VAF has a committed team of Staff and Volunteers. They are our greatest asset.
Keith Wimbles, Chief Executive
Keith joined the Voluntary Action Fund in 2008 as Chief Executive. He has worked in the third sector for over twenty years including Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector and SCVO where he developed a number of programmes and learning initiatives to support the community and voluntary sectors. He has wide experience of funding the third sector, transnational programmes and regeneration initiatives. Prior to working in the voluntary sector, he was a director of a private sector company leading programmes across the UK to help people into employment, training and volunteering. Keith’s role is to lead the organisation to deliver its mission and build positive working relationships with key stakeholders. He participates in a number of external groups and is the former Convenor of the Scotland Funders' Forum, a member of the Scottish Volunteering Forum and an associate member of the Scottish Grantmakers Group.
Maureen Munro, Operations Manager
Maureen joined VAF in March 2015 and took over the role of Operations Manager in July 2016. A member of the Strategic Management Team, she leads the management and development of VAF’s grant making operations ensuring that harmonised approaches, VAF’s ‘More than Just Money’ approach and social capital are embedded in practice.
Maureen has more than 25 years’ experience of working mainly with the public and third sectors at both operational and board levels. With a strong commitment to social inclusion, equality and diversity and non-discriminatory practice, her skills and experience include fundraising, grant management, marketing, business development, strategic development, operations and project management. In her spare time, she is a volunteer Director of Voice of Carers Across Lothians (VOCAL).
Yvonne Wallace, Finance Manager
Yvonne Joined VAF in May 2013 as the Finance Manager. She is responsible for managing and developing the finance function of VAF and to ensure that robust financial and grant making systems are in place to support current and new programmes. She provides support to the Chief Executive and Managers to develop and maintain the Voluntary Action Fund financial systems and ensure that the organisation complies with current regulations. Prior to joining VAF, Yvonne has worked in both the private and voluntary sector, including Marie Curie Cancer Care, Sykes Global Services and YWCA Scotland. The Voluntary Sector has won her heart and she actively volunteers for a Youth Befriending service in Edinburgh.
Steven Paxton, Business Development Manager
Steven joined the Voluntary Action Fund in August 2011. His role is to broaden the funding, resource and support base for VAF through the development of new partnerships and contractual relationships with Government, agencies, the corporate sector, independent funders and philanthropists.
Prior to working at VAF, Steven worked as a volunteer and latterly Programme Manager for Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) based in Tanzania managing VSO's health programme, building the capacity of community groups and developing funding partnerships. He also, through VSO, worked for the Aga Khan Foundation on Zanzibar on civil society capacity building and consultancy work for the UNDP and UNICEF. Previously, Steven worked at Scottish Enterprise where he developed European Funded Projects, inward investment solutions, small business support initiatives and partnership working with local councils, including community planning and regeneration plans; and for North Ayrshire Council and Strathclyde Regional Council where he provided committee administration services.
Khalida Hussain, Programmes Manager
Khalida joined VAF as Programme Development Officer for the Equality Fund in June 2012. In July 2016 Khalida took on the role of Programmes Manager taking responsibility and management for the Promoting Equality and Cohesion Fund, Tackling Sectarianism and Volunteering Support Grant.
Prior to joining VAF, Khalida worked for CORE - Community Organisation for Race Equality as a Manager, advancing race equality and social justice for minority ethnic communities of North Edinburgh. Khalida has over 10 years’ experience of working within the not for profit sector, in particular the minority ethnic sector. Khalida is an active member of British Transport Police's Scottish Independent Advisory Group as a volunteer community advisor.
Maggie Gardiner, Programmes Manager
Maggie joined the Voluntary Action Fund in April 2013 as Programme Manager for the Violence Against Women & Girls Programme. She took on the role of Programmes Manager in July 2016 and increased her portfolio to include Social Isolation and Loneliness and Glasgow Transformation funds. She has worked in the Scottish voluntary sector for 14 years in a range of management and development roles covering mainstreaming of equalities, capacity building for sustainability, social enterprise development and transnational learning.
