Staff & Board
Sarah is currently CEO of Befriending Networks, leading the organisation's mission, representing Befriending Networks at a national level and supporting members when questions about policies, procedures and governance arise.
Sarah has over 20 years’ experience working in the third sector, coming originally from a learning disability nurse background. She has managed a variety of services over her career to different vulnerable groups and her passion for person centred, high quality care and support is still evident today.
Sarah has held senior management roles now for over 12 years and has a post graduate certificate in Social Services Leadership from Robert Gordon University.
Sandra joined Befriending Networks in April 2019, as Membership Officer (England), answering enquiries and supporting current members as well as actively making connections with new befriending organisations.
She has worked in the charity sector for over 10 years in a variety of roles, including Volunteer Co-ordinator, Training Co-ordinator, Development Worker and Timebank Co-ordinator.
She loves working within this environment and getting to meet a wide range of people who are doing amazing things within their community.
Nicola joined Befriending Networks in 2022 as a Membership Officer (England)
Nicola has 18 years' experience across the Education, Disability , Recruitment and Charitable sectors in both the UK and New Zealand and is very much a people person. She has a real passion for helping others and spreading positivity using her motivation and can-do attitude. Outside of her role at Befriending Networks she also runs a befriending project currently for another UK based Charity so she is very skilled in supporting our members. Nicola spends her free time singing as well as creating music and podcasts.
Jenny White joined Befriending Networks as Membership Officer in May 2022, supporting members in Scotland, Ireland, and Northern Ireland.
Jenny has a background in mental health support work, community development and volunteer management (specialising in youth volunteering and employability).
Alongside her Befriending Network role, she runs her own health and well-being business offering one-to-one therapy, and wellbeing workshops to individuals and organisations. She is dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation at an individual and collective level.
In her spare time, Jenny is an urban crofter at Earth in Common, a community food project in Leith, Edinburgh.
Victoria joined Befriending Networks in 2018 as the Learning and Development Officer, developing, designing and facilitating training events and resources.
Experienced in both the education and third-sector, Victoria is a graduate of Media and uses this design and creative awareness to construct clear, accessible and interactive resources and materials for education and training purposes. Completing her Social Innovation Masters in 2021, plans are in place for bringing new concepts and training to Befriending Networks on sustainability, collaboration methods and impact measurement.
Having worked in a classroom environment previously, Victoria loves interacting with students and developing new learning opportunities. Having done numerous voluntary roles herself, she enjoys supporting volunteers through our free training.
Angus joined Befriending Networks in 2018 as the Quality Officer, acting as the assessor for the Quality in Befriending Award as well as supporting our members who work with children and young people.
He enjoys supporting individuals and families with different needs and issues and believes befriending can challenge social isolation and create opportunities for vulnerable people.
Before joining Befriending Networks, Angus worked with a women's cooperative in Uganda, helping develop their online business, making and selling paper beads.
Lynne joined Befriending Networks in September 2021 as Finance & Administration Officer and has over 30 years’ experience of working in Finance and over 11 years in the third sector in Edinburgh. Lynne has been a volunteer at the Risk Factory since it opened in 2006.
Lynne also has a background in working with autistic children and has run projects supporting families and children with social and outdoor access. Lynne has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and is a respite foster carer.
Dominic is our Communications Officer during Peggy Beardmore's maternity leave.
He joined Befriending Networks in 2021, focusing on social media, digital support, and communications with members for the team.
He has more than 5 years' volunteering experience as a social enterprise consultant in Hong Kong. Before joining the Third Sector, Dominic has been working in the Investment / Private Banking industry.
He is now working towards a Master Degree in Social Innovation at the Glasgow Caledonian University.
Peggy Beardmore is on Maternity Leave from 22 July, with Dominic Lo acting as Communications Officer during this time.
She joined Befriending Networks in 2018, running the social media accounts, communicating with members and providing admin support for the team.
Dedicated to promoting wellness & well-being, she teaches yoga in Fife, alongside her Befriending Networks role.
Before joining the Third Sector, Peggy completed a PhD in History of Art with the University of Aberdeen & worked with museums, art organisations, and visitor attractions.
Jeanette has worked within the voluntary sector for over 25 years for both small and large national charities in senior management roles which required abilities across all disciplines, including Business Development, Change Management, Project Management and Fundraising.
Her current role as Head of Wellbeing for older peoples’ charity Independent Age supports the development and delivery work of the Wellbeing Team and Friendship services. Former roles include ACRE – umbrella body for the 38 Rural Community Councils in England; Leonard Cheshire Disability and NCH Action for Children.
Hobbies include cooking and learning to play the Saxophone (badly).
Glenn is the Founder and Chief Executive of People Know How, a new kind of organisation in the field of social innovation. He has worked and volunteered in the third sector for over 25 years, with qualifications in counselling (AdDip Coun) and fundraising (MInstF).
He is now working toward a degree in Leadership & Management and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Scott originally trained as a Theatre Director, where he discovered a passion for encouraging people to share and express their stories. He began to see what a powerful platform this was in helping people connect with each other.
