The ALLIANCE is governed by a Board of Trustees who are responsible for supporting our ongoing vision

The ALLIANCE has ten elected board members who work with the Chief Officers Sara Redmond and Susan Young and Directors to ensure the aims and objectives of the ALLIANCE are achieved.

Our Board members come from a range of different backgrounds and are elected at our annual general meeting.

Our Board members are:

Ruth Dorman is an accomplished and experienced Chief Executive.  Ruth offers significant experience in senior leadership and strategic roles within diverse environments, with a track record of successfully designing and delivering wide ranging transformational programmes and improving performance, inspiring realisation of full potential. She has worked in both the public and not for profit sector.   

Ruth has contributed to several third sector and statutory agency boards and committees. This has provided her with the opportunity to contribute to the oversight of risk management, policy development and strategic planning across a broad spectrum of provision whilst also developing personal skills, knowledge and relationships.

Ruth also has current and past voluntary commitments and positions with other third sector or statutory agencies.

  • Janice Preston – Macmillan Cancer Support
    Janice, a registered nurse by background, has worked within the third sector for 20 years; currently head of partnerships in Scotland and NI for Macmillan Cancer Support, Janice is passionate about the role the third sector play in meeting needs or influencing provision to meet needs of those with long term conditions. Janice has a background of promoting innovation in service design and delivery, placing people with lived experience at the centre and being able to spread that innovation across Scotland by working together with others to make a bigger difference and ensure easier access by the most under served in society. Janice believes the third sector has a key role in bringing together stakeholders and ensuring an integrated, personalised response to the individual and their needs across primary, acute and social care to deliver better services. The third sector also has a key role in mobilising and amplifying the voice of vulnerable people and communities. These are the reasons Janice volunteered to be a trustee on the ALLIANCE board and hopes she can use her skills and experience to further their work and their impact, and that of the third sector overall.
  • Douglas TaylorDrumchapel LIFE
    Dougie has a management background in Marketing, Education, and Financial Services as well as the Health and Social Care field.  Over almost two decades with Momentum Skills, mostly as Head of Operations, he played an integral role in moving the organisation from what was essentially a collection of local projects to a significant organisation delivering services for the Department for Work and Pensions and Skills Development Scotland as well as local authorities and the NHS. 
    Now working with two local third sector organisations in North West Glasgow, Dougie is committed to developing community-based services that are designed and managed by the people who need them. 
  • Irena PatersonMoray Disability Forum
    Irena was a Private Secretary for 9 Years and at the same time had her son. The moving on to 6 years at the Citizens Advice Bureau. She is educated with a BA from the Open University, Master`s from Aberdeen University, a Diploma in Health and Social Care and Secretarial Studies. Irena is currently Chair of the Moray Disability Forum, involved in Moray Community Council and actively volunteers in fighting for how disabled people are treated.
  • Jim HumeChange Mental Health
    Jim Hume is Director of Public Affairs and Communications at the mental health charity Change Mental Health.  Change Mental Health has been supporting people with mental illness and their carers for over 50 years and employs around 180 people across Scotland. At Change Mental Health, Jim set up and runs the National Rural Mental Health Forum, which had over 230 membership organisations from the third, public and private sectors all collaborating to tackle mental health, illness and wellbeing. Previous to Jim’s work at Change Mental Health, he was a Member of the Scottish Parliament (2017-2026), where he was a health spokesperson for five years and successfully brought into legislation his own Member’s Bill, now Act, on prohibiting smoking in vehicles with children present. Jim started his careers in a diverse rural business, involved in farming, property and hospitality. He has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh.
  • Donald RichardsForth Valley Sensory Centre
    Donald was born deaf to hearing parents. Growing up he attended a school for deaf and hearing-impaired students which focused on oral learning. He was first introduced to British Sign Language (BSL) when he met the deaf community in London. This enabled Donald to communicate more effectively and gave him the freedom to embrace life without barriers. Donald was a key contributor to the development of BSL communication services and deaf awareness in the Highlands. Donald was the Head of Deaf Studies at the prestigious Donaldson’s College for the Deaf in Edinburgh. He developed the school curriculum in a unique field of education. Donald was the Convenor of deafscotland, the lead organisation for deaf issues in Scotland. Their aim is to ensure deaf people in Scotland can access services and information across all sectors of society.  In 2021, deafscotland merged with The ALLIANCE of which he is currently a Board Member.
  • Jim GuyanCarers Trust
    Jim is an unpaid carer and has been on Shetland Islands Integrated Joint Board and Strategic Planning Group since January 2018. He has also been a member of Shetland Islands Carers Strategy Group since  2016. In 2023 he joined the Scottish Governments Carers Rights and Support Steering Group as an unpaid carer. Jim has worked with Voluntary Action Shetland assisting the Carers Centre in promoting Carers Rights.  Jim is also the Island/IJB Representative on the National Care Service Key Stakeholders Steering Group. Jim is passionate about supporting Unpaid Carers and campaigning for better rights for Unpaid Carers.

Dr. Sam Smith is the founder and CEO of C-Change Scotland, a not for profit organisation supporting disabled people to live the lives they choose. C-Change Scotland was initially established to support adults with learning disabilities and/or mental health issues who had been assigned significant reputations for challenging services. The organisation has been at the forefront of providing personalised support with and for disabled people in Scotland since 2001.

Sam’s interest in disability and social justice was inspired by her involvement with an inclusive youth club as a child. Sam has championed the values of inclusion throughout her academic and professional career. Sam undertook a postgraduate MSc. in Applied Social Research which led to a brief career as a professional researcher. Later, while working as a Commissioner closing some of Scotland’s largest long stay institutions, she undertook her PhD exploring perceptions of risk. She also has an LLM in Human Rights Law. Sam wrote the book Human Rights and Social Care: Putting rights into practice, published May 2018. Sam has an interest in disability and mental capacity and legal identity. She is a Board member of several organisations supporting disability rights and provider organisation development.

Joanne McCoy lives in Inverness and has held several positions within the third and business sectors. Her experience of being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis led her to work in the field of independent living and wellbeing for the last 25 years. Joanne has broad experience along with in-depth knowledge of delivering services to people living with LTCs across Highland through her career with both National and Regional Third Sector Organisations throughout Highlands and Islands. As a person living with and managing various long-term conditions, Joanne is committed to ensuring that service user focus, lived experience and partnership working are key to developing services and building sustainable change. Joanne is currently the Manager of MySelf-Management (formerly Let’s Get On With It Together or LGOWIT) and is also a Non-Executive Director on NHS Highland Board.

  • Dr Fiona Strachan – ALLIANCE Board member

With a background in nursing, research and digital health, Fiona has management and leadership experience in academic, NHS and in commercial and voluntary agency settings. Fiona’s recent roles have focused on the use of healthcare data for research and to inform healthcare policy and practice across Scotland. Fiona co-ordinated the pilot phase in developing a framework for future investment in data driven innovation and facilitation of novel data science approaches and has a keen interest in developing processes to support the implementation of digital solutions across the care service.

Fiona has contributed to strategy development across a number of programmes and engages with a range of stakeholders. She has board experience across public sector, third sector and commercial initiatives and is a strong believer in meaningful involvement of patients and public throughout projects.

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