a strong financial foundation and All things financial: annual accounting, governance and reporting

Philippa Bonella

Philippa is a freelance consultant specialised in helping third sector organisations with strategic planning, governance and research. Over the past 8 years as a consultant she has worked with international, UK and Scottish charities, mostly in the international development, human rights and environment sectors, to help them improve what they do. Before going freelance she was a senior manager in several different Scottish charities. She takes a facilitative approach to training, sharing her learning and then encouraging participants to share their own practical challenges and find solutions during the session.

Philippa is also a volunteer mentor for charity chief executives through ACOSVO and sits on the board of consultancy network Consultants for Good.

Philippa's current courses: Guide to good governance: running effective board meetings, Guide to good governance: defining strategy, culture and values and Guide to good governance: board and staff relationships

Ross McCulloch

Ross McCulloch is the founder of Third Sector Lab - an organisation with extensive experience of working in digital and design for charities, social enterprises, community groups and the public sector. Working in digital for well over a decade, Ross has trained thousands of charity staff to use digital and service design more effectively. Ross is the organiser of Tech for Good Scotland and was named one of the Big Issue's Changemakers of 2022. 

Ross's current course: Social media fundamentals

Shaun McLaughlin

Shaun McLaughlin is hugely passionate about the voluntary sector. He has a lifelong connection through volunteering with Sustrans and mentoring young people, acting treasurer and interim chair for a local Edinburgh charity, to delivering employability programmes that have supported over 3,000 young people into employment. 
As part of the Challenges Group, Shaun has partnered with SCVO over the past 5 years to deliver Accredited management & leadership and project management training to over 150 participants and has probably learned as much as he’s imparted, which makes the training so enjoyable. 
Outside of work Shaun loves to take his dog Alfie and his family on cycling adventures or to the Pentlands for long walks, and is sometimes known to go for a dip at Portobello or in one of the local reservoirs. 

Shaun's current courses: Managing with purpose: a CMI recognised course for voluntary sector managers and leaders and Introduction to project management

Stevan Houldsworth

Stevan Houldsworth has worked in various departments at SCVO for nearly 20 years, and is now our Property manager. Over the years through our in-house training service, Stevan has delivered in-person first aid training at various levels to many SCVO colleagues and voluntary organisations. 

Stevan's current course: Emergency first aid at work (SCQF6)

Tom Burke

Tom Burke has extensive experience in leading safeguarding and child protection training for voluntary organisations working with children, young people and adults. He leads safeguarding training at our sister council NCVO and is UK Regional Advisor for the Funder Safeguarding Collaborative. He has previously led research into the role of Safeguarding Leads in the voluntary sector and co-authored guides to safeguarding and the law. He has worked across the voluntary sector and was previously Deputy Chief Executive of a leading international development charity. He has previously been a Trustee and Chair of Trustees of a Charity.

Tom's current course: Introduction to safeguarding

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