Staff

Management Team

Rory Gaffney

Rory Gaffney

Interim CEO

Rory Gaffney

Rory Gaffney

Interim CEO

rory@dsscotland.org.uk
0131 442 8841
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

Family Support Service Manager

Jo Hughes

Jo Hughes

Family Support Service Manager

jo@dsscotland.org.uk
01563 533473
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.

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
01463 237489
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
0131 442 8847
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.
Amy Anderson

Amy Anderson

Family Support Service Officer (North East of Scotland)

Amy Anderson

Amy Anderson

Family Support Service Officer (North East of Scotland)

Amy@dsscotland.org.uk
07823 415 050
Amy has been working with family carers for the last ten years - an Information Worker for a carers centre and then Carers Scotland where she set up a small advocacy service for carers in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area and delivered training to carers and professionals. She moved to PAMIS (Promoting a More Inclusive Society) in 2015 where she ran the Family Support Service for the Grampian area for 3 years, working with families of profoundly disabled people and leading on accessibility projects around the area. Amy is also a Non-Executive Director of NHS Grampian and a voting member of the Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership and has a particular interest in equity of access to health services and person-centred approaches to care. In her spare time, Amy enjoys walking and volunteering for a local disability project.
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.
Sharon Murphy

Sharon Murphy

Family Support Service Officer (South West of Scotland)

Sharon Murphy

Sharon Murphy

Family Support Service Officer (South West of Scotland)

Sharon@dsscotland.org.uk
07825 214109
Sharon has worked in health and social care for over 26 years within third sector and local authorities, continuously witnessing changes and challenges within this field. She has worked within various areas such as learning and physical disability, young homeless, older people services and working with veterans of the armed forces. She is passionate about tackling real issues by having an open mind and has increasing ability to deal with fast moving complex situations, whilst inspiring confidence and independence in others around her. In 2016, she completed her Honours Degree in Integrated Health and Social Care, whilst continuing to work full time. In addition she completed her Welfare Diploma in 2017 alongside Mental Health First Aid. Sharon lives in North Ayrshire with her partner Stephen and 2 daughters, Brogan and Amber.

Fundraising & Communications

Louise Watt

Louise Watt

Senior Trusts & Fundraising Officer

Louise Watt

Louise Watt

Senior Trusts & Fundraising Officer

louise@dsscotland.org.uk
0131 442 8850
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

Trusts & Fundraising Administrator

Mairi Printie

Mairi Printie

Trusts & Fundraising Administrator

mairi@dsscotland.org.uk
0131 442 8840
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.
Julie Ionta

Julie Ionta

Senior Fundraising Officer

Julie Ionta

Julie Ionta

Senior Fundraising Officer

julie@dsscotland.org.uk
07803 624 537
Julie joined Down’s Syndrome Scotland in 2015 and has worked in Community Fundraising for ten years. She works with supporters helping them to raise much needed funds and awareness of Down’s syndrome. She helps people in their fundraising efforts as they take part in marathons and 10k’s; as they hold coffee mornings or charity nights; or if they are volunteering their time to support Down’s Syndrome Scotland.
Lesley Moffat

Lesley Moffat

Regional Community Fundraiser Tayside & Fife

Lesley Moffat

Lesley Moffat

Regional Community Fundraiser Tayside & Fife

lesley@dsscotland.org.uk
07918 566 495
Lesley lives in Fife. She has a Chemistry degree from St Andrews University. Whilst bringing up her two children she has done various jobs. Lesley has been involved with Down’s Syndrome Scotland since birth of my daughter in 2008. She became a committee member with the Fife and Tayside branch of Down’s Syndrome Scotland in 2012. She has also worked as an ABC co-worker in Perth 2015 and moved to the fundraising team in 2016.
Sharon Craighead

Sharon Craighead

Regional Community Fundraiser West of Scotland

Sharon Craighead

Sharon Craighead

Regional Community Fundraiser West of Scotland

Sharonc@dsscotland.org.uk
07825 033 803
Sharon joined Downs Syndrome Scotland in January 2019. Previous to this she worked as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist both in the NHS and private sector. She will be primarily working in the West of Scotland helping people who wish to fundraise for Downs Syndrome Scotland, she will help both practically and provide support and encouragement along the way.
Claire Penny

Claire Penny

Regional Community Fundraiser Grampian & Angus

Claire Penny

Claire Penny

Regional Community Fundraiser Grampian & Angus

ClaireP@dsscotland.org.uk
07825 310 042
Claire joined Down’s Syndrome Scotland in 2019. Before joining Down’s Syndrome Scotland Claire worked as a paediatric nurse for several years. Claire lives in Aberdeenshire with her Husband and 3 children.
Leigh Henderson

