Our people


Philip Bryers Director, Chair

Philip BryersPhilip Bryers taught social policy and community development at the Universities of York and Glasgow before entering local government in 1979. He held a range of posts in Strathclyde Region Social Work Department and North Ayrshire Council before retiring in 2000. Thereafter he worked for Volunteer Development Scotland, promoting volunteering in health, and for the Scottish Dementia Working Group, before leaving full-time work in 2008.

Margaret Petherbridge Director, Deputy Chair

Margaret PetherbridgeMargaret's experience has been working within Community Care Services and in particular the implementation of Direct Payments Policy and managing a Short Breaks Bureau which arranges breaks for adults with disabilities and older people.  Margaret is currently chair of the ADSW (Association of Directors of Social Work) Self Directed Support Group. As part of this role she participates in the Scottish Government Self Directed Support Strategy Implementation Group. 

David Eade Director, Treasurer

David EadeDavid, his wife Helen and two children, have been involved in family based short breaks since 1992. They began as volunteers with the Shared Care scheme in Dumbartonshire and have since worked for schemes in Argyll and Bute and Perth and Kinross in partnership with Barnardo’s. Due to the difficulties in juggling work with the volunteering role David is now a paid foster carer with Action for Children providing short breaks for children in foster care, some of whom have special needs. He is also a volunteer driver at Rachel House children’s hospice where Helen works as a paediatric nurse. Their daughter Alice is also a volunteer befriender at Rachel House.

Debbie MacDonald Director

Debbie Laird small.jpgDebbie is an Actuary with a wide range of experience covering risk and capital management, audit, process improvement and networking/marketing. She is keen to help build links between companies and charities, promoting the benefits of these relationships to all parties. Debbie lives in Dunfermline with her husband and two children. In her spare time she enjoys diving, white-water rafting and creative writing. She also performs voluntary work for the Red Cross, providing first-aid cover at a range of events across Scotland.

Silvie MacKenzie Director

Silvie MacKenzieSilvie is a Care Manager at Badaguish, where she has developed a programme of respite activity holidays, holiday play schemes and SQA accredited training courses, providing 400 places per year for people with a learning disability, locally, nationally and from across the Highlands. Silvie is a trained social worker with over 20 years experience in residential care and therapy for people with disabilities. She has also organised, designed and delivered a variety of training to support front line workers in the voluntary care sector in the Highlands.

She is an active member of many voluntary and statutory community organisations and is committed to the importance of family support and to giving people with a disability and their carers a choice.

Elspeth Murray Director

Elspeth Murray is a freelance ‘poet and wordsmith’ with a background in anthropology, public health policy and health promotion. Elspeth joined the board of Shared Care Scotland following some work she was involved with as a poet in residence for their 2007 annual conference. She has worked in the NHS in patient and carer involvement in cancer care and as a poet in the field of mental health and is keen to raise awareness of the need to listen to people’s experiences when developing services and policies. Elspeth lives in Edinburgh with her husband, poet and puppeteer Richard Medrington.

As a trained nurse I also have many years of experience of working within health. 

Penny Stafford Director

Penny Stafford pic.JPGAs well as having been a parent carer over the past 21 years to her son Adam who has physical and learning disabilities, Penny also has experience of caring for her mother who has dementia and past experience of caring for a partner with addiction and mental health issues. She has been involved in various carer groups over the years and consequently has developed a good knowledge of carers issues and experience of representing carer views to policy makers and within service planning groups.

Penny has previous experience of serving as a board member for various charities including for local carers, Women's aid and mental health charities, as well as serving on a Housing Association Board.  She is a member of the Short Breaks Fund Better Breaks Grants Advisory Panel and was recently appointed to the Scottish Government's Disabled Children and Young People Advisory Group.


Sue Barnard Advisor

Sue BarnardSue is a mum to five children one of whom has a severe learning disability and the classic form of autism. Having found that there was very little help available for either of them, she decided to take things in hand herself!  She spent seven years setting up playschemes for autistic children which eventually led to the establishment of the Jigsaw Centre in Aberdeen. Sue has a recently retired as Development Officer with the VSA Carers Centre in Aberdeen supporting families of children with disabilities.  Sue is still very much involved in carer issues and respite in particular.  Sue was Chair of Shared Care Scotland between 2011 and 2013.

John Leggate Advisor 

John LeggateJohn is a former community development worker, and was the National Development Officer at Shared Care Scotland between 1993 and 2003. Although now retired John keeps busy with many interests which include Chairing the committee of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers Centre in Perth.

