Staff

Norma Austin Hart
Chief Executive Officer

Norma was a councillor in the City of Edinburgh Council for ten years, until 2017, where she had responsibility for culture and sports services. She was also lead councillor on the introduction of the Living Wage and helped to secure Living Wage Employer status for the City of Edinburgh Council, one of the first local authorities in Scotland to achieve this award. Before becoming the lead of TSDG, she was the director of Austin Hart Project Management, her own consultancy and training business.

Claire Brown
Operations Manager

Claire is accountable for our engagement work, managing our Engagement Team and Volunteering Officer. She supports our work with the Health and Social Care Partnership and as Operations Manager deputises for the Chief Executive in her absence.

Christine Clarke
Engagement Officer

Our Engagement Officer for Wigtownshire, Christine has more than 18 years' experience of the volunteering sector across Dumfries and Galloway. Working out of Stranraer, she supports groups in a wide variety of subjects, including funding, volunteering, constitutions and organisational development.

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Selina McMorran
Engagement Officer

Selina is our Engagement Officer for Annandale and Eskdale and works with third sector groups on any aspects of organisational development requiring support and advice and also helps volunteers to discover opportunities to match their interests and skills.

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David Link
Engagement Officer

David is our Engagement Officer for the Stewartry. He moved into the third sector working for Solway Community Business and co-founded Lowland Group, a social enterprise consisting of Lowland Development Trust and six subsidiary companies. David joined TSDG after working with young people with additional support needs over a number of years.

Beth McWilliam
Engagement Officer

Beth is our Engagement Officer for Nithsdale and supports and advises third sector groups on organisational development and also helps volunteers to find exciting opportunities to match their interests and skills.

Rachel Cringean
Funding Officer

Rachel is our Funding Officer. Her role is to help third sector groups source potential avenues of funding and other contacts, determined by needs. This will include local funders such as The Holywood Trust; Scottish and national independent, public and European funding sources; SCVO and other relevant intermediaries; Dumfries and Galloway Council and Health and Social Care Partnership; other Third Sector Interfaces; and independent consultancies

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Alan Hall
Communications Manager

Alan is our Communications Manager and joined TSDG after more than 20 years working in media across the breadth of Dumfries and Galloway, including the editor's position in publications in the west. He will help to highlight the vital role that the third sector plays within the region.

Daniel Allan
Information and Communications Assistant

Dan is our Information and Communications Assistant. He has a background in computing and develops and maintains our internal IT and assists our Communications Manager to publicise the fantastic work of the third sector in Dumfries and Galloway.

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Ann Gordon
Volunteering Officer

Ann has worked for over 20 years in the charity sector, including posts with Marie Curie, UNICEF and latterly with the RNLI as a Senior Community Fundraising Manager looking after volunteer groups over a large geographical area. She will be developing a new volunteering strategy for Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway and will be working with volunteering involving organisations on various projects.

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Sandra Wallace
Business Support Officer

Sandra is the first point of contact for visitors to our Dumfries office both in person and by telephone.  She provides administration support for the Annandale and Eskdale and Nithsdale engagement officers and attends these roadshows as part of the business support team.

Wendy Ward
Business Support Officer

Wendy is the first point of contact for visitors to our Stranraer office both in person and by telephone.  She provides administration support for the Wigtownshire and Stewartry engagement officers and attends these roadshows as part of the business support team.

Ben Wells
Business Support Officer

Ben assists both our business support team and our communications and I.T. team in the Dumfries office.

Board

Helen Keron
Chair

Helen Keron lives in the Stewartry with her family and has been working on community and third sector projects in the region since 2009.

Her work chairing and then project managing the creation of New Galloway Community Shop and other projects has given her experience of community ownership, social enterprise and community engagement. Before then, Helen was an oilfield engineer and has 13 years of engineering and project management experience, working both onshore and offshore.

Helen is currently the Education and Community Engagement Officer for the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme, and has volunteer roles as the Financial Director of the Glenkens Community and Arts Trust and the Treasurer of New Galloway Community Enterprises.

John Dougan
Vice-Chair

John Dougan is a native of Stranraer but now lives in Dumfries with his family. 

He has worked both in the third and public sector and previously managed a drug rehab centre near Kirkcudbright. He has also worked for Alex Fergusson MSP as a researcher, and as a councillor with Dumfries and Galloway Council.

John is the Chief Executive Officer of Relationships Scotland Dumfries and Galloway, a charity offering family support, counselling, mediation and child contact services, along with counselling for carers across the region.

In his spare time, he enjoys cycling with his children, reading, classical music, and a good cup of coffee.

Alex Dickson
Treasurer

A retired police officer, Alex Dickson joined the Board of Trustees in March 2019 and has since been appointed as Treasurer.

He became Project Manager of Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project in 2015 and is passionate about the positive impact the volunteer befrienders have on their young person’s life and well-being. Alex is Volunteer Champion for TSDG.

He is an elder and Session Clerk at his church and enjoys playing curling and is a qualified coach. Having recently taken up cycling, Alex can be seen around the roads of Dumfries trying not to get in the way of local motorists.

Christine Leadbeater

Christine Leadbeater joined the board in 2019 and has worked and volunteered with local and national organisations whose aims are to provide support to those working with children and families.

She chaired the Board of Smart Play Network who support the provision of Play Nationally. She has also chaired regional networks and forums that work together as partners to support service provision in the field of childcare and family services.

Christine currently works for Dumfries Toy Library. She coordinates services delivered from the Family Centre Lochside and Early Learning and Childcare services provided at Playworks nursery in Dumfries.

Kim Dams

Kim is a new Scot who calls rural Galloway her home. After a decade in London and southern England, she made the move to Scotland a few years ago, one of the best decisions ever.

She is a member of several third sector organisations, as well as disabled persons' organisations; a board member of Scottish Rural Action, where she chairs the risk committee; and a director of DG Voice, a charity that gives disabled people across Dumfries and Galloway a voice.

Kim has a professional background in finance, risk, strategy, change management and compliance and has a strong passion for equality and human rights.

She is engaged in her local community and keen to address rural issues, especially with a focus on intersectionality in areas such as inequality, poverty, lack of infrastructure, and co-production opportunities.

Wendi Cuffe

Wendi Cuffe lives in Ardwell and has worked with the Stranraer community for the past 25 years.

She is a former employee of Dumfries and Galloway Council with Economic Development Services, managing community and capital projects to support the regeneration of Stranraer and Loch Ryan. Previously, Wendi was a community development practitioner with NHS and some voluntary sector organisations.

Since retiring from the local authority in 2016, she has worked as an independent consultant with many local third sector organisations, supporting and building local capacity to develop and manage project delivery, community action planning, stakeholder engagement and strategic events.

Wendi works closely with Stranraer Water Sports Association in the development of their new facilities and associated water-based activities.

She is a keen coastal rower, enjoys family time and is often seen riding or driving her horses around the South Rhins countryside.