Fiona Duncan, Chief Executive
I have over 20 years’ experience working in the voluntary sector in Scotland and overseas. At Corra I have driven a new strategy for the organisation that includes supporting communities to drive lasting change in systems, practice and culture. Prior to joining Corra Foundation, I spent seven years at THINK Consulting Solutions, a leading international consultancy dedicated to not for profits where I was responsible for strategic planning assignments, working mainly overseas.
Carolyn Sawers, Deputy Chief Executive
I deliver Corra Foundation’s strategy, supporting the team to ensure we are making a difference for people and communities in Scotland. I have worked for 20 years across political, academic and public sectors in Scotland. Most of that time has been with organisations awarding grants to community and voluntary groups - a privilege and joy. Corra Foundation is an inspiring place to be. It is a place where good ideas can develop, grow and take flight.
Click on the tabs below to find out more about the team
Trevor Civval, Chair
Trevor joined the Corra Foundation as a Trustee in 2013 and became our new Chair on 3rd August 2017.
Trevor, who is based in Edinburgh, is a founding partner at Penfida, and a specialist corporate finance adviser to pension schemes. Before helping to set up Penfida in 2006, he had over 20 years of investment banking experience, principally at Lazard and at Merrill Lynch, advising a wide range of companies and boards in both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors on finance, strategy, and governance issues.
Luke McCullough, Vice Chair
Luke McCullough joined the Board of Trustees in August 2015 and sits on the Communications and Engagement Steering Group.
Luke is Parliamentary and Corporate Affairs Manager at BBC Scotland. Luke has held a number of previous appointments, including Trustee of Northsound Cash for Kids and as patron of the Kincardine and Mearns Special Needs Play Forum. He chairs the Royal High School Parent Council. Luke is married with school-aged children, and lives in Edinburgh.
Joy Barlow, MBE
Joy became a trustee in 2013 and was appointed Chair of the PDI Steering Group in 2016. Currently Joy is advising the Health Service Executive (Social Inclusion) and Child and Family Agency (TuSLA) of the Irish Government on work-force development and the progress of the ‘Hidden Harm’ agenda, supporting children and families affected by substance use. She holds an Honorary Senior Research Fellowship at Glasgow Caledonian University and was awarded an MBE in 1998.
Elizabeth Carmichael, CBE
Elizabeth became a trustee in 2016. Over the past nine years she has served as a Non-Executive Director on several Non-Departmental Public Bodies, and is currently a member of the State Hospital Board. Before this, she was a civil servant in the Scottish Government/Scottish Executive where she worked on policy development in education, health, finance and voluntary sector issues before heading the Community Justice Division in 1999. In 2006 she was awarded the CBE.
Claire became a trustee in 2016. Her career was built in social work, working with and for those most excluded and disadvantaged. She has fifteen years’ experience delivering and leading work aimed at supporting those multiply excluded. She was previously the Chief Executive of homeless charity Streetwork, which delivers specialist support to people facing severe and multiple deprivation. Claire is a graduate of The Robert Gordon University, The University of Edinburgh and the Open University.
David became a trustee in 2016. In 2011 David joined the Scottish Government as National Coordinator for Sexual Health and HIV. As the policy lead in this area he was able to continue influencing the way HIV is perceived in Scotland and how those living with the disease are treated. He stood down from this in September 2015. David is Chair of Children’s Parliament and the adoption panel of St Andrew’s Children’s Society.
Fiona became a trustee in 2015 and sits on the Audit Committee. She is currently Chief Executive of Visionary which is a membership organisation for local sight loss charities across the UK. Fiona has held several senior posts in the third sector for over 25 years. Currently she is a trustee of Blindcraft and has been a trustee of Scottish Council on Visual Impairment. She is a graduate of the Open University with an MBA.
David became a trustee in 2014 and was appointed a member of the Finance and Investment Committee in May 2014. He is a UK equity fund manager, investing money for individuals, family offices and institutions. David was a founding partner of Oriel Asset Management in 2009, successfully migrating the funds he manages to EEA Fund Management in October 2013. He graduated from The University of Edinburgh with a degree in Politics and Modern History MA.
