Board Membership

Highland Children's Forum has a new committee who will become the Board of Trustees for the Highland Children and Young People's Forum

Watch this space for biographies for our new members

Gaenor Rodger

Name - Gaener Rodger

What is your role with HCYPF - Chair and Member of the Board of Trustees

Why did you want to work/volunteer with HCYPF - It is important to me that children and young people are empowered and supported to have a say about how they live their lives and what happens to them, particularly  in relation to their own health and wellbeing. 

What is your history of working with children and young people - I came to 'youth work' quite late on in life after having my 2 children. I have been involved with managing, developing and delivering sexual health and relationship education programmes to young people in secondary schools in Highland. During 2018, I was involved with supporting the Highland young ambassadors for the Year of Young People. I also volunteer for Girlguiding and run both a Rainbow and a Brownie unit as well as supporting other volunteers.

Favourite colour - Blue

What do you do in your spare time - Spare time, whats that! I try to get outdoors, always with my family who are really important to me, doing a little bit of anything active from wild camping, walking, cycling, canoeing, skiing to rock climbing.

Something people might not know about you - I am a Bee-keeper.

Rebecca Nicholson - Vice Chair

Name - Bec Nicholson

What is my role in HCYPF? -Vice chair and Member of the Board of Trustees- I help make sure that young people’s voices are heard - by thoughtfully listening to ensure that everybody has the space to articulate what’s important to them.  I hope that my lived experience of being a youngish person with a physical disability, gives me a unique insight into some of the challenges which many young people with additional needs have to face. 

Why did I want to work/volunteer with HCYPF? - I had a damaging school experience and I remember exactly how it felt to not be listened to.  HCYPF were there when nobody else was, they gave me the confidence and strength to find my voice, to affect change.  

What is my history of working with children and young people? - I have been on many projects with other young people with varying additional needs, to bring about change on both an attitudinal and policy level.  I was part of a team that created an award-winning podcast raising awareness of disability, as part of the Get the Picture campaign held by the Scottish Government.  More recently I have spoken openly at many different events - about issues that affect young people in society, as well as being frank about my own challenges.  

Favourite colour - Any pastel colour 

What do I do in your spare time? - I love long forest walks with my assistance dog and best buddy Gregg.  

Something people might not know about me? - I’m very interested in spiritual practises such as mindfulness, meditation and yoga - and how they enrich our quality of life. 

Jim Gilzean - Treasurer

Name: Jim Gilzean

What is your role with HCYPF:  Member of the Board of Trustees and Treasurer

Why did you want to volunteer with HCYPF: I was told to by my daugher-in-law! I have an interest in what voluntary organisations can do for youngseters as I have a grandson with autism. 

What is your history of working with children and young people? Way back in time taking youngsdters from South Kessock to Ploaackton for camps - involvement with Samaritans, Citizens Advice Bureau 

Favourite colour: Green

What do you do in your spare time? Draw, paint, walk my dog and visit my grandchildren. 

Something people might not know about you: I ride horses, motorbikes and fly. 

Kirsty Hunter 

Name – Kirsty Hunter

What is your role with HCYPF – Member of the Board of Trustees

Why did you want to work/volunteer with HCYPF – I was approached in 2014 to become a member of the committee and at the time I didn’t know much about HCF and their amazing work. Once I had been introduced to their incredible work, past and present, I was hooked! It is such a privilege to work with such passionate people who care so much about giving others a voice.

What is your history of working with children and young people – Following on from my own experiences of trauma in childhood and adolescence I was determined to overcome my interrupted education, I left school with no qualifications due to having ME, and ‘give back’ to those who may be experiencing similar adversity in childhood. I began by volunteering at Raigmore’s Children’s ward. Following my time there I volunteered for Home Start, worked as a support worker in children’s residential care, a children and young person’s practitioner at Women’s Aid, a Youth Development Officer, a youth work project coordinator, advocacy worker and mentoring support officer.

Favourite colour – Hydrangea blue

What do you do in your spare time – I love spending time with my little family and all our animals. I love gardening, walking and being by the sea. I also love creating things from glass and wire.

Something people might not know about you – when I was little I used to pretend my name was Imogen and that I was a ballerina ☺ 

 

Sarah Fowler

Name – Sarah Fowler

What is your role with HCYPF – Member of the Board of Trustees

Why did you want to work/volunteer with HCF – HCF and CHIP+ (where I’m Chief Officer) have a fantastic partnership, working in very different but complementary ways to support families in Highland. When I was initially invited to join the Committee I jumped at the chance – I miss working directly with young people!

