Board of Trustees
The Together Board currently comprises 13 Trustees, elected to the Board on a rolling basis.
Fiona Jones - Chair of Together Board
Fiona is Head of Policy Development at cl@n childlaw, an outreach law centre for children and young people. She has practised as a solicitor, and as an advocate at the Scots Bar. In addition, she has worked as a learning assistant to a child with autism, and as an adviser in a Citizen's Advice Bureau.
In her current role, Fiona is involved in a wide variety of policy issues affecting children in Scotland. She is also a safeguarder in the Children's Hearings system, and a Court Reporter in family actions in the Sheriff Court. She delivers training across a spectrum of topics, including Children's Rights in Scots Law, Child Protection and the Law, and Children's Hearings. Her interest in and commitment to the realisation of children's rights goes back many years. Fiona joined the Board of Together in 2013.
Susan Elsley - Vice Chair of Together Board
Susan Elsley is an independent researcher, policy analyst and writer with a focus on children and young people and the services that support them. She works at the interface of policy, practice and research with her work underpinned by a commitment to children's human rights.
Susan regularly undertakes work for government and other public bodies, universities and voluntary organisations. Her interests include: rights based approaches to policy and services; children's wellbeing; looked after children; participation; advocacy and mentoring. She co-directs a CPD programme on research with children and young people at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR), University of Edinburgh. Susan has longstanding interests in arts for children, particularly children's books and storytelling.
Susan has been on the board of Together since 2009.
John Ryan - Treasurer
John has worked in social care since 1986. In that time he has delivered, led and managed residential child care services in Scotland and Ireland and has also spent a number of years working in care service regulation. He came to work in Aberlour in 2006 and has been responsible for leading the standards and safeguarding portfolio until 1st September 2014. In that time he was also commissioned by SIRCC to write the current Scottish Government Guidance on the Management of Allegations Against Residential Child Care Workers and was instrumental in contributing to the Scottish Government's work on the Role of the External Manager.
John's current appointment as Assistant Director for Residential and Fostering Services started on 1st September and he has been pleased to be able to use his significant experience not only to grow Aberlour's residential and fostering portfolio but to also ensure that services are meeting the needs of those children and young people who come to live in Aberlour's Sycamore and Moray Fostering Services.
John is a strong advocate of children's rights and was instrumental in leading and supporting the development of Aberlour's participation framework.
Away from work he enjoys keeping fit and indulging himself in a spot of very amateur triathlon as well as playing competitive football in a veteran's league. John is married to Michaela who works in the banking industry as a recruitment manager. They have one son, Patrick, who is training to be a full-time ballet dancer at the English National Ballet School in London, a passion he has had since he was 7.
Chelsea Stinson - Trustee
Chelsea is Children's Voices Programme Manager with Children's Parliament. In this role, she is responsible for developing and managing the Children's Parliament programme of projects and consultations, including engagement with the Children and Young People Bill and the Do the Right Thing Local Projects. Additionally, she works with the Pupil Inclusion Network Scotland, a resource for professionals working with learners who are vulnerable or excluded.
Chelsea has an MSc in Community Education from the University of Edinburgh, where she focused on children's human rights and the voluntary sector. She is originally from the United States and prior to moving to Scotland, Chelsea worked with children and young people in a variety of settings, including museum education, sports programmes, tutoring and mentoring programmes and outdoor education.
Outside work she enjoys reading historical fiction, sewing and coaching basketball. She joined Together as a Trustee in 2013.
Chloe Riddell - Trustee
Chloe Riddell is currently Policy Manager at Children 1st Scotland's national children's charity, working on issues relating to child protection, abuse and trauma recovery, access to justice and family support.
Previously Chloe worked in the policy team for Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People where she coordinated the Commissioner's response to the 2014 reporting on the UNCRC and monitored the implementation of the Convention. In both roles she advocated for children's rights and contributed to shaping and implementing key policies and legislation and relating to young carers, children of prisoners, child trafficking, sexual health, violence against women and girls, kinship care and child protection. She is currently championing the need for a review of the existing child protection system to ensure that it is rights-based and child-centred.
Chloe also spent two years working in the Executive Office of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), identifying barriers and opportunities to address human rights for people living with HIV. Her time working in Geneva offered an invaluable insight into international human rights reporting processes. Chloe is a non-registered nurse and held a policy and communications role at the Royal College of Nursing Scotland.
Chloe joined the Together Board in September 2015.
Claire Telfer - Trustee
Claire has worked in the children's policy field in Scotland for over a decade and has successfully advocated for policy changes for children. She has held various policy roles during this time. Claire currently works for Save the Children as Head of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns for Scotland.
