HOPE Staff 2018-02-09T21:26:06+00:00

The board of trustees comprises parents and professionals who are responsible for the governance and strategic overview of the charity. The board is recruited through advertising and direct contact, all recruitment is based on having a board that has a range of expertise that benefits the organisation. The trustees meet ten times a year. There are sub-committees which meet as required and report back to the board.

HOPE’s senior staff manage the operational and administrative side of our organisation, while maintaining and delivering our range of support services:

  • Eileen Waugh – Chief Executive Officer


Eileen graduated from the University of Glasgow with an MSc in Social Science in 2015 and gained a BA in Tertiary Education with a Teaching Qualification in Further Education from Stirling University in 2010. Eileen also has a qualification in Leadership and Management and is a qualified External Verifier.


Eileen joined HOPE as CEO early in 2015 following a 20 year career in adult education and curriculum management, Eileen had gained experience in operational and strategic management, budget planning and control, and leadership. Through a strong commitment to lifelong learning, Eileen has also worked with The Scottish Qualifications Authority since 2002 to develop qualifications and assessment materials. Eileen is currently employed by SQA as a Qualifications Verifier to externally verify standards and approve assessment delivery within further education for Scotland’s colleges.


Eileen is trained in Equality and Diversity; Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties; Guidance and Support Counselling; Health and Safety; and other legislative requirements. Due to her background in education, Eileen has also been trained in supporting those with various physical and mental disability issues. With Leadership and Management training, Eileen has covered training that encompassed line management and development of others. She is trained as a Confident Practitioner in relation to Curriculum for Excellence and has taken part in various training events associated with Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC).

“Although my background lies in adult education, I have been able to use my personal and professional skills to support the further development of HOPE within the North Lanarkshire area. With a Grandson with an ASC diagnosis, I have a good understanding of the difficulties faced by families and individuals who need to learn to cope with an Autism condition. I endeavour to use my personal experience of ASC to ensure that the plans for HOPE’s future fully encompass the needs and desires of the families we support

  • Janice McKay – Project Manager


Janice has a SEN qualification in General Nursing, HNC in Education and Childcare, BA in Early Childhood Studies, and a diploma from the Institute of Leadership and Management.


After leaving her first career of nursing, Janice moved to education and worked in a primary school and nursery class for 9 years before managing a college nursery for 13 years. During this period, Janice was an evening college lecturer in the Childcare department for two years and, immediately prior to starting with HOPE, was employed as a college day time lecturer in the department of Childhood Practice.

Janice has over 30 years experience as a volunteer with a variety of charities and youth organisations.


Janice has always taken advantage of any professional development opportunities that could come her way and has enjoyed a wealth of training in leadership and management; health and safety; child protection; project planning; counselling; equality and diversity; and numerous courses relating to early years.

Every day is a school day for me, and I anticipate lots of new learning during my time at HOPE.”

  • Kathleen Williamson – Project Administrator

Kath first joined HOPE as a Project Assistant in May 2006, before being recruited as Project Administrator in 2009. Kath has a professional background in various administrative roles, such as Secretary and Personal Assistant roles to a number of Directors of large organisations.

During her time at HOPE, Kath has been trained in various fields: PDA Awareness; Basic counselling; Crisis & Aggression Limitation & Management (CALM); Aspergers Awareness, by Tony Attwood; Time Management; Fire Safety Training; First Aid & Emergency First Aid; Project Management; Introduction to Autism; Understanding Challenging Behaviour; Child Protection; Mental Health – Healthy living; Health and Safety; Risk Assessment; PVG Training; Microsoft Office.

“In my 10 years at HOPE, I have seen many changes to the organisation (structural and organisational). I am very passionate about HOPE and it goes without saying that I have HOPE’s best interests at heart”.

  • Leanne McNeill – Autism Lead Coordinator


Leanne graduated with a Masters’ degree in Psychological Studies from the University of Glasgow in 2006.  She completed a course in ‘Understanding the autism spectrum’ through the Open University in 2013, furthering her knowledge and understanding of autism.


