Announcing the appointment of the new Chair of our Board

23 May 2023
John Lawrie

Cyrenians is delighted to announce the appointment of John Lawrie OBE as the new Chair of its Board.

John was an investment manager for Scottish Provident and an Edinburgh City Councillor. He was awarded the OBE in 1990 and appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the City of Edinburgh in 2012.

He has many years’ experience of charitable and other voluntary board memberships, including the Cyrenians. Those that he has chaired include the Samaritans (nationally) and, in Edinburgh, Penumbra and Volunteer Edinburgh. In retirement, he has been non-executive director of an Irish financial services company.

On his appointment to Chair of the Board he’s sat on since 2003, John said:

“I feel privileged to be taking over the Chair of the Cyrenians’ Board. In many years as a trustee I have seen tremendous growth and development in the organisation, which is a tribute to the commitment and achievements of the people who have built it up."

"Despite the headwinds we face, in terms of adverse economic conditions and the relentless causes of homelessness, I am confident and optimistic about our future development. We have a talented and highly committed team and are well placed to make a difference to the people whose lives we touch.”

Cyrenians extends its thanks and appreciation to its outgoing Chair, Kirsty Bathgate, who served on our board from 2015 to 2023 and was Chair for the past four years. We thank Kirsty for all the time, knowledge and enthusiasm that she has generously shared with us in the last eight years and specifically for her guidance as Chair during the difficult time of the pandemic and the current cost-of-living crisis.

On the appointment of the new Chair, Ewan Aitken, Chief Executive of Cyrenians, said: “We are extremely fortunate that John Lawrie will be taking on the role of Chair of our Board."

"John’s extensive experience, his extraordinary insight and his commitment to positive change in the third sector will be valuable assets to us as we continue our mission to tackle the causes and consequences of homelessness.”

As Chair, John is joined on the Cyrenians board by fellow trustees Dr Deborah Benson, Veronika Gunn-Boesch, Elinor Jayne, James Johnstone, Angela Leitch, Ciaran McGuigan, Viv Monaghan and Isobel Wylie.

Cyrenians gives its thanks and appreciation to all of its trustees, who generously give their time and experience.

The Board is responsible for our overall governance and strategic direction and accepts ultimate responsibility for the sound professional, legal and financial management of Cyrenians as a charity.

Trustees also approve our vision and values, set overall strategy, oversee implementation and monitor our progress to plans.

Click here to find out more about our trustees.