Louise Morgan Advisor young carers issues 

Louise MorganLouise has been involved in young carers work since 2001, when she took up post as the first Young Carers Development Worker in Highland.  She moved into her current role as Scottish Young Carers Services Development manager with The Princess Royal Trust for Carers (now the Carers Trust) in 2004.  This work involves co-ordinating a nationwide network of over 50 agencies called The Scottish Young Carers Services Alliance. Despite having been a young carer herself, Louise is constantly amazed by the diversity of issues faced by young carers.  A favourite part of her job is attending the national Young Carers Festival – an event which brings together over 500 young carers to have lots of fun and to tell decision makers what they should do to improve the support available.  Louise now lives in Ayrshire, has three grown up sons and a passion for anything to do with horses. 


Don Williamson Chief Executive

Don WilliamsonDon has been the Chief Executive of Shared Care Scotland since January 2006.  Prior to this he was the Programme Director in Edinburgh for the international leadership development charity Common Purpose, and before this was 8 years with The Duke of Edinburgh's Award as Assistant then Deputy Director for Scotland. Don has also worked in the outdoor education and environment sectors.  Voluntary roles have included membership of the Visiting Committee for Polmont Young Offenders Institution and currently a Board Director for GreenTeam, an Edinburgh based environmental education charity. 

Lesley Gudgeon Administrator

Lesley has worked in various administrative roles in the public and voluntary sector for many years now.  She enjoys the varied role she has with Shared Care Scotland since first starting with them in January 2004 and enjoys helping to put people in touch with carer support and short break services and the challenges this can sometimes bring
She lives in Crossford, near Dunfermline with her husband and teenage son.  In her spare time she sings with a band and is the volunteer secretary for Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Amanda Moffat Short Breaks Fund Grants Officer

*Amanda has been working at the Shared Care Scotland office since September 2010, she has over 10 years secretarial experience and returning to work in the voluntary sector after a four year career break has been influenced by her volunteering work.  Amanda is a trustee with FACE a Cancer Charity based in Edinburgh and is involved with Samaritans.  Amanda lives in Dunfermline with her husband and 2 children.  Amanda is the point of contact for any administrative enquiries about the Short Break Fund and our online directory of short break services.

Christi Rankin Short Breaks Fund Manager (Learning & Development)

Christi small.jpgChristi started at Shared Care Scotland team in February 2011, working on behalf of Scotland's National Carer Organisations to manage and develop the Scottish Government's Short Breaks Fund. She started her career in the voluntary sector when she moved to the UK to be a full-time Community Service Volunteer, supporting people with disabilities. She spent 8 years working with various charities in London, gaining experience in fundraising, grant-making, project management, and development work with small charitable groups. Christie moved to Scotland in 2006, and worked as the Director of Organisational Development for Firsthand in Edinburgh, which provides short breaks to lone parents and carers of children with disabilities. She lives in Dunfermline with her husband Paul, and spends her free time swing dancing.

Ben Hall Communications Developer

Photo of BenBen joined the Shared Care Scotland team in April 2011. He has worked in the voluntary sector for 18 years for various charities across Scotland. These included organisations that specialised in supporting children and families, homeless people, and most recently people with poor mental health. He started in the sector by volunteering with Community Service Volunteers providing respite holidays for families living in poverty. A graduate of Stirling and Strathclyde universities Ben now lives in Haddington with his wife Pamela and enjoys hillwalking and gardening.

Alison Stevenson Short Breaks Fund Manager (Grants)

Photo of AlisonAlison joined Shared Care Scotland as Short Breaks Fund manager in October  2011 to cover Christi’s maternity leave. Alison  previously managed grant programmes in the Voluntary Action Fund for 8 years, and has also worked with the Scottish Community Foundation and with a range of third sector and statutory organisations. Alison’s earlier career was in Social Work, managing a Mental Health Specific Grant portfolio, community development projects, and domestic abuse service developments. Alison is an experienced trainer and facilitator and as a charity trustee has had lots of hands on experience of managing services and grants.



We have a few vacancies on the Board of Directors at Shared Care Scotland.  We would be pleased to hear from anyone that would be interested in applying for a position.  These are voluntary positions.

We would particularly be interested to hear from people with experience of caring or people with long term conditions with experience of using short break or respite care services.

The time commitment is about 5 days per year but there will be opportunities to be involved in other activities related to our work.

Please contact Don Williamson in the first instance:


Tel: 01383 622462





Shared Care Scotland Unit 2, Dunfermline Business Centre, Izatt Avenue, Dunfermline, Fife KY11 3BZ Tel: Work 01383 622462 email:
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  • Registered charity SC 005315