Leanne began professionally supporting children with autism in 2006, and has various experience supporting people with learning disabilities, acquired brain injuries and mental health conditions in Scotland and Australia. Leanne worked as a Lead Applied Behaviour Analysis tutor for several years under the guidance of a Behaviour Consultant, before moving on to the National Autistic Society where she worked within the Psychology Service Support for Learning Team. She also worked within an additional support need’s base in a mainstream school where she led one-to-one and group play sessions with children with autism and children with socio/emotional and behavioural problems. A key part of this role involved sharing good autism practice amongst staff.

Leanne has also worked as a Research Assistant for the Mental Health Foundation and Positive Mental Attitudes, NHS GGC. She developed an evaluation of the impact of storytelling as a method for reducing the stigma associated with mental health conditions among minority ethnic communities. She also designed and carried out research on the use of film to communicate positive mental health messages to young people who may be feeling suicidal in North East Glasgow.

Leanne has other experience working as a Support Worker for Quarriers and as a child care worker within nurseries in Melbourne, Australia.


Leanne is committed to continued professional development and is trained using Applied Behaviour Analysis and Verbal Behaviour as an approach for promoting positive behaviour change. Her other training includes: Crisis & Aggression Limitation & Management (CALM);  Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS); Talking Mats (Gold Level); Intensive Interaction; Relationship Development Intervention; SPELL ecological approach; Child Protection; First Aid at Work; Pathological Demand Avoidance; Intensive Interaction; Positive Behaviour Support; Five to Thrive.

  • Karen Cassidy – Autism Support Advisor


Karen completed ‘Understanding the Autism Spectrum’ with The Open University in January 2013 to help further her knowledge & experience in autism. She also completed modules with The British Psychological Society in ‘Building awareness of adult autism’ in April 2013 as well as ‘Support adults with autism’ in September 2013.

Karen completed Speakeasy Level Two with the Family Planning Association in December 2012 then went on to Level Three and completed Speakeasy Facilitator Training in April 2013.


Karen joined HOPE as a volunteer in April 2006. In August 2010 she took on the role of Group Coordinator which involved overseeing all groups and line managing staff. From April 2013, Karen became our Family and Young Adult Support Worker and continues to oversee groups and line manage staff, in addition to supporting young people and their families through the transition process and running our Support Group Meetings. Karen is also one of HOPE’s co-Child Protection Officers.


During her time at HOPE, Karen has been on a great deal of training including Crisis and Aggression Limitation and Management (CALM); Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS0; Talking Mats; Solihull Approach; Woman & Girls on the Autism Spectrum; Introduction to Autism; Autism & Play Profiling; Child Protection; Child Protection & Disability; Adult Protection;  Intensive Interaction; Positive Behaviour Support; Emotion Works; Language & Communication; Sensory Challenges in Autism; Visual Aid/Goal Setting Training; Investing in Nurturing lives & communities; First Aid; Epilepsy & Administering Medication; Fire Warden Training; Health & Safety Management; Food Hygiene; Volunteer Friendly Management; First Steps to Youth Work; Safe Hands.

“I have been working in HOPE for 11 years and I am very lucky to be in a position where I genuinely love my job. My son was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 2011 at the age of 6. I feel this helps me within my role in supporting other parents.”

  • Callum Creaney – Volunteer Development Officer

Callum has a BA (Hons) in English Studies from The University of Strathclyde Glasgow and is currently studying an MLitt in Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow.

Callum joined HOPE as a session volunteer in 2013, spent a year as a paid session staff member from 2014, before being recruited as a Senior Group Worker and fulfilling this role for two years. Callum became HOPE’s Volunteer Development Officer in 2016. He is also involved in the production of HOPE’s quarterly newsletter and the continued development of our website.

Callum’s previous professional experience includes three years spent as a Parliamentary Researcher for a Central Scotland MSP, six months as an intern for Ringwood Publishing, and various journalistic roles with The University Paper: Glasgow, The Strathclyde Telegraph, and The Student Advertiser.

Callum is trained in Reactive Approaches to Challenging Behaviours; Crisis & Aggression Limitation & Management (CALM); Talking Mats; Picture Exchange Communication (PEC); Emergency First Aid at Work; LEGO Therapy; Solihull Approach; Building Positive Staff and Volunteer Relations.

