Staff

Management Team

Eddie McConnell

Eddie McConnell

Chief Executive

Eddie McConnell

Eddie McConnell

Chief Executive

eddie@dsscotland.org.uk
07919 526 828
Eddie joined Down’s Syndrome Scotland as its new Chief Executive in August 2019. He has held several senior leadership roles across Scotland’s third sector and public sector and he is the current Chair of the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability. A member of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Disabled Children and Young People, he was closely involved in shaping the Scottish Government’s Keys to life strategy for people with a learning disability. Eddie is married to Carolyn and they have five children, the youngest has Down’s syndrome. He lives in Cumbernauld where he enjoys lots of great walking with the family dog and, when he gets a chance, he is known to pound the streets as he tries to re-awaken distant memories of his past marathon running days.
Rory Gaffney

Rory Gaffney

Head of Operations

Rory Gaffney

Rory Gaffney

Head of Operations

rory@dsscotland.org.uk
07825 586 444
Rory joined Down’s Syndrome Scotland in May 2017. He has a background in social housing and has worked for over 20 years in the Scottish voluntary sector. He has operated in various leadership roles and has extensive experience of leading and managing multi-disciplinary teams to deliver effective and efficient services across the charitable sector.
Jo Hughes

Jo Hughes

Head of Service Development

Jo Hughes

Jo Hughes

Head of Service Development

jo@dsscotland.org.uk
01563 533 473
Jo lives in East Ayrshire with her husband and 2 boys. Before joining Down’s Syndrome Scotland Jo worked as Learning and Development Manager in the corporate bank sector. Jo joined DS Scotland in 2011 as Family Support Officer for the South. She now manages the service across Scotland.
Laura Wright

Laura Wright

Finance and Resources Manager

Laura Wright

Laura Wright

Finance and Resources Manager

laura@dsscotland.org.uk
07745 673 626

Family Support Service

Shona Robertson

Shona Robertson

Senior Family Support Service Officer (Highlands, Islands & Moray)

Shona Robertson

Shona Robertson

Senior Family Support Service Officer (Highlands, Islands & Moray)

shona@dsscotland.org.uk
07918 568 975
Previously Shona worked as the Team Leader in a day service which supported adults with both learning and physical disabilities, she organised the daily activities with her team and worked closely with parents/carers as well as professionals to ensure the care provided was person centred and people were reaching their full potential and participating in activities that they enjoyed.
Morag Shields

Morag Shields

Family Support Service Officer (South East of Scotland)

Morag Shields

Morag Shields

Family Support Service Officer (South East of Scotland)

Morag@dsscotland.org.uk
07808 037 561
Morag qualified as a Childcare and Education Worker in 1998 and has continued to deliver services to children and adults with learning disabilities in a variety of settings. She covers the South east of Scotland.
Varshali Swadi

Varshali Swadi

Family Support Service Officer (West of Scotland)

Varshali Swadi

Varshali Swadi

Family Support Service Officer (West of Scotland)

Varshali@dsscotland.org.uk
07590 047 471
Varshali lives in Bearsden with her husband and two children. She has a post graduate degree in Early Years and worked as a teacher for several years in her home country India before moving to the UK in 2002. Since then she has worked for the Meriden Women’s Resource Centre and The National Deaf Children’s Society. Varshali joined Down’s Syndrome Scotland in 2017 and covers the West of Scotland.
Kirsty Lockhart

Kirsty Lockhart

Family Support Service Officer (North East of Scotland)

Kirsty Lockhart

Kirsty Lockhart

Family Support Service Officer (North East of Scotland)

Kirsty@dsscotland.org.uk
07918 566 503
Kirsty has been working with people who have learning disabilities and their families across different contexts including Adult Social Care, Education and Supported Employment, for the past 18 years. She is also an artist and is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Counselling. She lives in Dundee where she runs a social club for adults with learning disabilities at her local church. She is the Family Support Service Officer for the North-East.

