About Us

Originally facilitated by VG-ES, the Forum became an independent SCIO in 2011. Since then it has successfully attracted funding to employ staff  to take forward its activities.   The service manager reaches out directly to individuals in need and manages "Friends at Home", a free, confidential befriending service for people of all ages who have all become vulnerable or isolated through a variety of problems such as poor mobility, long-term illness, or lack of transport.  Friends at Home  now work in partnership with Helping Hands  a befriending service run by Highland Hospice in Ross shire.  The SCF development worker provides a link between service users and carers,  providers and care strategy groups.  Her  present work involves attending adult planning meetings in Sutherland communities.

Meet our board of directors and the staff team

Charlotte Gibson
Charlotte Gibson is currently the Chairperson of the Forum.Charlotte has had a long association with the Forum. She also gives time as a board member of VG-ES, CAB and as a fundraiser for Marie Curie and the Red Cross. She runs a small business in house furnishings,  works as a freelance cook in sporting lodges, and tends around 50 sheep on a Rogart Croft. A busy lady!

Barbara Watson
Barbara is the currently the Secretary and Treasurer of the Forum. Barbara first joined the Forum in 1999 when she was the local Red Cross Manager. She volunteers as a First Aider for the Red Cross. She finds less time than she would like to maintain her large garden and take walks with the dog but flees to Spain during winter for peace, quiet and sun.

Isobel Murray
Isobel is the Service Manager , who also facilitates our
Friends at Home and Caring for Carers Services.
Isobel joined the Forum in October 2014. Previous to that
she worked in Health & Social Care settings in Brora, Dornoch
and Golspie. Isobel is a member of East Sutherland Rotary Club
and is a fundraiser for IVM which run an Orphanage  in
Andhra Pradesh, India.  Isobel went out there for her
third visit  to the Orphanage in January with another couple
of members of her local Church.


Stuart Gardiner
Stuarts earlier working life was in civil engineering, construction and house building and ended in business administration. Since retiring in 2011 he now contributes to the work of Blythswood Care at Evanton as their Shoebox Project Co-ordinator.


David Hannah
Originally from Lesmahagow but now settled in Ardgay, Sutherland David was an apprenticed builder before taking some time out with the Royal Air Force. He then looked after some of Edinburgh's social housing for 25 years before moving north to manage private sector housing grants for Highland Council in Sutherland and Caithness.  Always interested in his local community David has been a Community Councillor for around 30 years and recently has taken a higher level of responsibility for the Highland wide community by being invited to join the Boards of Highland Small Comunities Housing Trust, Voluntary Groups East & Central Sutherland, Highland Third Sector Interface, East & Central Sutherland Citizens Advice Bureau and of a Trustee of Sutherland Care Forum.


 

Valerie Gale
Valerie joined the Forum in March 2017 as a development worker and oversee`s all our communiques, looking after our website, our twitter account and our facebook page.

She also carries out evaluations on our services  and keeps abreast of locality planning in relation to the Highland Outcome Improvement plans.  Part of her remit is to raise awareness of our SCF work  ensuring other agencies are fully briefed on our current work.

Prior to this Val worked as the Chief Executive  for a  Highland third sector charity


Charles Minall   currently works as the outreach worker for the Dornoch Firth Group, and so his work links closely with the aims of the Forum. He lives in the heights of Rogart. 


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