Richard has enjoyed a long career in investment, managing pension funds, investment trusts and unit trusts. Now semi-retired and living in Edinburgh, Richard is chairman of F&C Managed Portfolio Trust plc, a director of Aurora Investment Trust plc and also advises two family groups. Currently he is a member of the Kilfinan group which provides mentors for the heads of charities and is involved with Mercy Corps, Scotland’s largest international aid charity.
Jude became a trustee in 2018. Most of her professional life was spent working in the charity sector, primarily international development. For much of that time she worked in Latin America and the Caribbean with Christian Aid, ultimately managing at regional level. She returned to Scotland to become the Head of Engagement with the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). Judith has studied in Edinburgh and Bath, culminating in a PhD looking at empowerment in development.
Elaine became a trustee in 2018. She is currently Managing Director of Indigo (PR) Ltd and a former member of both the Scottish Children’s Panel System and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in Scotland. Elaine has worked across Government, Healthcare and commercial PR in Scotland to enhance client profiles while managing their reputations. With a career spanning 30 years, Elaine has delivered successful campaigns utilising media relations, media training, crisis management and more.
Core Operations is focussed on delivering a high level of customer service and has responsibility for developing and running the foundation’s systems, processes, policies and procedures to enable effective delivery of our strategy.
Karen Brown, Head of Core Operations
My varied role has led me to develop a broad range of skills including; governance; management, administration, facilities and events; finance and investments; HR; IT and database development; and change management. I love the variety of my job, and that of Corra’s continued evolution. It’s a privilege to work in the voluntary sector, and to see the direct benefit that our work brings.
Aileen Drummond, Core Operations Officer
I help make sure the foundation runs smoothly and that our systems support us in making a difference to lives in Scotland. I have over 15 years’ experience working in the voluntary sector as part of the foundation and have expertise across all aspects of administration, including: communications with stakeholders; office management; and database development. I have developed a rich knowledge of the voluntary sector and of the organisations we work with and support.
Victoria Olu-Audu , Core Operations & Finance Manager
My work experience has spanned the private, public & third Sectors over the last 20 years in the UK and overseas. In that time I have worked in Finance, Project Management, Operations, Business Process & Systems Management. I enjoy my work at Corra because it maximises my skillset. Also, it is hugely rewarding to hear stories of the change we are both igniting and supporting across Scotland.
John Yeoman, Core Operations & Finance Officer
I support the Core Operations and Finance Manager in preparing financial reports, maintaining financial records, and processing daily financial transactions. My past work was for a major bank, taking on several roles within branches, internal audit and corporate banking. I joined Corra after a year as a Financial Advisor for a charity. I appreciate the opportunity to do a job I enjoy whilst contributing to an organisation that works towards positive outcomes for people.
Seonaid Tennent, Core Operations Support
I have a varied role at Corra supporting the foundation’s systems, processes and procedures. Day to day I am involved in office management, administration, health & safety, IT and database support. Corra is a very rewarding organisation to work for and I enjoy being part of a dedicated team that is driving positive change in peoples lives.
We make sure that people know about our work and that Corra Foundation has a strong, positive profile.
Shelley Gray, Head of External Relations
I support our engagement, ranging from individuals to organisations. My background is in policy and strategic development; communication and engagement, including creative approaches; and partnership working. I have over a decade of experience in the voluntary sector, and I’ve worked closely with Scottish Government on several pieces of legislation and until recently chaired the SNAP Health and Social Care Action Group. I believe passionately in Corra’s message: that people are experts in their own lives.
Ffyona Taylor, Policy and Events Officer
I support our public engagement with social policy, developing a programme to enhance internal understanding of policy, share insights from Corra’s work and provide a platform to amplify the voices of others. My background is in sociology and social research. At Corra I have worked on the Everyone Has a Story project, and recently on the CYPFEIF & ALEC Funds: a fantastic opportunity to engage with funded third sector organisations and Scottish Government policy officers.
Katie Cunningham, Communications Intern
I help run our website, editing the backend and making any edits asked for by the rest of the team. I also take part in other External Communications work such as running social media. In the past I’ve worked for other Scotland based social organisations. Corra Foundation is a great place to work, I love the atmosphere and the focus on communicating with the people we work with. More funders should work the Corra way.