Claire has an MSc in social policy from the University of Edinburgh. She has worked on a wide range of children's issues including asylum seeking children, family law, child protection and education and co-ordinated a number of broad coalitions. For the past few years Claire's main area of expertise has been in relation to child poverty.
Claire has a long standing commitment to promoting and realising the rights of children and young people and making sure this has a real and positive impact on children's lives. She joined Together in 2011. Claire is also a member of the Board of Directors for The Poverty Alliance in Scotland.
Louise Hill - Observer
Louise Hill is Policy Implementation Lead at the Centre for Excellence for Looked after Children in Scotland (Celcis) based at the University of Strathclyde. Her role includes scrutinising legislation and policy and supporting implementation to improve outcomes for looked after children and care leavers.
Previously, Louise joined Barnardo's as a Graduate researcher in Newcastle and latterly, Edinburgh. Louise also spent one year as a Research Fellow at the NSPCC Centre for Learning in Child Protection.
Louise has an MSc in Childhood studies and a PhD in Social Policy from the University of Edinburgh. Louise has served on national advisory groups to improve services for children affected by parental drug and alcohol use, as well as contributed to national and local guidance.
For the last ten years, Louise has volunteered for the Newman Trust providing annual fun-filled holidays for disabled children across Scotland. She is famous for her renditions of 'Going on a Bear Hunt' song, as well as ability to face paint 23 children for a disco! Louise also enjoyed four years as a befriender to two young people....and substantially improved her skills at pool!
Louise joined Together in September 2015.
Maria Galli - Observer
Maria is a trained solicitor having gained qualifications in law in both Scotland and Sydney, Australia. Maria currently works as a self-employed legal Consultant and undertakes primarily Pro Bono appointments. The vast majority of her work involves complex child law matters. She has also undertaken work on behalf of Scottish clients who require advice and notarising in Australian Law matters.
Maria has worked in all areas of criminal and civil law, in both Scotland and Australia and has acted as a Safeguarder, curator ad litem and Sheriff Court Reporting officer. Maria was employed as a reporter to the Children's Panel, and worked for the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration in Ayr and Kilmarnock before relocating to Australia with her family through her husband's employers in 2006. She worked on an employed and pro bono basis in Sydney as a solicitor, accredited religious education teacher and accredited Debating Adjudicator.
As a Director and Company Secretary with a charitable organisation, Maria has also undertaken a legal advisory role on a voluntary basis.
Maria joined Together in 2015.
Rozanne Chorlton - Observer
Rozanne Chorlton is a Leadership and Communication Consultant. She provides communication guidance and support, particularly to organisations with leadership and management challenges. Ms Chorlton was UNICEF's Representative to Jordan, Somalia and Liberia until her retirement from the organisation in September 2011. During this period she also acted as UN Resident and Humanitarian Co-ordinator when the incumbent was absent. Before that she worked with UNICEF Tanzania co-ordinating adolescent programming. Ms Chorlton joined UNICEF briefly in 1994 as Head of External Relations in the Tanzania country office, thereafter returning to her independent information and communication consultancy, which she ran for 10 years. She re-joined in 1998 as Head of the Communications and Participation Section in the South Africa office and was an active member of UNICEF's East and Southern Africa Region's reference group on a human rights approach to programming.
Ms Chorlton started her career with a brief stint in publishing in the private sector, then moved to an international NGO, the UN University in Tokyo, and the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre in Dar es Salaam as a SIDA expert. She earned a MA in Sociology from the University of Aberdeen in her native Scotland.
Besides her English mother tongue, Ms Chorlton speaks KiSwahili and French. She is the mother of two grown-up children and is a keen, though not expert, sailor.
Samantha Whyte - Trustee
Sam Whyte is the domestic policy and parliamentary manager at UNICEF UK, leading its child rights advocacy work across the UK.
Sam began her career at the Imperial War Museum, after which she worked at The Who Cares? Trust to improve educational outcomes for children in care. Following this she was the first member of staff at London's regional youth work unit, providing strategic development advice to youth services and organisations across London.
Prior to taking up post at UNICEF UK, Sam was the head of policy and public affairs at the Children's Rights Alliance for England, advocating for the full implementation of the UNCRC in England and leading the engagement of children in international human rights reporting. This included supporting the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to institutionalise best practice in enabling children to have their say at the international level.
Sam joined the Together Board in September 2013.