Before returning to Scotland in 1999, Maggie worked in the field of international development with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), Oxfam and Book Aid International in Eastern and Southern Africa. Prior to working with VAF, Maggie was Director of a Community Interest Company (CIC) which delivered management consultancy to Third Sector organisations in order to support the CIC's social objective of supporting volunteers on mental health recovery plans back into the labour market.
Monika Sharma, Senior Development Officer
Monika joined VAF in May 2013 as the Violence Against Women & Girls Programme Development Officer for Glasgow and the West. She took over the role of Senior Development Officer in July 2016. Her role involves managing grant processes and offering direct development support to funded organisations, including providing capacity building support and sharing good practice.
Prior to joining VAF, Monika worked at East Dunbartonshire Council, Community Learning and Development and Children's Services providing strategy support to integrated children's services planning, Violence Against Women Multi Agency Partnership (MAP) and taking the lead role in the implementation of the Children Experiencing Domestic Abuse Recovery (CEDAR) programme. Monika has worked in the voluntary sector over the last 20 years, particularly within the BME sector. Her previous roles have included Programme Manager at the Ethnic Minorities Law Centre, Development Manager at Scottish Refugee Council and Outreach Coordinator at Govanhill Housing Association, Glasgow. Monika’s voluntary work includes being an active member of Access Apna Ghar Housing Association and serving as a member of the Children's Hearing team within East Dunbartonshire.
Neil Bird, Senior Development Officer
Neil joined VAF as Programme Development Officer in May 2013. In 2016 Neil took on the role of Senior Development Officer for both the Equality and Tackling Sectarianism programmes. This includes offering direct development support to funded organisations and supporting the Deaf Sector Partnership with the implementation of the British Sign Language (BSL) (Scotland) Act 2015.
Prior to joining VAF, Neil worked for Waverley Care, initially co-ordinating the recruitment, training and support of all the organisation's volunteers. He then went on to support the organisation to create a stronger focus on the needs of Gay and Bisexual men living with and/or affected by HIV and Hepatitis C. As part of this, he led the development of a new peer support service for Edinburgh, Fife and the Scottish Borders, and worked in partnership with the NHS and voluntary organisations on a variety of projects and events. In addition to his core role, Neil also volunteered with Waverley Care for many years as a befriender.
Diane Wilson, Senior Development Officer
Diane joined VAF in July 2012 as Programme Development Officer for the Glasgow Third Sector Transformation Fund. In July 2016, she took on the new role of Senior Development Officer overseeing the Social Isolation and Loneliness and Glasgow Third Sector Transformation Funds. She manages a portfolio of projects alongside the Development Officer and provides support to the Programmes Manager. Diane brings a variety of knowledge and experience gained in the third sector including working for an Enterprise Trust, the Development Department of SCVO and 4 years doing freelance work. She has worked extensively in the development, operation and management of Grant Programmes as well as European funding.
Additionally, Diane brings experience of providing development, fundraising and monitoring & evaluation support directly to third sector organisations, she has worked with BBC Children in Need and other funders and community organisations for a number of years and is active in her local South Lanarkshire community, volunteering as a Brownie Leader.
Bill Weir, Programme Development Officer
Bill originally joined VAF as a Programme Development Officer for Community Safety in
2012. Prior to joining VAF, Bill was the Partnership Development Officer with Voluntary Health Scotland.
Clare McVeigh, Programme Development Officer
Clare joined VAF in June 2013 as a Programme Development Officer. Clare’s role was originally to work on the Community Safety Small Grant Programme for tackling Intra – Christian Sectarianism. In July 2016 she moved to the Equalities Team where she now works on a portfolio of projects: managing grant processes and offering direct development support to funded organisations, including providing capacity building support and facilitating the sharing of good practice.
Clare’s background is in economic development having worked for Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland for 11 years as a project manager.
Heather Wilkins, Programme Development Officer
Heather joined the Voluntary Action Fund in January 2014 as a Development Officer. Her role involves managing grant processes and offering direct development support to funded organisations including providing capacity building, support and facilitating networking and the sharing of good practice.
