HOPE Staff 2017-07-25T14:02:19+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.


  • Chair of the Board of Trustees – Carol Russell
  • Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees – Michelle Cassells
  • Chair of the Fundraising Committee – Karen Spiers
  • Acting Chair of the Fundraising Committee – Susan Harrington
  • Treasurer – Paul Harris
  • Trustee – Andrew Lindsey
  • Trustee – Alison Warnock
  • Trustee – Joanne Campbell
  • Trustee – Evelyn Magilton
  • Trustee – Donna M Morgan
  • Trustee – Jamie Fraser


  • Carol Russell – Chair of the Board of Trustees

Carol was Vice Chair of HOPE when it became a charity in 2002 and has been involved in supporting parents for the last 20 years.  After a spell of studying, she took up the position of Chair in Oct 2010. Her daughter has severe autism and is now a young adult. Carol works as a Speech and Language Assistant Practitioner with children who are on the Autistic Spectrum; within nursery, primary and high school settings in North Lanarkshire. Over the years she has been involved in various multi-disciplinary Autism groups, to help improve the services of Autism in Lanarkshire.


  • Michelle Cassells – Vice-Chair 

Michelle initially started working with HOPE as a volunteer in February 2012 and took up the role on the Board of Directors in November 2013.  She is an accountant with over 15 years financial experience with a local firm, which also supports HOPE through fundraising.


  • Karen Spiers – Chair of Fundraising Committee 

Karen worked for many years in various banking roles. She has held many positions from Treasurer, Secretary, and Chair of various committees over a number of years. Karen was heavily involved in the local Girl Guiding movement for over 25 years, leading all age units from Rainbows, Brownies, through to Guides.


  • Susan Harrington – Acting Chair of Fundraising Committee 

Susan joined the HOPE fundraising committee in April 2016, and has been a member of HOPE for 2 years. Susan has a son who was diagnosed with ASD in 2013, and another who benefits from the siblings services at HOPE. As well as shaving her head to raise money for HOPE in 2014, Susan has taken part in a variety of external events such as Moonwalks and community events in Caldercruix.


  • Paul Harris – Treasurer

Paul is a Qualified Accountant and a Fellow of the Association Chartered Certified Accountants.  He has 18 Years post-qualifying experience working in commercial finance functions within sectors including Retail, Telecommunications, Leisure and Financial Services, and fulfilling a variety of roles from Trainee Accountant to Finance Director.  His current role is with Tesco Bank, where he has been for the past six years and holds the position of Head of Operational Financial Control.


  • Andrew Lindsay – Trustee

Andrew joined HOPE as a trustee in 2014. He has been a member of HOPE for a few years as his son who has ASD attends HOPE. He has a BA and LLB in law and also a Diploma in Legal Practice. He has been working as a Paralegal for 12 years and uses this legal experience to help HOPE’s development.


  • Alison Warnock  – Trustee

Alison has worked as a lecturer at a further education college since the year 2000. Her subject specialism is ICT. When she first started teaching, Alison taught in outreach community hubs where she spent much time teaching learners of all ages and from various different backgrounds and cultures. Alison has also supported various vulnerable groups of students throughout much of her career.


  • Joanne Campbell – Trustee

Joanne has been teaching since 2006, supporting pupils with ASD. She became a Depute Headteacher in 2012, managing a provision for pupils with Language and Communication Difficulties. She has a Bsc (Hons) Psychology, a postgraduate degree in teaching, as well as a post grad degree in Educational Support.


  • Evelyn Magilton – Trustee

Evelyn is a Health Visitor Team Leader working in North Lanarkshire. She has worked with numerous families that have children/young people with ASD.  A close relative of Evelyn has a daughter with Autism and she has in-depth knowledge of how it can affect a family.


  • Donna M Morgan – Trustee 

First and foremost, Donna is a parent associated with Hope for Autism.  She and her family have benefited greatly from the services provided by Hope and she is keen to support Hope moving forward.

Donna is a solicitor specialising in education law with particular interest in additional support needs for autistic children.  She has a passionate interest in seeking justice and positive change for vulnerable groups, particularly children.

Donna has experience of strategic work with charities, rights awareness and training.  Donna has delivered training to education authority personnel, advocacy workers, parents and others raising awareness of educational rights for children with additional support needs.

Donna also has experience of dealing with independent, local authority and Scottish Government funders.

In her spare time she enjoys the outdoors with her ‘boys’ that is her husband, son and dog.

  • Jamie Fraser – Trustee 

Jamie works as the Group IT Manager for a multinational recruitment group of companies and has been in this position for a number of years. He has a Bsc Cyber Security and Networking and has a varying role which can be web design to consultancy. In his free time, he enjoys riding his motorbike and gaming. He is a parent of one of the children attending HOPE and has an interest in doing what is best for the charity and its users.