  • Majella Kerr – Senior Group Development Worker (Sports)

Majella is currently studying Sports Coaching and Development VA (Hons). She also holds an HND in Sports Coaching with Development. She is qualified to run various sports sessions, including canoeing, archery, kayaking and cycling.

Majella has worked with children and young people for 10 years in a variety of settings, starting as a volunteer then leader within Girl guiding UK and various sports clubs and activities throughout her studies. She started working as an Outdoor Instructor, prior to HOPE, running personal and social development courses for children and young adults.

First Aid; Crisis and Aggression Limitation Management (CALM) Theory & Practical; Autism Awareness; Child Protection; Solihull Approach; Talking Mats; Various Sports Coach UK courses; John Muir Award; Play on Pedals; UKCC Level One Teaching Aquatics; Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC); PDA; Introduction to Autism.

“I joined the team at HOPE during September 2014 as Senior Group Worker for Sports. My role involves planning, delivering, promoting and evaluating our current sessions supported by a great team of staff and volunteers as well as creating new opportunities through partnership working”.

  • Claire Dunn – Senior Group Development Worker


Claire has a BA Hons in Media Theory and Production and a Postgraduate degree in Community Education from The University of Strathclyde.


Claire got involved in youth and community work as a volunteer in her local area as a teenager.  In 2003, she started working with North Lanarkshire Council Community Learning and Development Coatbridge Team in various Youth and Lifelong Learning projects. Claire returned to The University of Strathclyde in 2007 to complete a her postgrad in Community Education and join the Community Learning and Development Standards Council.

She has worked for a number of organisations, including Glasgow Culture and Sport Youth Awards, NHS Lanarkshire Young Persons Health Team, New College Lanarkshire, The Safety Zone Community Project, Tollcross YMCA Glasgow, and Youth Scotland. Claire continues to volunteer in her community.


Claire has undergone a range of training through North Lanarkshire Council and Health Scotland: Training in Adult Literacies and Learning, Principles and Practices of Youth Work, Peer Education Training, Dealing with Conflict, Managing Challenging Behaviour, Street Work, C.E.V.E.  Familiarisation (Trainer Accreditation); Health Issues in the Community Tutor Accreditation, Creative and Imaginative Learning Tutor Accreditation, Brief Intervention Training and Adolescent Health, STRADA Young People and Alcohol Brief Interventions, Scottish Mental Health First Aid, Safe Talk & Under Pressure.

Claire has also undergone training with Youth Scotland/Youth Link Scotland and SCVO Sported: Curriculum for Excellence Training, GIRFEC, Youth Achievement Award Group Leader Training, Training the Trainer Peer Education – Training for Workers, Supervision Training, Child Protection Officer Training, LEAP Creative Empowerment and Engagement, My Life Tutor Training Youth Empowerment Course; Managing and Supervising Staff, Inspiring Impact and Evaluation, Evaluation Standard Place, Funding.

I am looking forward to developing and growing the groups at HOPE. I feel that my position as Senior Group Development Worker for Youth & Young Adults will provide me with the opportunity to make a very real and immediate work contribution. In an environment that will also enable me to utilise and develop my existing skills to the full. I believe my values would up hold and complement the ethos of HOPE.”

  • Laura McKenzie – Senior Group Worker 


Laura holds a BA Degree in Sport Development, in addition to UKCC Level 1 in both Sports coaching for Athletics and Boccia.


Laura worked for Edinburgh Leisure as a Disability Sport Development Officer from November 2014-October 2015, before taking maternity leave. Whilst on leave, she was involved with two North Lanarkshire organisations: PlayPeace, who provide services for children with additional support needs and their siblings; and Clyde Valley Campus Community Sports Hub, an organisation providing sport and recreational activities for primary and secondary pupils. Laura continues to volunteer with both groups while working at HOPE, continuing a lifelong drive to work with children and young adults with additional support needs.


Laura is trained in First Aid; Classification Workshop; Double Goal Coach Workshop; Tutor Training Positive Coaching Scotland; Supporting Coaches: a guide to recruiting, developing and retaining sports coaches; In Safe Hands; Safeguarding and Protecting Children.