We make sure we are the best grant-maker we can be, including ensuring that the Henry Duncan Awards programme continues to be responsive and progressive.
Connie Williamson, Head of Grants
I make sure that the Grants team is innovative and forward thinking. I also have a key role in the development and delivery of Corra Foundation’s support service for other grant makers which is delivered through Fortify, our Social Enterprise. I have been with the foundation for almost 20 years, working with charities active in Scotland and overseas. I am constantly inspired by the dedication of the people who work in the Scottish voluntary sector.
Sarah Littlewood, Manager (Henry Duncan Grants)
I manage the Henry Duncan Grants programme which supports grassroots charities working in Scotland. It is a privilege meeting dedicated and passionate people who give their time to help others. As part of the role I deliver funding advice sessions and review applications. My background is in retail, further education and the voluntary sector. I have extensive experience of supporting adults who are long-term unemployed, including more recently, those with visual impairments.
Debbie Kaney, Grants Advisor (Henry Duncan Grants)
My job is to support organisations applying for grants: helping them explore their goals, their plans, and understanding their impact. I have extensive voluntary sector experience, including as a trustee and chair of a small organisation. I love meeting people, finding out what communities are doing and helping to make new connections. I am inspired by people getting together to do something good, and often discovering and developing new skills along the way.
Rowan Anderson, Manager (PDI)
I manage the Partnership Drugs Initiative (PDI), working closely with colleagues at the Scottish Government and beyond. I also represent the foundation in a number of national groups. My experience is varied, ranging from strategy development to qualitative research. I have also managed public health programmes. I have had the privilege of working closely with inspiring, dedicated community representatives and believe strongly that lived experience and community voices should be central to policy and practice.
Kelly McFadden, Grants Advisor (PDI) and Listening Fund Manager
I provide ongoing support to applicants and funded projects. This partnership working is crucial to Corra’s ethos. I have over 15 years’ experience in the voluntary sector. Before joining Corra I was a senior practitioner in drug and alcohol addiction, working with young people and adults with complex needs. My job provides me with the opportunity to work alongside many worthwhile projects and charities across Scotland, witnessing first-hand the positive impact their work has.
Chrissie Hirst, Project Manager (International)
I manage Corra’s international work, supporting the delivery of the Scottish Government’s International Development Strategy. This includes supporting organisations during application, ongoing administration, and evaluation of funded projects. My career has been in international development, mostly field-based and including posts with several different organisations (such as CARE International and the United Nations). Corra’s ethos of partnerships and prioritising communities provides an excellent framework for international funding, it’s exciting to bring my experience to this role.
Lillian Owiti, Project Co-Ordinator (International)
I support our international work, which is primarily focused on the delivery of the Scottish Government International Development Strategy through the management of International Development funding rounds. I have worked in Scotland’s voluntary sector for over 10 years. Previously, I managed Corra’s Finance Team. Before that I worked for a fantastic Ghanaian children’s charity. I am a passionate Global Citizen and care deeply about International Development space. I feel privileged to work for Corra in supporting organisations tackle global challenges.
Tom Baughan, Grants Advisor (Fortify)
I work across Corra supporting core grant programmes and those delivered on behalf of other organisations, as well as providing additional services as part of Fortify. I hold an MSc in Grant-making, Philanthropy and Social Investment from the Centre of Charity Excellence at Cass Business School, as well as qualifications in Charity Finance (ICAEW), Fundraising Management (IoF) and Charity Management (ICSA). I believe in Corra’s dedication to philanthropy and whole-hearted commitment to empowering people.
Catriona Henderson, Project Manager (CYPFEIF & ALEC Fund)
I manage Corra Foundation’s administration of the Scottish Government’s CYPFEIF and ALEC Funds. I am a Professional Member of the Association for Project Management (APM) and a Professional Member of the Chartered Institute for Public Relations (CIPR). I also hold a qualification in executive coaching and mentoring. Having worked at the foundation for over ten years it is still inspiring to see funding being used to make a positive difference.
