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Meet the Team — Our Board of (Volunteer) Directors

Please note that you can contact our Directors via our Chief Executive, David Maxwell, on

  • Photo of Tom BerryTom Berry


    Glasgow has been my home city all my life. I’m a graduate of the University of Glasgow and previously worked in the NHS as a General & Breast Disease Surgeon. Alongside my clinical career I held several senior representative and negotiating roles within the British Medical Association. This medico-political work led to appearances on TV including BBC News and Channel 4 Dispatches, as well as print media and national radio such as BBC Radio Scotland and Radio 4 You & Yours programme. Since leaving the NHS I’ve held roles in the Third Sector and was previously Head of Scotland for Breast Cancer Now.

    As a volunteer I have delivered the Medics Against Violence (MAV) content for over a decade in schools and community projects, such as The Prince’s Trust, and became a director on the MAV Board in 2017. In association with our partners, especially the Violence Reduction Unit of Police Scotland, we have helped foster real change in Scotland; and we continue to work to improve things whilst advising and working with partners outside Scotland.

    I understand the benefits of volunteering for the individual and the community. It is a privilege to be a volunteer panel member for Children’s Hearings Scotland and a mentor for MCR Pathways. Through Skype A Scientist I get the opportunity to discuss medicine and healthcare with classrooms around the world and tell lots of gruesome anecdotes!

    It is an honour to be Chair of Volunteer Glasgow who lead in making Glasgow the city where everyone is passionate about volunteering their skills, abilities, talents, experience and knowledge.

  • Photo of Sean ReidSean Reid


    I am Compliance & Risk Manager at a local government pension scheme. I’ve spent over 17 years in financial services across a number of roles in governance, risk, change, and project management.

    I currently volunteer as a business mentor for sports clubs & organisations with Sported, and as a walk leader with Good Move Glasgow. I applied to join the VG board after seeing first hand how useful their services are for connecting organisations and volunteers.

    I’ve lived and worked in Glasgow my entire adult life – I’m hugely passionate about the city and the people in it. In my spare time I’m a keen runner, and perform guided running tours around Glasgow – it’s amazing getting to show visitors (and locals!) how vibrant and interesting our city‘s culture and heritage is. I’m proud to support Volunteer Glasgow’s work in bringing benefits to individuals and communities across the city.

  • Aaron Fernandez


    I am a first year postgraduate medical student at the University of Dundee, a volunteer Event First Aider with St Andrew’s First Aid, and a Youth Volunteering Ambassador with Volunteer Glasgow.

    It is my utmost belief that volunteering can have a pivotal influence in a person’s life, the same way that it has opened up a wealth of opportunities contributing to my own personal development and career goals. I am excited to give back to the volunteering community as a director with Volunteer Glasgow where I am learning about the issues faced by volunteer-involving organisations, their staff and volunteers. With this knowledge, I hope to help guide the organisation and, indeed, volunteering activities in the city towards a flourishing and sustainable future.
    My interests lie in promoting youth volunteering, empowering young people to have a voice in decision-making, and breaking down barriers to access opportunities.

    In my spare time, I enjoy playing the guitar, singing, playing video games, and attempting new cooking recipes from YouTube.

  • Photo of Allan Kirkwood Allan Kirkwood


    Originally from Paisley I now live in North Lanarkshire. I am the Volunteer Development Manager at Diabetes Scotland. I have been a volunteer for all my adult life through working with the Scout Association, Parent – Teacher Association and school board whilst my daughter was at school. I volunteer for my own charity and have recently signed up to volunteer for a local community group which has been set up in response to the ongoing pandemic. In my work role I support volunteers in local groups and communities helping them to raise awareness of diabetes and the challenges of living with diabetes.

    Since March last year I have been working from home helping Diabetes Scotland to deliver online Peer Support to individuals, online events alongside Health Care professionals on how to manage diabetes during the pandemic.

    I joined the Board of Volunteer Glasgow to offer my service as a volunteer and share my knowledge of volunteer management.