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


  • Chief Executive Officer – Eileen Waugh
  • Project Manager – Janice McKay
  • Project Administrator – Kathleen Williamson
  • Autism Lead Coordinator – Leanne McNeill
  • Volunteer Development Officer – Callum Creaney
  • Autism Support Advisor – Karen Cassidy
  • Senior Group Worker for Sports – Majella Kerr
  • Senior Group Worker – Matthew Gallagher
  • Senior Group Worker – Sarah Parker
  • Senior Group Worker – Anna Reid
  • Senior Group Worker – Derek Russell


  • 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.


  • Callum Creaney – Volunteer Development Officer

Callum is currently studying English BA (Hons) [2013 – 2017] at The University of Strathclyde.

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 and The Strathclyde Telegraph.

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.


  • Karen Cassidy – Family & Young Adult Support Worker & Senior Group Worker


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.”


  • Majella Kerr – Senior Group 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.

She 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”.


  • Matthew Gallagher – Senior Group Worker 


Matthew is currently studying a BEd (Hons) Physical Education at The University of Edinburgh.


Matthew joined HOPE as a volunteer in 2014, working in various groups before becoming a Session Worker. He has since become a Senior Group Worker for some of our Primary School aged groups, while maintaining his work as a session staff in other groups. Matthew has a depth of useful experience resulting from his studies into becoming a teacher, including multiple placements in both Primary and Secondary schools.


Matthew has participated in training such as Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC); Introduction To Autism; Crisis and Aggression Limitation Management (CALM); Better Movers Better Thinkers (BMBT); SFA coaching; and Disability in PE.

“With working at HOPE and also through Teaching, my beliefs have always been about inclusion and building towards the young people becoming well rounded individuals, who are set up for later life. I have continuously worked to make the groups a safe and positive environment, in which the young people feel safe and can flourish. I am surrounded and supported by wonderful staff and volunteers who share my views and help offer opportunities for the young people. I find this role very rewarding and believe HOPE is a wonderful place in which the Young People interests are always put first and I will always support this”


  • Sarah Parker – Senior Group 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.”


  • Anna Reid – Senior Group Worker

Anna graduated from The University of Stirling in 2014 with a 2:1 BA Honours Degree in Psychology.

During her studies Anna worked part time in out of school care provision and provided one to one support for children with additional support needs including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Global Development Disorder, Attachment Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. After qualifying in Psychology, Anna was empltoyed by Alzheimer’s Scotland where she supported people affected by Alzheimer’s both at home, and in a community setting. She commenced her employment with HOPE for Autism in October 2014 and since, has completed extensive training around Autism and how to work towards the best outcomes for our children and young people

Anna is trained in Moving & Handling in Special Needs children; Gastrostomy Disorders in Children; Child Protection; Pathways to Play Work; Food Hygiene; and  Inhaler Management and Epi-Pen administration; Multi-Agency Adult Protection; SafeTalk Suicide Alertness training; Talking Mats; First Aid at Work; Crisis & Aggression Limitation & Management (CALM); Physical Intervention Training; Hanen – Spark Communications; Picture Exchange Communication System(PECS); Pathalogical Demand Avoidance; and the Solihull Approach.

Anna has completed Alzheimer’s Promoting Excellence Framework completing 9 different modules including areas such as personal care, palliative and end of life care, personalisation, and manual handling

Anna has a background in sports and is trained as a Gym Instructor at Level 2, fully qualified Lifeguard, and Advanced Exercise Prescription.

“My current role is rewarding and extremely enjoyable, and I always strive to develop my learning and provide the best support to the children that attend HOPE for Autism”


  • Derek Russell – Senior Group 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
  • Kamal Kumar – Human Resources and Administrative Volunteer
  • Marline Imrit – Administrative Volunteer
  • Susan Williamson – Operational Intern and Online Development Volunteer


Session Support Staff

Session Workers:

  • Amy Coghlan
  • Collette McKeown
  • Dean Hamill
  • Donna Hamilton
  • Emma Curley
  • Emma Donaldson
  • Ewan McGowan Lally
  • Fiona Whitelaw
  • Gordon Magilton
  • Greer Johnston
  • Kayleigh Letham
  • Kirsty Hendry
  • Marc Williamson
  • Neil McInness
  • Vhairi McAleese



  • Abbie McGuiness
  • Abigail Fulton
  • Alana Middleton
  • Bethany Higgins
  • Chelsea Tennant
  • Debbie Brown
  • Emma Jackson
  • Guy Williamson
  • Hayley Moroke
  • James McFarlane
  • John Aitken
  • John Bruin
  • Kayleigh White
  • Lauren Lamont
  • Lesley Cowie
  • Manjinder Kaur Bola
  • Mark Parker
  • Melissa Shanks
  • Rebecca Donaldson
  • Scott Chalmers
  • Scott Rowley
  • Sean Byrne
  • Zak Irvine


Get in touch today and start making the difference.