What is your history of working with children and young people – Being a mentor at school got me hooked! I volunteered as a Welfare Officer at Uni, became a Student Support Mentor in a college then went on to become a Youth Worker in a young people’s project. I then moved into service management but remained hands on – working with young people was always the best part!

Favourite colour – Green

What do you do in your spare time – Mostly hang out with my gorgeous toddler but love a day in the hills walking and generally being outdoors in the beautiful Highlands

Something people might not know about you – In 2012 I spent 5.5 months walking 2650 miles across the USA.

Rebecca Raynes 

Name:  Bec Raynes

What is your role with HCF –  Member of the Board of Trustees

Why did you want to work/volunteer with HCF - I am passionate about children and young people being able to reach their potential; sometimes this can be a challenge for a variety of reasons.  Highland Children’s Forum works with children and young people to identify barriers and help them overcome them.

What is your history of working with children and young people – I have worked with young people since I was one myself!  I have had lots of different youth work jobs in the third and public sectors.  I have also worked as a teacher.  Right now I work for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. 

Favourite colour – oh dear – difficult question but probably deep purple, closely followed by teal green or maybe peacock blue.

What do you do in your spare time – spend time with my family and friends; food is often involved!

Something people might not know about you – the other thing I bring to my role on HCF is that my youngest daughter is on the autistic spectrum.

Brenda Smart

Name: Brenda Smart

What is your role with HCYPF -  Member of the Board of Trustees and Secretary

Why did you want to volunteer with HCYPF: I enjoy working with people who have different disabilities and support needs in the community and I have worked with children before. 

What is your history of working with children and young people? I do work with visually impaired children and i was a Brownie leader for ten years for the largest brownie group in North Lanarkshire. I am a mum of three and grandmother of 5 - two of whom are disabled. 

Favourite colour: mint green

What do you do in your spare time? Read books and watch NCIS. 

Something people might not know about you: I am one of nine children and am the only one of the nine who went to college and I was the fiurst one in my family to pass a drviing test! 

Norman MacAskill

Name:  Norman MacAskill

What is your role with HCYPF:  Member of the Board of Trustees

Why did you want to work/volunteer with HCYPF: I have been aware of the excellent work carried out by HCF (now HCYPF)  for many years through my involvement in the Highland voluntary sector. After retiring in 2019, I knew I wanted to use some of my experience, knowledge and skills in a voluntary capacity so when I was approached to stand for the Board, it was a no brainer to say yes.

What is your history of working with children and young people: I don't have professional experience of working with children but I have been involved in working with young people at various times, from delivering computer training back in the 1980s to working with disabled young people and adults as a manager for the charity Lead Scotland a few years ago.

Favourite colour: Maroon

What do you do in your spare time: Cooking (and eating!), movies, reading, walking - and I've recently done a drawing course at Eden Court which has sparked an interest in trying to be more artistic!

Something people might not know about you: I appeared as an extra in the epic movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. 

Jean Sieczkarek 

Name: Jean Sieczkarek

What is your role with HCYPF:  Member of the Board of Trustees

Why did you want to work/volunteer with HCYPF: When involved with the transitions team from the adult service view point I realised the difficulty children had making that switch into adulthood. I wanted to understand the children's services perspective and share an adult service perspecitve  - so we could look at one another from the other end of the telescope so to speak.

What is your history of working with children and young people: I was the first manager in The Orchard (children's residential respite care service) and recruited and trained the first group os staff. I have managed school nurses, health visitors and midwives in my role as Area Manager. 

Favourite colour: claret and blue 

What do you do in your spare time: I suppoprt Westham! I also enjoy spending time with my grandchildren, camping and playing golf.

Something people might not know about you: when in school my brother (Mark Sieczkarek) and I were asked to wear blue tights and a waistcoat to perfrorm in Swan Lake at Eden Court with Scottish ballet. We had to open the dooor for Elaine McDonald OBE to come pirouetting through.  


 

Latest News
Thursday, April 23rd 2020

How is your lockdown?

Highland Children and Young People's Forum is interested to hear about how you are coping with the period of lockdown.  We especially would like to hear from children and young people with additional support needs about their experience. Full Story...

About Highland Children and Young People's Forum

Highland Children and Young People's Forum is a registered charity, created by the parent carers of children with additional support needs. The Forum aims to ensure that the voices of children and young people with additional support needs are heard in the design and provision of services in Highland.

Highland Children and Young People's Forum is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation, charity number: SCO49417.

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Highland Children and Young People's Forum

9 Carsegate Road North, Inverness IV3 8DU Scotland

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