CHILDREN'S UNIVERSITY SCOTLAND
Neil joined as Chief Executive in September 2017. He has worked with children's charities for over 25 years and has lead efforts at local and national level to tackle the impact of poverty and inequality on children's lives. He initially trained in community education, and went on to gain post-graduate qualifications in counselling approaches and social services leadership. Prior to his current role, Neil was Save the Children’s Head of Scotland, focussing on the delivery of programmes and campaigns that tackle child poverty and its impact on children’s learning and development. Neil has served on the boards of several voluntary organisations, and is currently board director of One Parent Families Scotland and chairperson of Children of Songea Trust. As CEO for Children's University Scotland, Neil leads the charity’s work to raise aspirations, boost achievement and tackle disadvantage to ensure that every child has the best chance of reaching their full potential.
QUALITY AND INNOVATION MANAGER
Music aficionado, chocolate enthusiast and aspiring amateur geoscientist. I love to learn by exploring new places, meeting new people and challenging myself to do something that I find a bit scary for the first time. I believe that if you don’t try, how will you know if you enjoy it, if you can do it, and how to do it better next time? In my role at Children’s University Scotland I manage the schools programme: I engage new schools, deliver training and ongoing support alongside our local partners, oversee the development of our Aspire portal, and work to improve our programme offer so it delivers the best possible outcomes for children. For me, that means helping inspire a love of learning that will stay with children throughout their lives and give them the confidence they need to shape their future.
LEARNING NETWORK COORDINATOR
Full of questions. Aspiring star baker. Psychology nerd. I love to learn by going on adventures. I love hiking up mountains, exploring cities through the back streets and finding interesting places and people to learn from. I also love to learn through reading. I’m passionate about mental health and well-being, and since joining the team as an intern in 2016, I have developed an understanding of the transformative impact learning can have on well-being. I’m delighted to be part of a team that can support children to experience well-being through fun, accessible learning. My role at Children’s University Scotland is coordinating our learning offer, so our members can collect their CU credits and awards taking part in a varied, quality and most importantly fun range of learning opportunities. I also manage our social media channels and website, support volunteers and ensure our office and financial procedures run smoothly.
POLICY AND PARTNERSHIP MANAGER
Purveyor of puns. Scrabble boss. Football fanatic. Human spellcheck. Chef. I joined CUS because I wanted to work with an organisation that celebrates diversity of learning and encourages people to discover that learning is fun and fulfilling. This still motivates me today. I’m proud to be part of a team that is positive about learning new things. I laugh a lot, usually doing stuff outdoors: walking the dog, enjoying a beach barbecue, growing things, reading in the sun or on a camping trip. Otherwise, I’m probably in the kitchen. Cooking is really relaxing, singing along to tunes in my head, and I love sharing my creations with others. I lead on the CUS advocacy strategy to inform policy and practice around wider learning, and oversee collaborations with other stakeholders, particularly higher and further education partners, to increase the quality and quantity of learning opportunities available to young people throughout Scotland.