Our Board: Who We Are
Advocacy North East (ANE) is a voluntary organisation with charitable status and a company limited by guarantee.
ANE operates under the direction of a voluntary Board of Trustees (Directors) who are legally responsible for the governance of the charity including financial probity. The Board mainly represent a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences in relation to mental health, learning disabilities and other communities of interest. The Board plays a significant role in setting the strategic direction and in supporting the Managing Director in delivering its goals.
Doug has a background as a practitioner and manager in social work services, working as a social worker and service manager in the English Midlands before moving to Scotland to take up a senior management position with the former Grampian Regional Council. Within the successor, Aberdeenshire Council, his role became more focused on Adult Services responsibilities and on developing approaches to joint Health and Social Care service provision. Early retirement was followed by some consultancy work in the social care and social work education fields. Doug’s first contacts with the newly established Advocacy North East came as a part of his role with the Council and links continued over the years. The commitment and sense of purpose shown by ANE to the empowerment of users of social and health care services has always been apparent and was something which was consistent with Doug’s own values and led to his becoming a Board member in 2010. Doug has recently been appointed to the office of chairperson.
Caroline’s background is in sciences and human resources working for an oil company in Aberdeen, London and The Hague. This gave her experience in HR policy and practice, planning and general HR management. Family life necessitated a career break which enabled her to uproot and move to The Netherlands, Nigeria and Oman over a period of 14 years. During this time, Caroline helped set up a work-wide network for trailing spouses to use to enable them to make informed decisions about postings abroad. On return to Aberdeenshire, Caroline volunteered for a number of local charitable organisations but discovered the importance of advocacy in its empowerment of people when she joined Advocacy North East as a Community Advocate. In 2016 Caroline joined the Board and served as the chairperson from 2018 to 2020.
Sheila joined Advocacy North East in 2001 as the Training and Volunteer Co-ordinator, having worked for Gordon Rural Action previously. During her twelve years employment with ANE she recruited, trained and supported the volunteer advocates. Sheila was drawn to the principles and values of advocacy and was constantly impressed by the commitment shown by the volunteers and staff in supporting their clients. In 2013, when she retired, Sheila joined the Board of Trustees and is very happy to continue her association with Advocacy North East.
Sheena has a background as a practitioner and manager in social work, initially in services for people with a learning disability and then in strategic and commissioning roles. She was also an Associate Assessor with Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Care Inspectorate assisting with strategic inspections of Health and Social Care Partnerships. She retired from the Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership in February 2020. Having managed the adult protection network for a period of time and also been the lead officer for services for unpaid carers , Sheena has an appreciation of the importance of independent advocacy and had contact with ANE for a number of years in a professional capacity. She became a member of the Board in 2022.