Our Board of Trustees
Kirsty Bathgate (Chair)
Kirsty joined Cyrenians as a Trustee in January 2015 to support the organisation to achieve its aims of serving and journeying further with more people as it grows and took on the role of Chair in March 2019. Kirsty is a professional accredited executive coach and strategic business consultant, working with companies at all stages of growth, having previously built a successful Tourism/Tech business.
Isobel formerly practised as an advocate at the Scottish Bar, and now sits as a First-tier Tribunal Judge in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, the Social Entitlement Chamber and as a Convenor of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland. She is the Secretary of the Board and advises on legal obligations and issues.
Recruited in 2003, Carolyn was an independent business consultant specialising in organisational development and performance management. Her expertise included strategy implementation and business planning. Enjoying early retirement, volunteering with Cyrenians continues to enthuse and engage.
John Lawrie has been a trustee since 2003. He was an investment manager for Scottish Provident and was for four years an Edinburgh City Councillor. He is Convenor of Volunteer Centre Edinburgh and has previously served as a Trustee and Chair of Edinvar Housing Association, the Samaritans, Telephone Helplines Association, and Penumbra. He was awarded the OBE in 1990 and appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the City of Edinburgh in 2012.
Ciaran McGuigan joined the Board in March 2012 and was appointed Treasurer in Dec 2014. Ciaran is currently Director of the Phoenix Group’s Finance & Actuarial Change Programme. A qualified chartered accountant, he has 20 years' experience of the financial and professional service sectors.
With a background in communications and public affairs, Elinor joined the board of trustees because she has a firm commitment to social justice. She wants to contribute to the organisation as it seeks to expand and reach more people. Elinor is Head of Influencing for UK charity Sue Ryder.
Pete is a Chartered Accountant and currently CFO of Lomond Capital, a leading housing business across the UK. He has worked in finance for over 20 years in a variety of leadership roles with a particular interest in developing high quality and affordable living space. Pete joined Cyrenians as a Trustee in January 2015.
Veronika Gunn-Boesch joined Edrington, Scotland’s leading independent premium spirits company, in 2012 as head of organisational development and became HR director in 2015. Born and raised in Austria, Veronika lived in New York City for 10 years working in a variety of HR roles before moving to Scotland in 2012. She joined Cyrenians as a trustee in December 2019.
Our Leadership Team
Ewan Aitken, CEO
Ewan is CEO of Cyrenians, a charity tackling the causes and consequences of homelessness. A former Convener of Education and Leader of Edinburgh City Council and CoSLA spokesperson on Education, Ewan has over 30 years’ experience in the Public and 3rd sectors. He founded the National Prison Visitor Centre Steering group, the Ripple Project, the Youth Bus Trust and two Credit Unions. He is a Council member of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, chairing its Inspiring Communities Network. Ewan is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, board member of the Ripple Project and a former Chair of BBC Children in Need Scotland Grants Committee. He is an advisor to Circle Scotland, former Co- chair of the Edges of Care workgroup for the Independent Review of Care, a member of the Scottish Governments Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans Delivery Group and the Regional Council of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Regional Deal. He was a member of the CoSLA Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy and in 2018 he was received the SCVO Charity Awards Leading Light Award.
Kathryn Reilly, Head of Finance and Corporate Services
An Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Kathryn previously worked with the Roslin Foundation Group of Companies for 15 years. Various roles within the Group included Business and Facilities Management as well as Financial Accountant. She also gained significant experience in the mechanics of Grant Funding during this time.
Before moving to Roslin, Kathryn worked within the textiles and textile engineering sectors as Business Manager, then both Management and Financial Accountant. Kathryn joined Cyrenians in July 2013.
Outside of work, Kathryn volunteers with a local girls' football team, both as Club Treasurer and working directly with the girls in one of the teams.
Rachael Wallace-Lane, Head of Quality and Resilience
Having spent 16 years in the corporate sector, working in public relations, marketing, facilities and operational management, Rachael committed to use her experience to develop services that would ensure those people seeking support have access to the best services.
Working for Shelter Scotland, Streetwork and joining Cyrenians in 2009 as Head of Early Intervention where she lead on developing award winning services, such as our Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution and Support & Mediation. Rachael is now Head of Quality and Resilience, working alongside staff to develop tools that will help them do the job we ask them to do. Working to find ways to build sustainable resilience for staff with the intention that this resilience will, in turn, be something that ripples out to our society.
Rachael enjoyed volunteering as a Trustee for Zero Tolerance and currently volunteers for Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce in a mentoring capacity for Chief Executives looking to develop their operational systems in line with their strategic vision.
Neil Hay, Head of Enterprise
Neil joined Cyrenians in January 2015 as the Volunteering Coordinator before becoming our Senior Manager for Enterprises.
Initially working in food retail Neil subsequently operated a company in mainland Europe involving retail, wholesale and trading alongside warehousing, distribution and logistics.
Neil is responsible for Social Enterprise within Cyrenians, with diverse businesses including our Enterprise Training offering, the Good Food programme delivering a Care Farm, Food Education services, and our surplus food Fareshare redistribution depot.
Having joined our Leadership Team in 2018 as Head of Enterprise, Neil leads on development of corporate strategy for business development and as a member of the leadership team contribute to the overall corporate direction and planning for Cyrenians; development and nurturing of relationships with potential partners, including those within the third, public and corporate sectors and developing relationships with all key stakeholders are also part of his role.
Neil is also a Trustee of the Homeless World Cup.
Amy Hutton, Head of Services
Amy joined Cyrenians in 2006, originally managing our drug and alcohol services before moving into a position within the leadership team in 2011. Amy has responsibility for the strategic management of our residential services, criminal justice work, community gardens, and work with people experiencing the most explicit forms of homelessness including Housing First.
Amy has a particular focus on our practice with those who experience severe and multiple disadvantage and specifically the development of holistic and relational interventions and expansion of evidence on these approaches.
Having studied Community Education, Amy is passionate about the ability of the voluntary sector to engage with communities in helping the people and the environment around them; and firmly believes that the flexibility, creativity and tenacity of the voluntary sector will be crucial in tackling the problems emerging as a result of tough economic times.
Originally from the north of Scotland, Amy and her family have settled in sunny Portobello.
Michelle Lloyd, Head of Services
Michelle joined Cyrenians in July 2017, not least because she shares their vision of an inclusive society where we respect diversity and all have opportunities to live valued and fulfilled lives.
As a member of the Leadership Team, Michelle has responsibility for the strategic management of our Mediation and Support services, HMP Addiewell Visitor Centre, Employability services and the national Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution.
In addition to her work with Cyrenians, Michelle is also a Special Advisor to the Women and Equalities Select Committee at Westminster. Prior to joining Cyrenians she worked for MECOPP (Minority Ethnic Carers of People Project) and, amongst other things, initiated the Gypsy/Traveller Carers' Programme, an award-winning programme working in rural and urban areas with one of Scotland’s most marginalised, and discriminated against, communities.
With an educational background in Social Anthropology, Michelle’s employment experience, in Scotland and overseas, has been varied - in the past working for Save the Children, the University of Glasgow and Health in Mind. She enjoys working with people and is particularly interested in issues around equality and wellbeing. She has a strong track record of using the creative arts as research, advocacy and training tools and is passionate about challenging injustices.