Fundraising & Communications

Louise Watt

Louise Watt

Senior Fundraising Officer

Louise Watt

Louise Watt

Senior Fundraising Officer

louise@dsscotland.org.uk
0300 0302121
After studying Law, Louise spent several years working with Financial Services Companies in Edinburgh, heading up Communications and Product Marketing functions. She took a few years break from employment to spend time with her three children. During this time she took on various volunteer roles including Chair of a small charity providing Early Years care. Louise joined Down’s Syndrome Scotland in November 2012 to administer our Creative Breaks Fund. She continues to manage our Short Breaks Funds and has a dual role in researching and compiling funding applications to Charitable Trusts and Foundations.
Mairi Printie

Mairi Printie

Fundraising Administrator

Mairi Printie

Mairi Printie

Fundraising Administrator

mairi@dsscotland.org.uk
0300 030 2121
Mairi joined us in January 2017 taking the role of Administrator & Receptionist. In January 2018, Mairi became our Trusts and Fundraising administrator. Before starting at DSS she worked for 11 years in hospitality. Prior to that she had 6 years’ experience as an assistant PA working for a company dealing with coal miners claims.
Claire Serplus

Claire Serplus

PR, Marketing & Communications Officer

Claire Serplus

Claire Serplus

PR, Marketing & Communications Officer

claire@dsscotland.org.uk
07825 326 910
Claire joined DS Scotland in July 2015. She studied English and broadcast journalism at University. Claire is responsible for the maintenance of this website, the social media pages and all outgoing communications for DS Scotland.

ABC Team

Katy Lironi

Katy Lironi

ABC Co-worker Glasgow

Katy Lironi

Katy Lironi

ABC Co-worker Glasgow

katy@dsscotland.org.uk
07770 019 468
Katy is the ABC co-worker in Glasgow. With a Masters in Adult and Continuing Education, Katy has worked previously as an ESOL tutor, literacy tutor, communications lecturer and has run creative and song writing community learning workshops. She also ran sing and sign groups for pre-school children. Katy combines her work with being a mum to 5 children.
Moira Clark

Moira Clark

ABC Co-worker Edinburgh

Moira Clark

Moira Clark

ABC Co-worker Edinburgh

moira@dsscotland.org.uk
07464 820 606
Moira lives in Midlothian with her husband and 3 children. She joined Down Syndrome Scotland as an ABC Co-worker in September 2018 and was a primary school teacher for 17 years with the City Of Edinburgh Council. In 2013, she left teaching to look after her young family and husband when he suffered a stroke in 2015. She has varied experience in teaching children with English as an Additional language, Additional Support needs and communication difficulties.
Alison Hone

Alison Hone

ABC Co-worker Orkney

Alison Hone

Alison Hone

ABC Co-worker Orkney

alison@dsscotland.org.uk
07825 310 042
Alison lives in the Orkney Islands, is married to Jim and has 3 children, Josh, Jack and Evie, who has Down’s syndrome. Alison has an NVQ Teaching Assistant qualification and has previously worked in this field. She has worked with Down’s Syndrome Scotland as an ABC Co-worker since 2015.
Dawn McIntosh

Dawn McIntosh

ABC Co-worker Perth, Angus & Aberdeen

Dawn McIntosh

Dawn McIntosh

ABC Co-worker Perth, Angus & Aberdeen

Dawn@dsscotland.org.uk
07918 566 492
Dawn started working in the childcare sector in private day nurseries in 2007/2008 until 2016, completing her SVQs and PDA in childhood development and practice. She has 2 children of her own who keep her on her toes and started working with Down’s syndrome Scotland as the ABC co-worker for Aberdeen in January 2015, taking on Perth and Angus in 2016 until present.

Other Staff

Brenda Hepburn

Brenda Hepburn

Life Stories Project Manager

Brenda Hepburn

Brenda Hepburn

Life Stories Project Manager

brenda@dsscotland.org.uk
07825 214 109
Brenda has been working with adults with learning disabilities for 20 years. She started working in an administration role with a third sector organisation later she completed an HND in Librarianship and Information Science (distance learning) in 1998 and was an Information Officer for 5 years, developing accessible information for people with learning disabilities. Brenda became a Development Worker for the same organisation (2001-2006) and gained a Diploma in Health and Social Welfare through the Open University. She joined Down’s Syndrome Scotland in July 2006 as a Training Officer working on The Training Project for adults with Down’s syndrome moving onto The Making Your Way through Life project in 2009. She managed the Friends Connect Project from 2014 to August 2017. She is now manager for the Life Stories Project.
Kevin Cummings

Kevin Cummings

Acting Finance Officer

Kevin Cummings

Kevin Cummings

Acting Finance Officer

kevin@dsscotland.org.uk
0131 442 8846
Kevin joined DS Scotland in August 2010 after working mainly in the private sector sales & customer service roles for the previous 20 years. Joining initially as the Administrator Kevin now focusses on the areas of database & finance.