Prospective Trustees seeking election to the Board (Eight vacant posts)

1. Barry Wright

My first involvement with Dads Rock was as the father of 18 month-old daughter 3-4 years ago. The ideas of helping and inspiring men to be more active in the upbringing of their children had such a profound impact on me that it motivated me to join the team. I have been working for Dads Rock for two years now.

Over the two years I have been involved in most of the aspects of the running and delivery of the charities activities to a greater or lesser extent. Leading playgroups, Antenatal classes, working one to one with young Dads, running projects in schools, organising events and activities, the building of our website, and the general day to day running of the organisation. This has given me a unique insight into the workings of Dads Rock.

For the twenty years prior to Dads Rock I had been an electronics design engineer in Research and Development for large companies such as Nokia and ScanDisk. The experience gained there, developing vague concepts through to significant technical invention, includes a full range of transferable organisational and management skills as well as a creativity in dealing with the fine detail within a much bigger picture.

I also have experience as the Director of a start-up company, where I worked with a range of Government business support agencies and private investors to raise working capital, and directly with Social Media focussed marketing strategists. From which I gained Dads Rock applicable skills for fundraising and promotion of our activities.

Although I have decided to pursue a career as a Secondary School Teacher, so will be leaving Dads Rock front line. I would very much like to further help Dads Rock as a Trustee, and would be honoured should my offer be accepted.

2. David Gray

I have 13 years’ experience working in the Commercial and Third Sectors, including specific experience in developing care services in the charitable sector.

I am a Director of AM Bid, an award-winning and rapidly growing professional services business. My work involves helping organisations - including many registered charities - grow and scale up, through bidding for new contracts or funding.

In my previous post, I worked in a highly commercial role at EDF Energy, developing innovative revenue generating models and new local authority partnerships. This involved the development and delivery of strategic plans, including digital marketing planning and execution.

Before this, I spent several years working in the social housing sector, including 3 years as a Senior Manager with a registered charity, where I was responsible for the strategic development of social care and technology enabled care services.

I wish to be a Dads Rock Trustee because I am the proud Dad to two young children, ages 2 and 5, a member of Dads Rock, and a long-time supporter of the charity’s work. I enjoyed working with Dads Rock Trustees and Management on a voluntary basis recently and would like to build on that experience to offer ongoing support to the organisation as a Trustee.

I will bring to the role:

  • A proven track record of developing and delivering strategic plans, to achieve growth and/or increased revenue generation

  • Experience working with a broad range of charities, developing care services, and writing proposals and applications for funding or revenue generating contracts

  • Experience of developing successful partnerships with Local Authorities and the NHS

  • Highly developed communication skills and a vast professional network, enabling me to access and influence key decision makers, and to forge lasting relationships built on mutual trust

  • Experience of Board governance and an understanding of the regulations impacting charities, as well as the importance of strong governance and corporate conduct

  • Experience of working in the Third Sector, and in finance, fundraising, marketing and communications (including digital), Social Enterprise, Human Resources and legal.

I am a reliable, resilient and highly motivated individual, with a strong moral compass and commitment to living and working ethically. I am proud and grateful to have a very strong relationship with my Dad and my own children. As such, I am highly passionate about contributing meaningfully and effectively to the Dads Rock aim to support and inspire Dads, children and families, to ensure they have the strongest relationships they can.

3. Ed Ross

As a father of one (with another on the way!) over the last couple of years of attending the Granton playgroup and other Dads Rock events I have been really impressed with the Dads Rock ethos and the unique services that it provides. The absence of a viable, local, alternative outlet for men and their families I believe was fundamental in ultimately securing additional funding earlier this year, and it is an initiative that would feel honoured to support in a more involved way.

I have recently stepped down after around 8 years of volunteering on the Scottish Government sports association committee. This has involved providing strategic direction and pragmatic financial guidance, working closely with the treasurer, on issues such as equipment procurement and individual and team subsidy, as well as project managing the delivery of new infrastructure including a replacement football pitch.

I work as an Economic Adviser at the Scottish Government, leading a team whose focus is on school funding and expenditure. I have experience in appraisal and evaluation, investment and strategic planning as well as working on committees and stakeholders groups. My previous roles include providing economic advice on a range of different policy areas including communities, environment and marine. Much of my time at present is spent thinking about attainment and how children, especially those from deprived areas, can best fulfil their potential. Assuming this doesn’t constitute a conflict of interest and my skills are complementary to those currently on the board then I’d welcome the opportunity to serve as a trustee for Dads Rock.