Scott has worked in diverse creative roles with community-focused organisations including 7:84 Theatre Scotland, Media Education, Scottish Opera, Curator with Glasgow Museums and the Govanhill Baths Community Trust.
In 2015, Scott began working in his current role with Epilepsy Connections, leading volunteer development and the UKs only fully supported epilepsy specific befriending program.
Kerryanne works as a Service Manager in a Fostering team with Aberlour. She has over 20 years’ experience working with children and families in the voluntary sector. She was also Befriender Co-ordinator and volunteer herself for a number of years. She is very passionate about the positive impact volunteers can have on a person.
Kerryanne has recently started volunteering again and is about to undergo her training programme, which she is excited about. Kerryanne enjoys walking, fitness classes and spending time with friends and family.
Gillian works as an executive coach and leadership development facilitator with corporate clients globally. She has over 25 year’s experience in people and HR management, leadership development and coaching within corporate, public sector and voluntary sectors.
She is also currently studying for a BSc (Hons) in Psychology with the Open University. Gillian is passionate about helping people to uncover their potential to achieve personal success. Her hobbies include travelling, cooking and spending time with friends and family.
Jack has worked in finance for 6 years, in investment management, pensions, and accounting.
His current role within Johnston Carmichael involves advisory work, ranging from Due Diligence, Corporation Tax, as well as the preparation, and submission of Annual Accounts.
His hobbies include, snowboarding, cooking (he has just about got the hang of it), marathoning box sets of TV shows and travelling (with an idea holiday being spent up a snowy mountain for a week, although he is happy to settle for a beach too).
Gillian has worked in communications for the last five years and prior to that was an online journalist. She is currently a senior media manager at the Scottish Government.
Gillian has always taken an interest in the third sector and volunteering. Previous volunteering positions include hospital radio presenting and volunteering as a befriender in Edinburgh.
Outside of work Gillian enjoys travelling, attempting to keep fit and comedy and music gigs.
Lynnette has been involved in charity work and management for over 30 years. She works closely with the UK government at both national and regional level and major third sector organisations to provide clear protocols, support and best practice procedures for voluntary organisations. She is passionate about investing in volunteers, with training and matching volunteering roles to their own capabilities and restrictions. Lynette is registered disabled herself and believes that there is a voluntary role for everyone.
In 2020, Lynette launched the Alford Hub whilst shielding in the extremely critical vulnerable group herself and was recognised as a Lincolnshire Hero by the Chamber of Commerce for this work. Lynnette currently coordinates 110 volunteers on a daily basis and is also a Community Initiative Connector for Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service, providing support and guidance for other community and voluntary groups throughout Lincolnshire.
Lynnette has four children, two have grown up and flown the nest and now she lives at home with her husband, daughters, three dogs, and Lilo the Bearded Dragon. It's a musical household with many instruments and singers! There is always a musical playing in the background and Lynnette's aim in life is to duet with Michael Ball!
Emily is the Founder and CEO of a Sussex based charity called Time to Talk Befriending. The charity was started in response to research with older people which was undertaken while Emily was studying BA Social Work at the University of Sussex. Their collective response was for friendship and to “no longer feel invisible and forgotten within society”.
Founded in 2013, the charity continues to overcome loneliness experienced by older people through relationship-centred, excellence accredited, befriending services. Emily continues to witness first-hand just how important befriending is to overcome loneliness - not only through her work at the charity, but through her own experience as a volunteer befriender for older people and as an Independent Visitor for a looked after child for 6 years.
In 2019 Emily was commissioned as a Chaplain specialising in ministry with older people through the Anna Chaplaincy Network. In 2021 Emily trained as a Coach. Other skills include experience in fostering, marketing, research and community outreach.
Quality time with family and friends is always high on Emily’s agenda! As is cooking and walking (preferably with family and friends!).
Clare has previously worked within the criminal justice system supporting individuals back into Education, Training and Employment and is currently Head of National Services for Deafblind UK overseeing the volunteering service, helpline, technology support and wellbeing services. Clare has worked in the charity sector for the last 9 years managing a range of projects supporting individuals with a sight and hearing loss.
Clare enjoys spending time her family and holidaying on the North Devon coast and her hobbies include growing vegetables on her allotment and keeping fit.
Jayne originally graduated from Edinburgh university in 1988 with a degree in Nursing Studies. She has worked for Lothian Health Board and in a variety of primary and secondary care roles throughout her nursing career.
She has been the manager of the befriending charity Visiting Friends (SC048362) in Helensburgh since 2015 and is passionate about the benefits of befriending, volunteering and the difference simple kindnesses can make to a community.
For the last two years she has been a Trustee for Helensburgh Community Hub which has brought a local building into community ownership and is now up and running as a thriving hub for the town.
She has two daughters who are studying in Glasgow and when not walking her dog Piper, enjoys wild swimming in Loch Lomond with friends - (although she confesses she mainly does it for the banter and bacon roll afterwards). She recently took up macramé and is still arguing with her daughters about how to pronounce it.