Susan Hunter - Trustee
Susan joined YouthLink Scotland in October 2014 as their Senior Development Officer (Policy and Research). Susan is also contributing, on behalf of YouthLink Scotland, to work in partnership with Education Scotland to refresh the Recognising and Realising Child Rights resource for use in Youth Work contexts. Susan supports the YouthLink Scotland Policy Forum who is committed to turning their attention to youth work policy matters through a rights 'lens', this has been demonstrated within the development of the YouthLink Scotland manifesto.
Her previous work in Scottish Borders Council as Participation Officer for children and young people had enabled her to develop strategic approaches to raising awareness and understanding of the UNCRC. Susan worked for six years to implement a multi-agency youth participation strategy and the delivery of programmes and projects which realised and furthered child rights - in particular the establishment of the Scottish Borders Youth Voice Child Rights group and supporting the creation of a child rights ambassador model. Susan had the strategic lead for anti-bullying and delivered the award winning Scottish Borders Youth Commission on Bullying.
Susan spent 18 months working in the local CVS to support capacity building of youth work organisations in the Scottish Borders to improve governance arrangements within small charities and newly established companies.
In addition, Susan graduated with a MA (Hons) in Social Policy and Sociology from the University of Edinburgh, and completed her PG Certificate in Community Education at the University of Strathclyde in 2007 during which time she participated in work-based research placements with the Scottish Executive and Child Poverty Action Group.
Susan joined the Together Board in September 2015.
Laura Paton - Trustee
Laura Paton has a background in human rights law with a particular focus on the rights of children and young people, and the rights of people deprived of their liberty. Laura currently works as a Lead Inspector for HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland where she inspects the state, efficiency and effectiveness of policing. Previously, Laura worked with HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) in England and Wales providing policy and human rights advice on the independent inspection of prisons and other forms of custody. This included advising on the inspection of places where children may be held, and developing a framework for the inspection of military detention facilities in Afghanistan. Laura was also the coordinator of the UK's National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), a group of organisations tasked under international law with monitoring all places of detention. Laura regularly advised governments and NPMs around the world on the human rights-based inspection of detention.
Prior to joining HMIP, Laura worked for Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People where she coordinated the first shadow report submitted by the four UK Children's Commissioners to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Laura also worked with colleagues to develop a model for children's rights impact assessments. Laura has also worked in the voluntary sector for Children 1st and for the Children's Legal Centre, where she was editor of Childright, a journal of law and policy affecting children and their families.
Laura joined the Together Board in September 2016.
Terri Smith - Trustee
Terri was born and raised in Leith, Edinburgh and has been the Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament for Edinburgh Northern and Leith since 2009, representing young people both locally and nationally. Terri was elected Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament in 2016. Terri has previously been involved in Year of Young People 2018 Interim Planning Group, Young Scots Police Scotland Youth Advisory Panel and a 2015 #iwill Ambassador. She works part time as a Youth Worker for The City of Edinburgh Council and youth work is one of her biggest passions in life. Aside from youth work her other interests are in political engagement, social justice and young people's mental health. Terri is also a first year Psychology student at Stirling University.
Terri joined the Together Board in September 2016.
Gayle Adnyana - Observer
Gayle Adnyana is currently the Owner and CEO of Baile Estate Agents and Mortgage Brokers and is a qualified Estate Agent. Previous to this Gayle was Deputy Chief Executive of Children's University Scotland, which is an organisation that offers the opportunity to broaden the horizons of children from the age of five. Key responsibilities for Gayle include external engagement with Scottish Government, Local Authorities, Schools and Universities. Other key responsibilities include oversight of fundraising and income generation and cash flow projections/budgets. Gayle is also the National Child Protection Officer for Children's University Scotland and wrote the Child Protection policy for the organisation.
Previous to this Gayle was Director for SkillForce Scotland - a not for profit educational charity working with children in danger of being excluded from school. The Royal Patron for SkillForce is HRH Duke of Cambridge. Again during her time with SkillForce Gayle was responsible for making key links with Scottish Government, Local Authorities and Schools as well as being responsible for service levels, budgets and operations across Scotland.
Up until recently Gayle was a Board Member with PINS (Pupil Inclusion Network Scotland), an organisation set up to support the third sector in their endeavors to promote inclusion and equality across the school network in Scotland. Previous to this Gayle worked for sixteen years for Lloyds Banking Group across the UK and in Australia in senior leadership roles, which focused on growth, risk management, strategic expansion, colleague morale and sales and service delivery.
Gayle has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Psychology; modules of this degree focused on child development, psychological development in early childhood, children's personal and social development and all-important individual aspects like nurture and attachment.
Gayle is a mum to three small children who inspire her to do better every day.
Gayne joined the Together Board in September 2016.
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