Forces Children Scotland Team

Our Trustees

Malcolm Noble


Malcolm is a retired Headmaster and has been involved with Forces Children Scotland since November 2011. He Chairs the Service Children Support Group (SCSG) on behalf of Forces Childen Scotland and is the author of the Trust’s history book. Raised in Scotland, Malcolm now lives in Essex where he chairs several other community organisations.

Colin Cook

Vice Chair

Colin is the Director of Digital for the Scottish Government. Colin has previously worked for the British Army Recruitment as their Marketing Director. Colin is passionate about Armed Forces young people and supports our digital wellbeing project Your Mind Matters.

Gary Gray


Gary is the former Deputy Chief Executive at Erskine and is currently at Poppyscotland. Before entering the voluntary sector, Gary had a varied career in the Royal Air Force and served for nearly 24 years. He has been a Trustee of Forces Children Scotland since 2014.

Isla Campbell Lupton


Isla is Head of Fundraising & Communications at Music in Hospitals & Care. She was previously Deputy Head of Fundraising at Poppyscotland where she developed the £2 million learning outreach project #PoppyBud. She has been a committee member of The Institute of Fundraising Scotland since 2008 and currently sits on the Scottish Fundraising Conference committee.

Neil McLennan


Neil is a Senior Lecture and Director of Leadership Programmes at the University of Aberdeen. Previously Neil has been a History Teacher and has worked in Quality Improvement at a national level. He has completed the Senior Leadership Development Programme with our partners (ADES). Neil also sits on the RSA Fellowship Council and is a recipient of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Medal.

Suzanne Wilson


Suzanne is Senior Legal Counsel at Galliford Try and has practised law for over 25 years. Suzanne was previously a Trustee for The Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity for 10 years and she is a Children’s Panel Member. Suzanne also sits on Heriot Watt University’s Audit & Risk Committee.

Christopher Middleton


Chris is a Management Consultant and a veteran.  A former Royal Marines officer, he spend 23 years serving all over the world before settling in Aberdeen with his young family. A trained primary school teacher, he also volunteers as an MCR pathways mentor.

Kathryn Lindsay


Kathryn has had a 25-year career in social work and social care and is the Director of Children, Families and Justice/ Chief Social Work Officer at Angus Council. She is also the past Convener of Social Work Scotland. Kathryn is proud to have current family connections to the Armed Forces.

Laura Hadley


Laura is first and foremost a Mum to three “fantastic girls”. She has been a Social Worker for 20 years having qualified from The University of Strathclyde.  Her focus throughout her career has been on the care and protection of Children and Young People in every aspect of their lives. Laura also enjoyed several years as a Combat Medical Technician with 205 field Hospital.

Carla Grant


Carla has been involved with Forces Children Scotland in various capacities since 2011, firstly as a beneficiary before becoming a regular volunteer throughout her time at university. Having achieved a BA (Hons) Community Education in 2017, Carla is now a Youth Development worker for Dumfries and Galloway Youth Services.

Catriona Sutherland-Hawes


A native of Linlithgow, Catriona is Director of Admissions at Wycombe Abbey School.  She was previously Director of Admissions at Latymer Upper School, where she developed and ran a very successful bursary programme.  She has been an Elder of St Columba’s Church of Scotland in London since 1997 and is a Governor of two local schools.

Our Team

Samira Nicholson

Youth Participation Worker (North)

Samira has worked with children and young people in a variety of settings for 10 years, initially volunteering, then as a career. Having gained a BA (Hons) in History and Education, and a MLitt in Modern History, Samira previously worked at Action for Children who provided support for young people seeking to enter or re-enter the workforce or education. Samira is passionate about providing young people with space and support to voice their experiences and create the change that they want to see.

Phone: 07502040203

Email Samira

Hannah Johnstone

Learning and Development Worker

Hannah has an MSc in Clinical Health Psychology and a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and has recently published research in the area of Veteran mental health. She has worked with children and young people throughout her career in a number of different settings, and has previously developed and delivered mental health support and training for both young people and adults. As a military child herself, Hannah is passionate about shedding light on all aspects of military life and helping people understand the unique challenges and positives this can bring.

