Our chair is Deirdre Hanlon who has over 17 years’ experience in the voluntary legal sector; specifically providing specialist legal advice, assistance and representation to people with a mental health diagnosis or disability across a wide range of civil legal issues.
Deirdre was appointed HM Legal Commissioner to the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland in 2006 serving for a period of five years.
Our Treasurer is Beth Anderson who has 30 years’ experience in the finance sector working in a variety of roles for charities such as Turning Point Scotland, Richmond Fellowship, Legal Services Agency and latterly Quarriers.
Beth is a Qualified Law Accountant and a member of the Society of Law Accountants Scotland.
Lindsey Reynolds is a senior solicitor at the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
As part of that role, she sits on the legal working group of Equinet, the European Network of Equality Bodies. Prior to joining the Commission, Lindsey worked at a national law centre in Scotland for over ten years, gaining experience in a range of areas of civil practice including mental health, refugee and asylum, discrimination, public law/ judicial review and housing/ homelessness.
Lindsey has an interest in legal education. She has a Masters degree in Human Rights Law and teaches human rights on the diploma in legal practice at the University of Glasgow.
Rob Bell is Director of the London Emergencies Trust, which provides financial assistance to those affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower, and the terrorist attacks at Westminster, London Bridge and Finsbury Park. He is also a Fellow at the Social Change Initiative (formerly Atlantic Philanthropies) and a Non-Executive Director of Coram’s Fields in London.
Rob worked for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation for over eight years, as a Head of Social Justice and then Director of Strategy. He has also worked for the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, where he was Director of its Young People Initiative.
Prior to this he has worked in civil service roles within the Department for Education and Skills and the Cabinet Office. His early career included research associate and research fellow roles for several different Universities, after graduating in Scots Law from University of Glasgow.
Alison Locke is a practicing employment lawyer and HR Manager at the University of Strathclyde.
Alison spent around 12 years as an employment lawyer working in private practice, focusing on employment litigation and general advisory work, before moving to work in the Higher Education sector in an HR role from 2016. She has a particular interest and expertise in equality and diversity, employee relations and employee engagement.
Alison has a keen interest in learning and development. In addition to considerable experience of training both clients and colleagues, she has lectured and tutored law students at the University of Strathclyde for over 15 years. This has included tutoring on the Diploma in Legal Practice Employment Law elective and lecturing on the Employment Law undergraduate, Employment & Labour Law Masters and Discrimination Masters courses.
Colin has been Chief Executive of the Mental Welfare Commission since 2014. The Commission is a statutory agency responsible for protecting the human rights of people with mental illness, learning disabilities, dementia and related conditions. The Commission is a member of the UK National Preventive Mechanism established under the Optional Protocol of the Convention Against Torture, and Colin is the Scottish member of the NPM Steering Group.
Previously Colin worked in the Scottish Government for 14 years, working on areas including mental health law, strategy and public service reform. For several years he had responsibility for civil justice policy, including legal aid and court reform. Before that he was a solicitor, and spent 10 years with ENABLE Scotland, where he led campaigning and policy work, established the ENABLE Trustee Service, and served as a Mental Welfare Commissioner for 2 years.