Fiona Duncan, Chief Executive
Fiona is on secondment to The Promise for a year, returning in April 2022. During that time Carolyn Sawers is Acting CEO. More information can be found here.
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, Acting 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
Luke McCullough, Chair
Luke McCullough became a trustee with Corra Foundation in August 2015 and chairs the Communications and Engagement Steering Group. Luke is Senior Policy Adviser 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 recently stepped down as Chair of the Royal High School Parent Council. Luke is married with university-aged children, and lives in Edinburgh.
Jude Turbyne, Deputy Chair
Jude Turbyne 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 Head of Engagement with the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) before joining Children in Scotland as CEO. Judith has studied in Edinburgh and Bath, culminating in a PhD looking at empowerment in development.
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.
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.
Christine's career is in public finance, most recently as Director of Finance for Health in Scottish Government, where she was responsible for delivering value for the £14 billion annual budget. She has also held a number of senior finance roles within NHS Scotland and in UK management consultancy. Christine is a member of the Chartered Institute for Public Finance & Accountancy and is also a Carnegie UK Trustee.
Mildred Zimunya is head of operations with CBMUK, working with disabled people in areas of poverty across the world. Mildred brings with her a wealth of experience in working in leadership roles within the Third sector and health and social care. Mildred brings with her vast experience in working alongside marginalised and minority ethnic communities. Mildred is a member of various groups including Scottish Alliance for International Development and Gender Institute Research Advisory Group.
Michaela is Chief Executive of Peek (Possibilities for each and every child) and has over 13 years’ experience in developing, leading and managing community projects with children, young people and families impacted by poverty in Glasgow. Michaela was a UNICEF Flying Scot Ambassador during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and helped to raise over £6million for UNICEF UK. Michaela was recognised as one of YWCA Scotland’s 2019 ‘30 under 30’ - http://www.ywcascotland.org/30-under-30-michaela-collins/
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.
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.
Barbara Zahra, Core Operations & Finance Manager (Adoption Leave Cover)
With experience across a range of accounting disciplines, my role at Corra is to oversee financial accounting. I have had the privilege to have worked in South Africa, Australia, UK and the US. My expertise covers Accounting, Auditing and Business and Financial management in different industries in the private, public and third sector Corra provides me with the opportunity to drive positive change across Scotland through uplifting disadvantaged communities.
Victoria Olu-Audu , Core Operations & Finance Manager (currently on adoption leave)
Currently on adoption leave from September 2021.
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.
Caroline Evens, Core Operations & Finance Officer (Financial Accounting)
My role at Corra is to take care of the money coming in and going out of the organisation, keeping it tidy and shipshape, so every colleague who needs financial information has it at their fingertips. I have previously worked in similar roles, nearly all in the voluntary sector, though this is the first time working for a grant-giving body. The positivity of Corra’s vision and mission is inspiring, and I am glad to be part of the team working towards these goals.
Natalia Best, Governance & Executive Support
I provide governance and executive support to both the Corra Executive team and the Board of Trustees. Before joining Corra, I held a number of Company Secretarial roles both in-house and in consulting. I enjoy using these skills and experiences in my varied work at Corra. I feel very fortunate to be part of Corra, an organisation that shares the same values as me, helping make changes to people and communities.
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 Corra's policy and influencing activity, including through developing a programme of events and supporting Corra's thinking on relevant issues. As a team, we work creatively to include the voices of people and communities at the centre of Corra's activities and vision for positive change.
Shasta Ali, Communications Co-ordinator
I support our communications and engagement as well as leading on the community stories at Corra. I have 18 years experience in the Third sector and have worked in race equality and addressing hate crime at a national and strategic level. I have a background in community development, especially working alongside Ethnic Minority communities. I am inspired by Corra's commitment to strengthening people’s voices and shifting power to communities to address inequalities and create positive change.
We have been working on restructuring our grants team in the last year and as a result there have been some staffing changes. This includes Connie, our Head of Grants, stepping back to reduce her hours and have more family time, and Tom, who was our Grants Development Lead, taking up this role. We said a fond farewell to Sarah, who has been a Grant Advisor with Corra for the last 13 years, as she went off to start a new chapter in her life and enjoy some valuable time with her grandchildren. A number of staff have also taken up new roles and we will have some new staff joining our growing team very soon. Please feel free to get in touch with any of the team – we are always happy to chat!
Tom Baughan, Head of Grants
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.
Jane Rosegrant, Grants Development Lead
My role is to help develop #ShiftthePower Scotland, especially supporting applicants and grant holders to make the most of this new programme. I bring to this work long experience of being both a grant seeker and a grant maker and managing social, education and environment projects. Corra’s approach excites me for the open-minded way the grant process is developed and I am delighted to work with diverse community groups across Scotland to support their projects.
Catriona Henderson, Programme Lead
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.
Rowan Anderson, Programme Lead
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.
Julie Aitken, Community Grants Specialist
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.
Matthew Gilbert-Straw, Drugs and Alcohol Specialist
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.