  • Photo of Carole AndersonCarole Anderson


    I am an NHS Senior Manager, working as Associate Director leading on Performance, Planning and Programmes in a specialist NHS Board. Having started my career in the NHS as a Physiotherapist, I have also developed a keen interest in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. This has led to me becoming a volunteer Schools Role Model for Stonewall Scotland, the LGBT charity, where I work with young people to build confidence in dealing with LGBT issues at school and in the workplace.

    I have been volunteering since attending University in Glasgow, and specifically have been a Volunteer Befriender with the Young Persons Befriending Service for around 13 years. I very much enjoy being part of work to make a real difference to a young person’s life. I’m proud to serve on the Board of Volunteer Glasgow to support the important services they deliver for so many in our great city of Glasgow.

    In my remaining spare time, I am a keen football fan, a samba drummer and Chair of SWAN, a charity which supports networking and inclusion for LGBT people in Scotland

  • Photo of David Petrie David Petrie


    I am a PR and Corporate Communications consultant working mainly with Public Sector organisations. I’ve held a number of senior communications roles in my career, managing both projects and people. I’ve devised a wide range of communications strategies, including civic pride campaigns and community safety initiatives.

    I am a longstanding member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and sit on the committee of the CIPR Not for Profit group.

    I have volunteered with a number of organisations over the years, including Borderline which helps to support homeless Scots in London. I am currently a Trustee of the road safety charity Aftermath Support. I volunteer through Glasgow Caledonian University as a Literacy Mentor to help young children improve their reading skills and develop a love of books.

    I am proud to serve as a Director of Volunteer Glasgow and make a contribution to the vital work in our communities.

  • Essi Kauranen


    I’m a communications and marketing professional with experience working in higher education, housing and charity sectors. I hold an MA with Honours in Politics from the University of Glasgow and an MSc in Ethnicity and Multiculturalism from the University of Bristol. When I first moved to Scotland from Finland, volunteering helped me feel part of the community. Volunteering both in the UK and abroad has taught me many new skills, including ones I now use in my daily work, and given me the opportunity to meet people I otherwise wouldn’t have. My spare time currently involves yoga, exercising, reading and listening to audiobooks.

  • Photo of Gabriella Cowan Gabriella Cowan


    My background is in Translation & Interpreting and I was lucky enough to spend some time in both Madrid and Paris as part of my studies. After graduating from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, I worked in Translation and then in International Account Management in London. I now work for EY here in Glasgow in Audit Account Management and have a breadth of project management experience working with clients in private, public and third sectors.

    I began volunteering after moving back to Scotland; it started with handing out flyers for food banks at Christmas time, then through my employer, I started supporting disadvantaged young people by volunteering for the EY Foundation both as a mentor and workshop facilitator. I am Co-chair of the Central Scotland EY Women’s Network which looks to promote the gender parity agenda both in business and at large.

    I wanted to do something to give back to my local community and that led me to joining the Board at Volunteer Glasgow. It has proved to be a great learning curve and an enriching experience both in terms of the boardroom and in working to help improve the lives of many across our city.

    In my spare time I love exploring new places, travelling, cooking and dancing.

  • Photo of Sarah BurgessSarah Burgess


    I’ve been involved in volunteering since I was a teenager, starting with the good old charity shop and have worked in volunteering, mainly in volunteering infrastructure for over 20 years now. Most of that time has been spent in two very different volunteer centres, one in Swindon, Wiltshire, the other in Dún Laoghaire, south county Dublin, doing everything from suggesting placements to potential volunteers to training volunteer managers in best practice. In between times I worked for Volunteering England in a regional role, supporting all the volunteer centres across the south west of England. Since moving to Glasgow in 2015 I’ve gained some experience managing volunteers and joined the VG board in 2017 to continue to get my volunteer centre fix.

    Currently I work as a green health volunteering development officer, supporting organisations that offer outdoor volunteering opportunities.

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