The Together Board currently comprises 10 Trustees, elected to the Board on a rolling basis.
Mary Glasgow- Chair of Together Board
Mary joined Children 1st in May 2014, becoming Chief Executive in 2017. She qualified as a social worker in 1991 and her career includes 15 years as a social worker, leader and trainer in a number of Local Authorities with a further 14 years in the charity sector, previously working for Quarriers and Barnardo’s. Throughout her career, Mary has specialised in creating teams and models of service that support children live safely in their own families and communities.
Mary is a passionate advocate for children’s rights in policy and practice, she is the Chair of Together, the coalition for children’s rights and regularly speaks at conferences on the impact of childhood trauma, recovery and person centred and humane systems of support.
Mary is also interested in organisational culture, purpose and innovation and she strives to build organisations that create conditions where colleagues can make the best possible contribution through a high support and high challenge environment.
Mary joined the Together Board in September 2018. She has been Chair since October 2020.
Susan Hunter - Vice Chair
Susan Hunter is the Vice-Chairperson of Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights) and has been an active supporter of our work since 2015.
As Chief Executive Officer of Befriending Networks, the national intermediary association for befriending services across the UK, Susan serves on our board as a Member Trustee. She is committed to models of practice which promote and foster collaboration and partnership. She has worked in several membership organisations, regionally and nationally, and brings a breadth of relevant experiences to our board.
Susan is a passionate advocate within the third sector, having worked in senior leadership roles since 2014. She has a professional background in Community Education, with more than 20 years of experience working with young people with a particular focus on community-based youth work, youth participation and children’s rights. Most recently, Susan was appointed as an External Trustee of Girlguiding Scotland in July 2023.
Mairi McReynolds - Treasurer
Profile coming soon...
Rona Blackwood - Trustee
Rona Blackwood has over 25 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, she is currently the Head of Programmes at Children’s Parliament. In this role Rona oversees the practical and strategic delivery of all programmes to achieve the organisations mission to inspire a greater awareness and understanding of the power of children’s human rights and to support implementation across Scotland. Key priorities for Rona are to identify and work with partners to demonstrate and embed children’s human rights to effect sustainable change and to support children to influence national legislation, policy and practice through consultations, national projects and a wide range of creative events. In addition, Rona plays a key role in supporting the operating platform of the organisation.
Rona started her career in Social Work in Glasgow working on the front line with vulnerable children. This was followed by 5 years working in international development for Concern Worldwide in Angola, Rwanda and Kosovo. Returning from this to work for the Scottish Refugee Council managing the community support programme for the Kosovan Resettlement Programme in Scotland. Prior to Children’s Parliament Rona spent 15 years working for Save the Children in London in various leadership roles. Initially leading their programme of work for refugee, asylum seeking and trafficked children and latterly as Head of their UK wide early years material grant programme (Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play) and their UK Emergencies programme.
Rona joined the Together Board in September 2019
Laura Pasternack - Trustee
Laura Pasternak is passionate about human rights, equality and empowering children and young people, and adults, to know about and access their rights. This interest was sparked by a Lessons from Auschwitz project at school and her late Grampa who was a Polish Prisoner of War, which led her to volunteer as a Regional Ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust from 2014-2020.
Laura is the Policy and Participation Manager at Who Cares? Scotland, a rights-based membership charity working with people with care experience through advocacy and participation to help create a lifetime of equality, respect and love for Care Experienced people. In her role she represents the CCPS on the UNCRC Strategic Implementation Board and manages various rights-based projects.
She previously worked as Senior Associate for the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the UK, working for the Scotland policy team on issues such as the First Minister's Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership, fair work, mental health, women’s issues and social care. She also consulted for the Commission developing an early version of what is now their Human Rights Tracker.
In her previous role in the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP)’s staff team as Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Laura worked collaboratively to deliver an ambitious youth-led public affairs and advocacy strategy, designed to ensure that politicians and policymakers hear the views of a diverse range of Scotland’s young people.
Laura sat on the Scottish Government’s Child Rights Working Group in 2019-20, empowering young people to feed in their views on UNCRC incorporation. She provided rights expertise and training for the 2017-18 National Campaign on young people’s rights, ‘Right Here, Right Now’, which helped influence the First Minister to commit to incorporate the UNCRC.
With a keen interest in human rights education and training, immigration and asylum and climate change, Laura has worked on these issues through various opportunities at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Vilnius and Odessa, the UN in Geneva and the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Dhaka. While studying she provided research to a child psychologist expert witness in child protection and asylum and immigration cases.
Laura has a Masters in Human Rights Law and speaks French and Spanish. She runs a weekly 5-a-sides and loves dancing - occasionally at the same time!
Paul Sullivan - Trustee
Paul’s career is based around upholding children’s rights and involving them in the design and delivery of the services that affect them. As Director for Children, Young People and Communities at Sistema Scotland, Paul’s role involves working alongside children, young people, families and community networks to ensure their views, ideas and experiences have direct influence on Sistema’s Big Noise programmes. As well as line management for the Heads of Big Noise Centres, Paul also works externally with local and national partners to strengthen Sistema’s work around inclusion, child poverty and equality.