4. Gillian Anderson

My partner has two daughters, ages 10 and 13, from a previous relationship.  When we first met he said that people described him as a weekend dad, or a part time dad as he only sees them every fortnight or when he can take time off work. Working in the palliative care sector, I am aware of how precious memory making is and since becoming a part time step mum to his two girls, I do everything that I can to make sure that the time they spend together is precious.  All too often mums are at the heart of a child’s care, yet the father has an equal amount of love, care and encouragement that they can give their children too.

I have been seeking a non-executive position for the past year with a charity which I value and support, one which I can connect with on a personal and professional basis.  Reading the work that Dads Rock does, I am very keen to be part of the charity and to be part of the team which ensures that dads continue to be a vital part of their child’s life.

Professionally I have worked in the third sector for the past 17 years.  I am currently the Business Manager for the Royal Society of Edinburgh and prior to this I was the Executive Support and Strategy Manager for Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS).

I have experience of developing, delivering, monitoring and evaluating strategic and operational plans, working with teams to develop the budget planning process which accompanies this plan and of the good governance practices required for any successful Board. Supporting the Company Secretarial work for the past 15 years have given me a good grounding in the legislative context of charity and company law.

Some of my key achievements in my working life include:

  • Managing a truly inclusive strategy making process ensuring that the voices of children CHAS served were included in the planning

  • A successful core funding application to Scottish Government for funding for a senior management team post plus administrative support and learning costs.  The total funding requested was £450,000 over three years and the application was successful for 100% of funding requested.

  • Development of a trustee governance pack for Board members and a good governance induction for new members

  • Facilitated Board Away Day events maximising on their time, skills and knowledge to work towards continued good governance practices

  • Built good working relationships with senior staff, trustees and external stakeholders in support of my work   

I have membership of the Institute of Institute of Administrative Management, Chartered Institute for IT and Axelos (Prince2).

5. Gordon MacDonald (MSP)

I first met the founders of Dads Rock shortly after my election in 2011 when the charity first met at Gate 55 in my constituency. I was impressed with their commitment and the vision they had to establish a musical playgroup for dads and their children that was fun! I offered my support and have promoted Dads Rock with motions and debates in Parliament ever since.

Regarding my role of trustee, I believe that apart from the promotional aspect within parliament I have a wealth of experience in the finance field. In my previous career with the public transport industry I held a managerial post within the finance department. I can help provide the necessary fiscal oversight required by the Scottish Charity Regulator.

If I continue as a trustee of Dads Rock then I will ensure that we maintain the same vision, ethos and values that attracted me to offer my support 7 years ago. 

Chair’s note: Gordon has been an elected member of the Board of Trustees since 2012.

6. Graeme Crossley

As a dad to a seven-year-old daughter I appreciate the challenges of parenthood and greatly admire the work of Dads Rock and would love to become involved!

I have a depth of experience in the charitable sector. Prior to relocating to Edinburgh in 2016 I served as a Trustee of three charities, including as Chair of a £9 million turnover organisation supporting vulnerable people in their communities with a history of mental health challenges. During my tenure we created 80 new jobs, achieved Investors in People and increased the number of service users we supported to 12,000 a year.

I held responsibility for ensuring strong governance, led the board and management team in setting & delivering strategic plans focusing on supporting more service users and fundraising (individual giving, grant applications, tendering, corporate partnerships & securing the patronage of high net worth individuals).

In my professional career I work as a consultant marketing director. Previous brands include Amazon, Coca-Cola, Pizza Hut, Sainsbury’s, Whitbread, WH Smith and ODEON Cinemas.

I hope my application is of interest. I feel I would add value to Dads Rock through the combination of my professional & voluntary experience to support the organisation in achieving its future ambitions.

7. Greg McCracken

The work of Dads Rock has interested me since becoming a father myself.  The positive message of the role that dads have to play is something in which I am a passionate believer, so I would welcome the opportunity to support the important work and services of Dads Rock through this opportunity.