Heather has worked in a wide variety of organisations starting with Scottish Enterprise, where she was part of a team delivering a community based careers programme. She has held Database and Business Analysis roles in St Andrews University and later at the Fife based papermakers, Tullis Russell. More recently, Heather has been employed in the public sector, initially as an IT Account Manager, prior to being part of the Council’s corporate policy and planning team.
Heather is involved in a number of community groups including the scouts and the local high school.
Chris Smith, Learning and Development Officer
Chris is VAF's Learning and Development Officer responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of VAF’s Learning and Development Policy. Working part-time for VAF Chris is also an independent examiner; trainer and a third sector consultant focusing on financial management and governance. Prior to joining VAF Chris headed up the Compliance Support team within OSCR.
Valerie Carson, Programme Development Officer
Valerie joined the Voluntary Action Fund in July 2012 as Programme Development Officer. She supports the delivery of VAF’s Volunteering & Community Grants, including the Volunteering Support Grants and Volunteering Support Clusters. Her role includes promoting the grant schemes, supporting organisations through the application process, assessing applications, providing development support, delivering training, sharing good practice and supporting funded groups in the management of their grant. Valerie has worked in the not-for-profit sector since 2000, initially in the arts and then the environment before turning to grant-making and volunteering. Before joining VAF she worked for Keep Scotland Beautiful in a variety of different roles, including coordinating national volunteer campaigns and, ultimately, as a Development Officer for the Climate Challenge Fund.
Kate Robinson, Programme Development Officer
Kate joined VAF in 2012, initially as a member of the Volunteering Support team and now works in the Equalities and Violence Against Women and Girls teams. She previously worked overseas and with a community health project in North Glasgow, delivering outreach workshops around democratic participation. In her spare time, Kate volunteers in a local sports club and with organisations campaigning to end global poverty.
Artemis Pana, Programme Development Officer
Artemis joined VAF in May 2013 as the Violence Against Women & Girls Programme Development Officer for the Highlands and Islands. Her role involves managing grant processes and offering direct development support to funded organisations. This includes providing capacity building support, organising training and networking events and sharing good practice.
Artemis has worked in the violence against women sector since 2005, starting off as the Training and Development Manager of the Zero Tolerance Trust. She was then seconded to the Scottish Government’s Equality Unit to manage the implementation of the National Domestic Abuse Delivery Plan for Children and Young People. After leaving Government, Artemis worked as a freelance consultant supporting organisations in Scotland and across Europe to develop their projects and improve their financial sustainability. She held a contract as Project Coordinator for Voice Against Violence, a group of eight young expert advisors who worked alongside Scottish Ministers and CoSLA to improve the lives of children affected by domestic abuse.
Ghizala Avan, Programme Development Officer
Ghizala joined VAF in July 2015 as a Programme Development Officer to support some of the projects receiving ‘tackling sectarianism’ funding from the Scottish Government. In July 2016 she moved to the ‘violence against women and girls’ team. She has a strong background in community development and equalities and has around 15 years experience of working in the voluntary sector. Her previous experience includes working as a Director for the CSV Health Action Project and PATH Scotland. She has also worked in universities as a researcher and lecturer. She is a psychologist, specialising in occupational psychology.
Louise Heathcote, Compliance Officer
Louise joined VAF in September 2015 as a Programme Administrator within the Equalities Team. She started her new role of Compliance Officer in July 2016. Her main responsibilities are to provide a grant compliance function to a portfolio of projects, building positive relationships with projects across different Funds, and providing administrative support to Development Officers, Senior Development Officers and Programme Managers.
Louise has previously worked in both the private and public sector, and joined VAF from Business Gateway Edinburgh and Lothian.
Irene Glasgow, Compliance Officer
Irene started her new role of Compliance Officer for the Violence Against Women and Girls Programme in July 2016. Her main responsibilities are to provide a grant compliance function to a portfolio of projects, building positive relationships and providing administrative support.
Irene has been involved with the Voluntary Action Fund, in a wide variety of roles, since it started and can provide a history of its development over the years. Before joining VAF she worked with the Carnegie Trust.
Anna Rogers, Compliance Officer
Anna works across funds as a Compliance Officer for VAF. This is a new role supporting funded projects and the work of Development Officers, Senior Development Officers and the Programmes Manager for her portfolio.