Malcolm Dunn, Grants Advisor (CYPFEIF & ALEC Fund)
I support third sector organisations funded through the CYPFEIF and ALEC Funds, building relationships with and supporting organisations. I have skills in fundraising, marketing and project development and significant grant making experience from the public sector and BBC Children in Need. I have worked as a community development officer for 6 years. I have been fortunate enough to work with many inspirational individuals and organisations. I am particularly motivated to address inequality and collaborative working.
Iain Rorke, Grants Advisor (CYPFEIF & ALEC Fund)
My job is to work with charities funded through the CYPFEIF & ALEC Funds while developing a programme for building long term capacity in the organisations we work with. I have extensive third sector experience, working as; a grant seeker, grants advisor and grant programme manager for various organisations. I am motivated by the Corra’s positive and forward-looking ambition to be an excellent grant maker that collaborates with others to get the programme right.
Maren Thompson, Grants Support Co-ordinator (CYPFEIF & ALEC Fund)
I provide support to 118 community-based organisations receiving the CYPFEIF & ALEC Funds, assisting with reporting, finances and coordinating a programme to build capacity. I have over ten years of experience working in the third sector including Oxfam, Mercy Corps and Transparency International, and experience of coordinating and delivering development projects, primarily in Asia Pacific. Currently I’m a Trustee for the Nepal Education Foundation. I am proud to be part of Corra’s approach to grant-making.
Helen McLellan, Manager (Listening Fund)
I manage The Listening Fund. This means supporting the fund’s development, delivery and evaluation. I have over ten years of experience in the public sector, including providing business support and operational management for both national and local organisations. Prior to this role, I worked alongside the CYPFEIF & ALEC Fund Grants Team providing administrative support. I feel privileged to be part of Corra- an organisation which is truly passionate about bringing about meaningful, lasting change.
Matthew Gilbert-Straw, Grants Advisor (Challenge Fund)
I am responsible for the Challenge Fund and am part of the PDI team. This involves providing guidance, reviewing applications, and working with successful applicants to capture the value of their work. My role has given me the opportunity to see the development of innovative projects all across Scotland. Qualified in Community Education, I have over 16 years’ experience of working in the third sector, primarily with individuals and families affected by drugs including alcohol.
Julie Aitken, Grants Advisor (Comic Relief)
My role is to develop and implement a new Comic Relief fund managed by Corra Foundation. I am excited to bring my experience in community development and work across the third sector to the delivery of this fund. I am looking forward to working alongside community groups, charities, and people with lived experience – listening to, learning from, and supporting people to drive positive change in communities across Scotland.
James Alexander, Grants Support Assistant
My role is to provide support across the grants team, offering administrative assistance, as well as aiding organisations through the online application process. I am a graduate in the digital arts and I’m currently studying Computing IT and design with the Open University. I strongly believe in the values and work of Corra and I am happy to be surrounded by such a great team of highly passionate and motivated individuals.
Learning and Development helps the organisation and our partners understand the differences and impacts our funding and delivery of our programmes has for people, communities and groups across Scotland.
Elaine Wilson, Head of Learning & Development
I work closely with colleagues to collate knowledge and evidence, letting us learn from our past work and contribute more in the future. I also oversee the development and training programme for all of our staff. I have strong analytical skills and can look outside the box, developing supportive approaches to monitoring and evaluation. The people I meet every day inspire me in their commitment to new and innovative ways of working.
Through People in Place we are Getting Alongside Communities that traditional grant funding has struggled to reach; working in places with an Appetite for Change; and sharing our learning to help create an enabling policy framework to enhance place-based working.
Allan Farmer, Head of Place
I lead the development and delivery of the People in Place programme. I have over 15 years’ experience within the third sector, working to support community-led change. Prior to joining Corra I held positions such as the Director of WHALE Arts the cultural anchor organisation for Wester Hailes in Edinburgh. I am inspired by my amazing colleagues and by Corra’s ambition and commitment to innovation and systemic change.
Emily Watts, National Programme Manager
I manage the Appetite for Change programme. Before I joined Corra I managed independent advocacy services for people affected by the Mental Health Act in Glasgow and Lanarkshire. I’ve worked with a wide range of community groups and organisations. Most recently I was Country Manager in Scotland for Eden Project Communities. I’m inspired by systems change and collective impact. I believe working at Corra Foundation gives me real opportunities to put these ideas to work.