I have a broad range of skills and experience which I feel would be valuable to the organisation.  I have supported boards and governance across a number of roles, so am very familiar with the requirement and expectations of a trustee, as well as the process of governing an organisation.  The ability to properly scrutinise information is a key duty of trustees and my background in policy research means this is something I would bring to the role.  While this would be my first time as a trustee, I also recognise it as an excellent opportunity for me to learn and develop personally.

My background is in policy and communications, having worked in the public, private and voluntary sectors, including time with the Scottish Government and a number of national organisations.  As a lobbyist representing the food industry, General Practitioners, a national charity and now the museums sector, I have a broad range of networks and an excellent awareness and understanding of the Scottish political and civic landscape.

As a team leader, I consistently sought to find positive outcomes to challenges and worked creatively in overcoming obstacles.  With experience in both small and large organisations, I am aware of the need to balance organisational objectives with the resource capacity, while being constantly mindful of how to develop and support colleagues with their own ambitions.  These are all skills which I feel would be of value in the role of trustee with Dads Rock.

8. Liann Weir

I’ve been an advocate of the fantastic work of Dads Rock for some time and am committed in my career to making sure children have the best start in life. Often that involves making sure the connection between parent and child is as strong as possible – that’s why I love what Dads Rock is about.  My background is Social Care/Social Work/Early Years. I have worked with CrossReach for 13 years across a variety of Children and Families Services and now have responsibility for the management and leadership of our Glasgow Children and Family Services. Prior to this I was with Glasgow City Council’s Social Work Team supporting families of children with additional needs.

I am also a trustee of The Croft – the prison visitor advice service at HMP Barlinnie in Glasgow and spent two years as director of Scottish Churches Housing Action – a national organisation focussed on ending homelessness. I laterally supported this organisation to recruit their new Chief Executive Officer which was an interesting experience.

Most importantly, I am mum to Abigail and Samuel who are so blessed to have an amazing dad around dropping them off, picking them up, doing homework, making their meals and generally being their rock.

I feel I can bring my experience of managing and growing our Early Years Project in Glasgow (Daisy Chain), the complexities of applying for funding, monitoring and evaluation to Dads Rock and help us look forward to the future. At present I manage four Children & Family services in Glasgow, have responsibility for providing services to over 200 children across the city, supporting over 50 members of the team and often dealing with challenging staffing issues, practice issues, resource issues, and child protection / welfare concerns. I am also a Safeguarding / Child & Adult Protection trainer for the Church of Scotland. Bringing this experience to Dads Rock means the team can have additional support on hand to deal with difficult situations and ensure we are always providing the best service possible for families.

Chair’s note: Liann has been a co-opted member of the Board of Trustees since January 2018

9. Mark Phillips

I am Manager at an Edinburgh-based third sector organisation (Access to Industry) specialising in employability and training of people with substance use, ex-offenders and care leavers. My career in this field has given me 20 years of both operational and strategic experience of supporting traditionally-overlooked sections of our community, and creating new programmes which will increase engagement. I have also been heavily involved in the fundraising efforts necessary to sustain and grow the organisation, and have contributed to successful funding bids to a number of trusts and local authorities. Just as importantly, I am aware of the challenges of vying for attention in a busy third sector ‘marketplace’, whilst still protecting the integrity of the organisation. In my view, a good third sector (or any) organisation can and should grow in size and influence, but its original aims need not.

Since 2008 I have also been a member of the Edinburgh Children’s Panel, and have chaired at least one Hearing session per month since then. As well as the obvious exposure to the legal aspects of the Hearing system, the experience has given me an immeasurable insight into childhood, parenting, resilience, vulnerability, what works, what doesn’t etc. Being a Panel member has also helped me understand what my own expectations are as a volunteer member of an organisation, and the value of support and training for my own needs.

Outside of work, I am recently married and my wife and I are currently awaiting the arrival of our first child – a daughter – in early September. These are the happy circumstances which have brought Dads Rock to my attention, having been introduced to the project via the antenatal classes.

Having studied the duties, specifications and expectations for this role, I feel confident that I can provide valuable counsel to contribute to Dads Rock’s future goals in a number of ways, and enjoy doing so. From my own employment, I am familiar with the protocols of cooperating appropriately and effectively with a Board of Trustees, and so I would see this as being far more than a quarterly appointment in my diary.

10. Robert Pollock

I am currently a member and parent of Dad Rock.  I am interested in the Trustee position and feel I have to offer time, a commitment to improving the health wellbeing and welfare of children in Edinburgh and a creative personality which should assist me in this aim.  I have three children aged two, 16 and 14.