“Working with Hope for Autism is immensely rewarding. For me, watching, encouraging and interacting with children, teenagers and young adults is inspiring, heart warming and uplifting.”

  • Sarah Parker – Senior Group Development Worker


Sarah is currently studying at the University of Stirling towards her BA Hons Degree in Psychology.


Before joining HOPE in 2013, Sarah volunteered for a local summer play scheme. She also spent two weeks in Malawi in October 2013 to assist in establishing the Disabled Children’s Project, which aimed to register all children and young people in the area with disabilities and get them the required help. After working as both a volunteer and session worker, Sarah became a Senior Group Worker in 2016 and continues to thoroughly enjoy her time at HOPE.


During her time at HOPE Sarah has attended various trainings such as Child Protection; Talking Matts; Crisis and Aggression Limitation Management (CALM); First Aid Training; Solihull Approach; Scottish Autism’s approved Introduction to Autism training; Play on Pedals; Positive Coaching Scotland; and Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC).

“I have recently been appointment as Senior Group Worker at HOPE and I am looking forward to continuing to develop my skills and knowledge in this field whilst working to provide support for the young people and families who access HOPE’s services.”

  • Derek Russell – Senior Group Development Worker


Derek holds an HNC equivalent Higher in Human Communication Studies in Speech and Language Pathology, achieved at Strathclyde University in 2010.


Derek began working at HOPE in 2006, starting out as a volunteer and then becoming a session worker.  He works in many of HOPE’s groups, including the siblings group where he is now the current Senior Group Worker for the Over 10s.  As his sibling has Autism, Derek has always been very passionate in working to help the children/young adults with Autism, their siblings, and their families who attend HOPE.

Derek has previously worked for Quarriers in 2014, where he gained experience working with a variety of clients with a variety of additional support needs, such as acquired brain injury and learning difficulties.  He also currently works as a Personal Assistant to a young adult with Aspergers, where he helps him gain and develop independent life skills.  Derek also continues to volunteer at HOPE whenever he can, whether it be in HOPE’s youth groups, being part of the fundraising team, or being the resident DJ. He has always been very passionate to see the children and young adults succeed in HOPE.


During his time at HOPE, Derek has been trained in using Crisis and Aggressive Limitation and Management (CALM); Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS); Talking Mats; First Aid; Introduction to Autism; Child Protection; Responding to Sensory Challenges in Autism; Sensory Awareness; First Steps to Youth Work; Coaching Young People; UKCC Level 1 Trampoline Coach through British Gymnastics; Visual Aid/Goal Setting Training; A Guide to Mentoring Sports Coaches; Autism Behaviour Training. In his time at Quarriers, Derek was also trained in Epilepsy; Safer Handling; Food Safety; Administering Medication; Equality and Diversity; and Positive Approaches to Behaviour.

“I am extremely passionate about HOPE and do my upmost to help everyone associated with HOPE to the best of my ability.  I’m sometimes seen as the joker of the pack, as I love using humour to engage with our young people.’

Staff are involved in many roles throughout HOPE. Our organisation runs on a balance of paid employees and volunteers, complimenting each aspect of our service.

HOPE also has a number of staff involved in the development of our services and the upkeep of our centre:

  • Shirley McMillan – Domestic Operative
  • Marline Imrit – Administrative Volunteer

Session Support Staff

Group Assistants:

  • Aimee Logan
  • Amy Coghlan
  • Catherine Smith
  • Dean Hamill
  • Ewan Lally
  • Fiona Whitelaw
  • Gordon Magilton
  • Greer Johnston
  • Kayleigh Letham
  • Kirsty Hendry
  • Marc Williamson
  • Neil McInness
  • Ruth Thomson
  • Vhairi McAleese



  • Alana Middleton
  • Anne Tennent
  • Chelsea Tennant
  • Guy Williamson
  • James McFarlane
  • Jim McLeavy
  • John Aitken
  • John Bruin
  • Lauren Lamont
  • Lauren McCann
  • Lesley-Anne Paterson
  • Lindsey Munro
  • Scott Chalmers
  • Sean Byrne
  • Victoria Airlie


Get in touch today and start making the difference.