Prior to Sistema, Paul led policy, participation and sector engagement at CELCIS, based at the University of Strathclyde. This involved managing the policy and participation team, working alongside Government and the wider care sector to help implement policy at a local and national level; for example, in reducing poverty and inequality, as well as complex change agendas such as the incorporation of the UNCRC. Paul’s work included establishing the first participation network in Scotland, as well as exciting creative-based research with young refugees, through a project called Drawing Together.
Paul also led the participation work at the Independent Care Review, helping over 5,500 people have their voice heard. As well as policy and participation experience, Paul has strong experience in grant fundraising, having been Head of Bid Development at the Prince’s Trust, and also grant-making, as Funding and Programme Manager at Life Changes Trust.
In his spare time, Paul is Chair of a charity called The Sound Lab, which provides free music and arts tuition to communities of young people who are often denied the right to participate in cultural activities. At Sound Lab, Paul is responsible for the overall leadership of the charity, as well as all grant fundraising and governance. Through Sound Lab, Paul co-created Musicares, the first national music service for care experienced young people in Scotland. As well as Sound Lab, Paul is a trustee of United Glasgow and volunteers with a number of other grassroots charities supporting young refugees.
Paul loves all things music and sport, so outside of work and family life, can often be found at a gig or a game!
Oonagh Brown - Trustee
Oonagh is currently Human Rights Programme Lead at the Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD), where she has worked since 2016. In this role, Oonagh leads work focused on incorporating international human rights treaties and a work programme seeking to improve support for women with learning disabilities who have experienced gender-based violence.
While at SCLD, Oonagh has held several posts, including Policy and Implementation Officer and Human Rights Adviser. In these roles, Oonagh has worked to improve support for parents with learning disabilities and supported developing the United Nations Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill to ensure it was inclusive.
Most recently, Oonagh has worked alongside a group of people with learning disabilities to create the ‘Human Rights Town App’, which seeks to support people with learning disabilities in recognising their rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Oonagh has also worked to highlight human rights issues faced by people with learning disabilities through the Universal Periodic Review process.
Previously Oonagh worked at Kingsridge Cleddans Economic Development Group as Foodbank Development Worker, where she established the Drumchapel Foodbank, recognised, by the Scottish Leaders Welfare Group, as a model which demonstrated respect in its practice.
Oonagh’ s educational background focused on Equality and Human Rights and Journalism.
As a woman with dyspraxia who has experienced barriers in accessing education, Oonagh has a longstanding commitment to inclusion, diversity, and ensuring the voices of those who have been the most marginalised are heard.
Oonagh has recently joined the Board of Directors for Making Rights Real. In her free time, Oonagh enjoys swimming in the sea and spending time with her family, friends and cat, Patti.
Katrina Lambert - Trustee
Katrina Lambert BEM has been an activist and human rights defender tacking issues of equalities, children’s rights, and youth voice since the age of fifteen. She has been extensively involved in the UNCRC incorporation campaign for several years, working closely with the Children and Young People’s Commissioner and other young activists to lobby for incorporation. As part of this work she became the youngest person ever to present evidence to the UN Committee Against Torture in 2019, where she highlighted Scotland’s record on children’s rights and incorporation. She was also part of the youth-led group SQA Where’s Our Say which highlighted the children’s rights violations which occurred during the alternative assessment process in 2020, successfully securing a U-turn from the Scottish Government on algorithm assessed marking.
Aside from her work on children’s rights, she has led campaigns on topics including period poverty, violence against women, and youth sector funding. This has involved working with both the UK and Scottish governments as well as close collaboration with organisations including Girlguiding Scotland, Young Scot and the #iwill Movement. Since 2020, Katrina has also been a trustee at Volunteering Matters, the UK’s largest volunteering charity, and sits on multiple subcommittees.
Katrina has been recognised internationally for her work, receiving the Point of Light Award from the UK Prime Minister (2020), the prestigious Diana Award (2021) and most recently was awarded the BEM in the Queen’s Platinum Birthday Honours (2022) for services to young people, as one of the youngest on the list.
Katrina is a graduate of the London School of Economics (LSE) where her degree in Politics and International Relations specialised in public policy analysis and international governance. Her dissertation explored the reasons for variation in UNCRC incorporation across England, Scotland and Wales.
Maria Galli - Trustee
Profile coming soon...
Martin Canavan - Trustee
Martin graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a BA in Education and Social Services. He has worked in the third sector for 15 years, working with adults with disabilities before moving to the children’s sector.
He joined Aberlour in 2014 with a focus on developing volunteering opportunities and supporting the participation and engagement of young people at Aberlour. In 2016 Martin moved into a policy role as Aberlour’s Policy and Participation Officer.
Martin sat on the Scottish Government working group for the development of the National Mentoring Scheme for Looked after Children (now Intandem), and was the participation lead for the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Task Force.
Martin became Aberlour’s Head of Policy and Participation in 2020. Martin leads Aberlour’s political engagement, influencing and campaigning work, which includes a specific focus on tackling child poverty, disadvantage and discrimination. He represents Aberlour as a member of the End Child Poverty coalition in Scotland.
Martin has developed and led Aberlour’s campaigning work focused on elevating and amplifying the voices of children, young people and families. This has included the No Place Like Home campaign, urging more support for parents with learning disabilities and their children to keep families together, and Aberlour’s national campaign to end school meal debt in Scotland and tackle hidden school hunger.
External and media engagement is a key part of Martin’s role. He regularly speaks and presents at events, conferences and at the Scottish Parliament to highlight Aberlour’s work.