Chrissie Hirst, International Specialist
I manage Corra’s international work. This includes supporting organisations during application, ongoing administration, and evaluation of funded projects. My career has been in international development, mostly based overseas 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.
Kelly McFadden, Promise Partnership Manager
Children, young people and families are important to me therefore it is a privilege to manage The Promise Partnership and The Listening Fund. Both funds recognise the importance of listening and collaborating with those who the services are aimed to support. I have over 15 years experience in the voluntary sector, working with drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness and criminal justice. Working at Corra is a real pleasure, we are an organisation who understands the importance of challenging power imbalance and encouraging positive change.
Connie Williamson, Grants Advisor
I have been working with Corra for over 20 years, spending time as an assessor, a grants manager and latterly as a member of the senior management team. I now work part time as a Grant Advisor and really enjoy being involved in assessing and supporting charities which deliver a vast range of interesting and vital services for our communities. After 20 years, I am still constantly inspired by the dedication of the people who work in the Scottish voluntary sector.
Debbie Kaney, Grant Advisor
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.
Ellie Sandercock, Grant Advisor (currently seconded to William Grant Foundation)
Ellie is currently on secondment to William Grant Foundation.
I support Corra Foundation’s delivery of the Scottish Government’s CYPFEIF and ALEC Funds, and the development and delivery of the new Families and Communities Fund. Over the last 12 years I have worked with and for a wide range of organisations – from community groups to large international NGOs. My experience spans community development facilitation, fundraising and marketing, governance and strategy, and grantmaking. I’m passionate about social justice, and supporting people and communities to achieve positive change.
Iain Rorke, Grant Advisor
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.
Louisa Cocris, Grant Advisor
I’ve recently joined the CYPEIF & ALEC Fund team at Corra to cover for Ellie Sandercock while she is on secondment at the William Grant Foundation until early September. I am normally part of the Corra People in Place, Getting Alongside Communities, as Community Coordinator in Buckhaven in Fife, and you can read more about my role here. It’s been great meeting some of the funded organisations over the last few weeks and I am really looking forward to more of this in the coming months. Away from Corra, I am proud to be a registered Mangalitza pig producer and mother to 3 wonderful young adults who in these strange times, I am lucky to be sharing a workspace with.
Malcolm Dunn, Grant Advisor
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.
Veronica Hetherington, Grant Advisor
I’ve recently joined Corra as part of the PDI team. I have over 20 years experience working in the voluntary and public sector, mainly for grant giving organisations. I’ve met some wonderful and dedicated people in that time and seen a lot of positive change. I’m passionate about fairness, equality and tackling disadvantage so people and communities have equal chances in life, and I’m looking forward to supporting organisations to help make that happen.
Christine Kennedy, Grant Support Co-ordinator (maternity cover)
Hello, I’m Christine and have recently joined the CYPFEIF & ALEC Fund covering Maren while she is on maternity leave. I will continue to provide support to 116 community-based organisations receiving funding, assisting with reporting, finances and coordinating a programme to build capacity. I am new to the Voluntary sector having previously worked in the private arena, however I frequently worked alongside third sector organisations creating powerful partnerships. I am delighted to be working with Corra, contributing in their mission to make positive change for people and communities.
Maren Thompson, Grant Support Co-ordinator (currently on maternity leave)
Maren is on maternity leave from May 2021.
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.
Fiona McIntosh, Grant Support Worker
My role is to provide admin and data management support to The Promise Partnership and other funds within Corra. I have 30 years experience working in the public sector and have enjoyed the variety of the roles throughout that time.
James Alexander, Salesforce Support Worker
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.
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.
Melina Maiworm, Evaluation & Learning Officer
At Corra, I help to collect, collate and analyse data and evidence to allow us to better understand the impact of our funding and programmes with a focus on listening to the people, communities and organisations we support in order to shape and inform our work. I have a background in community education, and a key belief that underpins all my work is to actively listen to people and communities to understand their experiences and needs.
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 Wallace, 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 Programme Manager (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.
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.
Cath McNally, Community Co-ordinator & Promise Partnership Participations & Connections Officer
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.
Fraser Stone, Community Co-ordinator
My role is to support the community of Cumnock in East Ayrshire. Through this work I help facilitate positive change by supporting community-led ideas. I will work alongside the community, encouraging and building upon their strengths and aspirations.
I have a background as a musician and educator and currently lecture at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Previously a project manager, I have worked with organisations, developing and delivering creative programmes to improve outcomes for groups experiencing disadvantage.
Janice O’Connor, Community Co-ordinator
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.
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.
Louise Shaw, 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.
Marion Thomson, Community Co-ordinator
I work to support, co-build and engage with Methil communities by continually learning from the rich history and legacy of community engagement and leadership within the area. My past experience involved education and program development with communities, social housing, schools, community organisations and unions in Scotland and overseas.
I joined Corra as I believe in their underlying values to work alongside communities impacted by austerity and social inequality.
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.