Gordon McLean, National Co-ordinator (Getting Alongside Communities)
I support Getting Alongside Communities, ensuring it is on track and adequately resourced. My background is in Community Learning and Development, providing a range of informal learning opportunities and supporting individuals. I have been responsible for the operation of community centres, libraries and led community planning. I’m passionate about effective partnerships placing individuals and communities at the centre of services and resources. Corra is a company which shares my values and commitment to positive change.
Paul Hirmis, Programme Officer
I provide support to the Place team and deal with the day-to-day running of the overall programme. Before moving to Corra Foundation, I worked for the Scottish Youth Parliament where I engaged with young people on important topics. I have also previously worked as a freelance filmmaker with international NGOs. The people make Corra Foundation a great place to work. It’s an energetic and exciting place, with new ideas, insights, and action happening every day!
Janice O’Connor, Community Co-ordinator (currently on maternity leave)
My role is to support the community of Castlehill in West Dunbartonshire. I identify assets and help build their confidence. My background is Community Learning and Development Youth Services. I have worked with young people and communities for over 15 years in settings such as The Princes Trust, Youth Action, and inter-generation work. We need to listen to the local community and what they would like to change and achieve. Corra aims to achieve that.
Cath McNally, Community Co-ordinator
My role is to work with communities that grant making traditionally doesn’t reach. I work with the residents within Fernhill to build capacity and support them to create and shape the community in which they live.
David Taylor, Community Co-ordinator (maternity cover)
I work with the people of Castlehill, West Dunbartonshire. My background in youth services, sport, community development, and the arts, has enabled me to build up experience in bridging gaps and become multi-disciplinary. After studying Community Development at university, I have worked across Scotland in different fields, with a variety of groups and age ranges. I am inspired to support community voices to participate in decision making processes which bring about; real, local, positive change.
Shazia Riaz, Community Co-ordinator
I work with the people of Carbrain, North Lanarkshire, to facilitate social change through removing barriers and supporting local people. My background encompasses university research socio-economic status; working with statutory and voluntary organisations, working with mental health services and working with black and ethnic minority communities. I was inspired to join the Corra Foundation because I am passionate about the importance of community led initiatives to address inequalities and improve the quality of life.
Louise McCulloch, Community Co-ordinator
My role is to support the Blacklands community in Kilwinning. My background includes Community Health, Community Development using an Asset Based Approach, working specifically with Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities. I joined Corra as I believe we share principles of giving everyone the opportunity to make a positive change. My role allows me to engage with groups and individuals who are often ignored and to contribute to them having a voice in their community.
Angela Smith, Community Co-ordinator
My role is to work with communities that grant makers traditionally don’t reach by supporting the community of Langlees, Falkirk. I do this by supporting the community to identify assets and build links with partners. Supporting areas where confidence is a barrier is my starting point in mapping out the community needs and aspirations. I believe you must work with communities on a grassroots level for any valuable change to happen.
Laura Mathieson, Community Co-ordinator
I work alongside members of the community in Dunterlie, Barrhead in East Renfrewshire. My background is in community development. For the last five years, I have supported community-led initiatives exploring sectarianism, hate crime and discrimination in Inverclyde. I am an experienced facilitator of experiential learning, supporting personal and life-skills development. I am inspired by Corra Foundation’s commitment to place-based innovation, providing the time and flexibility to build relationships and engage with people in communities.
Iyaah Warren, Community Co-ordinator
I work to support Methil at grassroots level. I have worked in the voluntary sector most my life, assisting organisations through through times of change. Most recently, I worked for two Edinburgh voluntary organisations on edible gardening programmes (a passion of mine) and with tour guides at Newbattle Abbey College. I was attracted to Corra because of their understanding of the impact of austerity on local organisations and commitment to doing things differently.
Louisa Cocris, Community Co-ordinator
My role is to support the community of Buckhaven in Fife. My background is in community education and development, working in Scotland and Romania, with contexts ranging from children’s homes to adult learning. I joined Corra Foundation as I was inspired and motivated by the mission of the organisation and specifically the commitment to place-led community change. I firmly believe that this is the only way to tackle inequality and bring about lasting social change.