Leigh Henderson

Regional Community Fundraiser Grampian & Angus

Leigh Henderson

Leigh Henderson

Regional Community Fundraiser Grampian & Angus

Leigh@dsscotland.org.uk
07825 326 910
Leigh lives in Aberdeenshire and is a mum to Molly who is 5 and Rory who is 2. Leigh has worked as a hair stylist her whole working life, however since having Rory who was born with Downs syndrome, she has developed a real passion for raising awareness though social media and raising funds for Down's Syndrome Scotland.
Claire Serplus

Claire Serplus

PR, Marketing & Communications Officer

Claire Serplus

Claire Serplus

PR, Marketing & Communications Officer

claire@dsscotland.org.uk
0131 442 8851
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

Natasha Sinclair

Natasha Sinclair

Speech and Language Therapist

Natasha Sinclair

Natasha Sinclair

Speech and Language Therapist

Natasha@dsscotland.org.uk
Natasha has been working with individuals with learning disabilities for the past 9 years and has a background in care assistance and auxiliary nursing. She graduated from Strathclyde University with a BSc Honours in Speech and Language Pathology in 2011. Natasha spent 6 years working as a Speech and Language Therapist specialising in Adults with Learning Disabilities with NHS Tayside and completed a 6 month secondment with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. After experiencing working for Down's Syndrome Scotland as an ABC Co-worker for Edinburgh in 2011/2012, Natasha was delighted to return to take the role of the company's Speech and Language Therapist in May 2018. When Natasha is not working she is most likely to be found on her yoga mat or in an amateur theatre show!
Joanna Coulter

Joanna Coulter

ABC Coordinator

Joanna Coulter

Joanna Coulter

ABC Coordinator

Joanna@dsscotland.org.uk
07850 203 506
In 2000-2004 Joanna studied at University College London and qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist. She then worked for 7 years as a paediatric SLT for the NHS in Hartlepool and Greater Glasgow and Clyde. In 2011 she left to set up her own business teaching Baby massage and yoga. In 2013 she started working as a Family Support Service Officer within DSS. Joanna has also spent time working on the Friends Connect Project and Commissioners Programme. After taking some time off to start a family, Joanna is now working as an ABC Co-ordinator.
Katy Lironi

Katy Lironi

ABC Co-worker Glasgow

Katy Lironi

Katy Lironi

ABC Co-worker Glasgow

katy@dsscotland.org.uk
07770 019468
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
0131 442 8840
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.
Lorna Sanderson

Lorna Sanderson

ABC Co-worker Edinburgh

Lorna Sanderson

Lorna Sanderson

ABC Co-worker Edinburgh

lorna@dsscotland.org.uk
0131 442 8840
Alison Hone

Alison Hone

ABC Co-worker Orkney

Alison Hone

Alison Hone

ABC Co-worker Orkney

alison@dsscotland.org.uk
07464 820605
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 566492
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
0131 442 8848
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.
Carolyn Thornton

Carolyn Thornton

Life Stories Project Worker

Carolyn Thornton

Carolyn Thornton

Life Stories Project Worker

Carolyn@dsscotland.org.uk
0131 442 8840
Carolyn has thirty-two years teaching experience, both in mainstream and special education. She initially qualified as an early years teacher and later did an M Ed in Additional Support for Learning (Visual Impairment). She has taught in various schools around the world including ten years at The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh. Carolyn joined Down’s Syndrome Scotland in May 2017. She is working on the Life Story Project .
Vivien Jayne

Vivien Jayne

Policy Officer

Vivien Jayne

Vivien Jayne

Policy Officer

vivien@dsscotland.org.uk
0131 442 8849
Jill Somerville

Jill Somerville

PA to the CEO & Office Manager

Jill Somerville

Jill Somerville

PA to the CEO & Office Manager

jill@dsscotland.org.uk
0131 442 8845
Jill has come from a financial background having worked for Lloyds Banking Group for 24 years. This involved working in the Mortgage sector for 17 years with the later 7 years working in the Private Banking sector as an Executive Assistant supporting various Heads of Banking. Jill joined DS Scotland in February 2015 where she supports Pandora and the Management Team and acts as Office Manager.
Virginia Nieto Carmona

Virginia Nieto Carmona

Office Administrator

Virginia Nieto Carmona

Virginia Nieto Carmona

Office Administrator

virginia@dsscotland.org.uk
07464 820606
Virginia comes to us via Spain and Brighton. She graduated in Education for Primary Schools where she specialised in music. She has also studied for an ICT for children with special needs course. During her work she has worked as an intern with children who have emotional or behavioural difficulties as well as delivering 1:1 and group support sessions for children with Down’s Syndrome.
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.