She joined VAF in July 2013 as the Programme Administrator for the Glasgow Third Sector Transformation Fund, supporting Diane Wilson with all the administration tasks relating to the Glasgow Third Sector Transformation Fund. She is also responsible for the office administration systems at the VAF West of Scotland Office in Glasgow. Prior to joining VAF Anna worked as the administrator of an IT training company, she has also spent time as an Activity Leader for a local children’s charity, a Management Assistant with Lakeland Limited and has five years of management experience working in the hotel and conference industry.
Patricia McKibben, Compliance Officer
Patricia works across funds as a Compliance Officer for VAF supporting funded projects and the work of Development Officers, Senior Development Officers and the Programmes Manager for her portfolio.
Patricia previously worked for Scottish Enterprise Fife in the Chief Executive's Department.
Jacqueline Rice, Finance Assistant
Jacqueline joined VAF in December 2012 and is currently the Finance Assistant
working for Yvonne Wallace, the Finance Manager. Jacqueline previously worked in the Department for Work and Pensions before taking early retirement to pursue new challenges. During her 37 years in the Civil Service, Jacqueline worked mainly in a support capacity to both staff and management and latterly as a Personal Adviser providing advice on services available to help people into work.
Pauline Dewar, PA to Strategic Management Team
Pauline joined VAF in May 2015 as Personal Assistant. Pauline is responsible for providing direct support to the Strategic Management Team. This includes providing direct support to Keith Wimbles (Chief Executive), Maureen Munro (Operations Manager) and Yvonne Wallace (Finance Manager).
Pauline previously worked in the Voluntary Sector for YWCA Scotland for 14 years. In this time, Pauline's role was initially as Centre Administrator progressing to Information Support Officer and Finance Support Assistant. Most recently Pauline worked within Local Government providing support to the Benefits and Council Tax Department and Housing Services.
Lorna McCallum, Business Development Executive
Lorna joined VAF in July 2016 and works on a funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership project. This is a strategic partnership between VAF and Edinburgh Napier University. The purpose of the project is to design and establish a resource allocation platform that links the CSR activities of Scottish businesses with the real and emerging challenges in Scotland and the Third Sector.
Lorna has over 20 years’ experience working mainly in Edinburgh’s private sector and has a background in project and information management. She is an accredited PRINCE2 project resource with a Masters degree in Business and Communication Management. Lorna has a solid record of delivering tailored, well-researched, long-term strategies and practical, easily applied operational plans to support business objectives.
Digital Transformation Manager
Craig Turner is VAF’s digital transformation officer, leading a project to modernise its internal and external IT systems to take advantage of new systems to improve its efficiency, communications and reporting capabilities. He previously worked as a digital consultant and trainer across the Scottish Third Sector infrastructure field.
PR and Marketing Officer
Carlos Alba is an award-winning journalist and author. He spent 10 years at The Sunday Times, including four as Scotland Editor, and he has also been Scottish Political Editor of The Daily Record and Education Correspondent for The Herald. He’s a winner of five national journalism awards including twice Bank of Scotland Reporter of the Year (commended) and twice BT Daily Newspaper Journalist of the Year (highly commended). His debut novel Kane’s Ladder was published by Polygon in 2008 followed, in 2011, by The Songs of Manolo Escobar. He runs a public relations consultancy, Carlos Alba Media, in Glasgow
Programme and Central Services Administrator
Louise joined VAF in December 2016 to work with the Violence against Women Programme and Corporate Services. Her main responsibilities are to provide administrative support and co-ordinate events for the Violence against Women team and become a key administrative contact for Corporate Services.
Clare Blackburne, Funds Administrator
Clare joined VAF in January 2017 as funds administrator for the Social Isolation and Loneliness, Expressive Arts and Glasgow Transformation Funds. With a background in postgraduate research in European Languages and Literature and 9 years’ teaching and volunteering in Asia, she recently completed a Masters of Research in Equality and Human Rights at the University of Glasgow. She has also volunteered for a national suicide helpline and has written for Document Human Rights Festival and the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.