Phone: 07385 719192

Email Hannah

Louise Smith

Youth Participation Worker (Central)

Louise has worked with children and young people for almost twenty years in a variety of roles.  Whilst studying for her post graduate diploma in Childhood and Youth Studies, her studies focussed on youth participation and services for children and young people from armed forces families.  Her last role was working for the Military Child Education Coalition in America, supporting armed forces families.  As a military spouse of seventeen years, she is passionate about support for armed forces children and young people as well as providing opportunities to let their voices be heard and listened to.

Phone: 07407125674

Email Louise

Laura Falconer

Chief Executive Officer

Laura brings with her more than thirty years of experience in supporting children and young people, as well as developing and managing children’s services. Laura has joined Forces Children Scotland from Barnardos, where she served as Assistant Director of Impact for Mental Health and Wellbeing in which she delivered the charity’s nationwide strategic vision through the formulation and implementation of cross-organisational programmes and partnerships to achieve transformational change for children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Phone: 07554154012

Email Laura

Jamiee Louise Gordon

Marketing, Communications and Fundraising Assistant

Moving from Ireland 5 years ago, Jaimee Louise has worked with and fundraised for charities such as British Red Cross and Breast Cancer Now. Formally working in marketing and events, Jaimee Louise has successfully planned and executed large campaigns based in Edinburgh City. A passionate mental health and well being advocate, she has been involved in fundraising events for mental health charities in both Ireland and Scotland.

Phone: 07503241314

Email Jamiee

Karen Smith

Office Manager and Temporary Children and Family Support Co-ordinator

Karen has worked in the charitable sector for over 12 years including with Macmillan Cancer Support and MS Society. Karen is passionate about supporting Armed Forces young people and is soon to be a military mum herself as her son starts his basic training in the Royal Engineers.

Phone: 07990031723

Email Karen

Nina Collins

Youth Participation Manager

Nina previously worked with Fife Young Carers for the last 10 years initially as their Development Worker and subsequently as their Manager. Nina has a SVQ in Community Development Work and a Diploma in Leadership and Management. She is passionate about empowering children and young people to shape services to meet their needs.

Phone: 07990 031658

Email Nina

Brian Robertson

Wellbeing Worker

Brian has worked in social care, mental health care, and criminal justice for the last twenty years. He currently volunteers for a mental health/suicide prevention charity that supports young people and adults in the Inverclyde area. Brian is also a mental health first aider. He is passionate about supporting and empowering people who have suffered from traumatic experiences during their lives.

Phone: 0131 322 7350

Email Brian

Sarah Rogers

Policy & Research Officer

Sarah studied at the University of Edinburgh where she obtained an Honours Degree in Law and an MSc, and PHD in Social Policy. Her PHD explored child wellbeing in non-resident father households. Previously Sarah has worked with Enquire, the additional support for learning advice service at Children in Scotland. Sarah is passionate about children’s rights and supporting all young people to reach their potential.

Phone: 0131 322 7350

Email Sarah

Gary Seath FRSA

Marketing, Communications and Development Manager

Gary brings a wealth of fundraising, marketing, and communications experience to Forces Children Scotland, having previously worked at Sight Scotland Veterans, Edinburgh Napier University and Fife College. He has extensive knowledge of the veterans’ sector and is an active Reservist within 105 Regiment RA. Gary has also gained considerable experience in the development and delivery of academic aspiration and musical education programmes for young people and conducted research with regard to emotional intelligence development in children, through the medium of music.

Phone: 07795538147

Email Gary

Cara Pleym

Digital Participation Worker for the Your Minds Matter Project

Cara has almost a decade of digital experience, specialising in crowdfunding and social media. Working as a tutor ignited a passion for young people and her focus on small business has inspired keen interests in authentic engagement, communication, and creativity. Cara is also an MCR Pathways mentor and Inclusive Economy Taskforce Volunteer.

Phone: 07768432452

Email Cara