I have been employed by Scottish Government since 1998:

  • For six years I have supported the strategic partnership between Ministers and Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) whose aim is to deliver value for money and economic growth through public infrastructure;

  • I was part of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Delivery Team. I managed the games Organising Committee sponsorship budget and the sportscotland and games Legacy budgets. I delivered a competition for student to design a games computer game;

  • As a Parliamentary Clerk I was responsible for managing and processing all responses to parliamentary questions (PQs) addressed to the Scottish Government;  

I have also worked in Department of Work and Pensions: Child Support Agency as an IT Project Officer and in the Ministry of Defence as an Incident Controller/Change Control Officer.

11. Roslyn Neely

I have a belief in the work of Dads Rock seeing both personally and professionally the importance of the role of fathers and the challenges faced by Dads in a society which can often recognise only mums as children’s caregivers.

I think the role that Dads Rock plays in encouraging and supporting dads is extremely worthy and I would be honoured to utilise my skills, knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to play some small part in the great work you do.

  • I have worked in the charitable sector for almost 20 years for children and young people’s healthcare organisations, which recognise the importance of supporting the whole family.

  • As a third sector leader I have thorough knowledge and experience of charitable law, regulation and governance.

  • In my current role as a charity CEO, I have led, along with the Chair, a programme of Trustee training, Board Effectiveness and governance review.

  • I am experienced in developing and delivering organisational strategy which has increased and improved services.

  • I believe that my experience of developing a charity’s services sustainably could be very helpful and relevant at Dads Rock.

  • I am very used to reporting to a Board on strategy and finances; and feel that regularly sitting on the ‘other side of the table’ could be helpful to both my fellow trustees and staff members.

  • My expertise is in fundraising, including involvement in two multi-million pound appeals; and all aspects of income generation.

  • I have developed and delivered numerous successful fundraising, marketing and public relations strategies.

  • As a charity CEO I have experience of all aspects of charity leadership including financial management, operations and human resources. I’m especially experienced in change management having led an organisational restructure, name change and office relocation in the last 24 months.

12. Tom Oliver

I have 2 daughters aged 2 and 4, and being there for my family has been my number one focus ever since. I think my submission to last year’s #beingdadsrock sums up how being a Dad has changed me, and how I think about my family:

Being a Dad has made me better. It has taught me to be selfless, to try and be patient, that pretending can be fun, and that almost anything can be exciting if you can look through the eyes of a child.

We are doing our best to support our girls, to give them what they need, and to teach them about the world. I am so excited to see where they can go, to see them live their dreams without limits, and most importantly see them be happy.

I promise to them both to try to always read that "one more book", to make up "a story about a beaver" and to be there whenever or wherever they need me - because I am their Dad, we are their parents, and they definitely rock.

  • I have been going to Dads Rock in Granton since my eldest was just over a year old. Having moved to Edinburgh, from London, when she was 9 months old I was looking for ways to meet other Dads and to do something fun on the weekend – and came across Dads Rocks webpage. Dads Rock has been a mainstay of our week

  • I am very much aligned with the importance of Dads, and am passionate that we have equal rights and are treated equally as parents – I am sick of being told how great it is that I babysit my children. I am also passionate about the rights fathers have in the workplace, and consulting in my workplace to see if we can have a policy that treats men and women equally.

  • I have made some contributions to Dads Rock over the last few years, including rewriting the word to ‘We Will Rock You’ to be a bit more child friendly and Dads Rocky.

  • I am a Senior Data Science Manager at Skyscanner, and have done some work with Dads Rock using an initiative we have here called #oneday, where one day a year is given over to charity work – outputs from this include a map of Edinburgh showing where all the Dads live, recently updated to be in Dads Rock colours, and the mud kitchens at WHALE. As a Data Scientist, I use data every day to find interesting patterns, power products, and to communicate. I think that using data to demonstrate benefits of anything is incredibly powerful and could potentially bring some of this to Dads Rock.

I have been a member of the Dads Rock Board of Trustees since January 2018 having been co-opted. I would like the opportunity to continue to help Dads Rock make a difference to Dads all over Edinburgh and beyond.

Chair’s note: Tom has been a co-opted member of the Board of Trustees since January 2018


Thomas Lynch