Our team

Dr Dinah Aitken

Deputy Head of Direct Help & Support
Dinah is a solicitor (now non-practising) with many years of experience in the private, public and voluntary sectors. Her experience includes family law and children’s hearings, advising on additional support for learning and accessibility, and social research. She works to support the Direct Help & Support team to deliver our key services as well as providing capacity-building support and project management. She joined us in September 2016.

Christine Carlin

Chief Executive
Christine was a senior civil servant in the Scottish Government and a director in the Scottish Prison Service. She ran the procurement of the first PFI prison in Scotland, oversaw new school qualifications and was policy lead for the third sector. More recently, Christine was Scotland Director for a UK charity and has worked as a consultant. She has an Honours degree in Business Organisation, Business Law & Psychology, and expertise in HR and procurement. Christine joined us in May 2015.

Jenny Collings

Assistant Administrator
Jenny provides administrative support to the Chief Executive, Business Manager, Direct Help & Support team and Administrator. She has an Honours degree in Animal Biology and has volunteered with environmental charities across Scotland. Her interest in mental health and learning difficulties developed during volunteer work and personal experience. She joined the Salvesen Mindroom Centre in July 2019.

Mig Coupe

Head of Direct Help & Support
Mig oversees the Direct Help & Support team. She qualified as a speech and language therapist in 1974 and subsequently worked in a range of settings, including a health centre, geriatric hospital, general hospitals, psychiatric hospital, clinical neurosurgical unit and a special school. Mig also operated a children’s nursery for several years and, immediately prior to joining the Salvesen Mindroom Centre, ran an independent special needs advisory service. In September 2018, Mig was awarded the General Teaching Council Scotland Convener’s Professional Values Award. She joined us in July 2000.

Tracey Francis

Family Engagement & Project Lead
Tracey has worked in the children and young people’s sector in Scotland for 25 years, focusing on national and international policy and Additional Support for Learning. With a travel fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, she explored post-school transitions in three European countries and her report, Life on the Edge of the Cliff, has been widely referenced. Most recently, she led Talking About Tomorrow for Contact, launched an online transitions guide and delivered Scotland’s first national transitions conference for parents. Tracey joined the Salvesen Mindroom Centre in August 2019.

Katherine Malin-August

Business Manager
Katherine oversees the Business Support Function including finance, fundraising, HR, corporate governance and administration. In 2013, Katherine qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant and brings experience from social work charities and social housing. In her spare time, Katherine sits on the board of trustees for an LGBT youth charity in her hometown of Manchester. She joined us in June 2018.

Rebecca Marshall

Family Advice Specialist
Rebecca studied Psychology and Sociology, and worked at various youth groups and play schemes for children with additional support needs throughout her time at university. After graduating, Rebecca worked as a pupil support assistant in a mainstream high school and became passionate about helping pupils with additional support needs access the curriculum. In her spare time, Rebecca supports young people on the autistic spectrum at Lothian Autistic Society. Rebecca joined the Salvesen Mindroom Centre in March 2019 and works directly with parents and carers.

Sarah McClarey

Family Outreach Specialist
After gaining an Honours degree in Psychology, Sarah went on to achieve a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Before joining the Salvesen Mindroom Centre, Sarah worked in the NHS as a qualified occupational therapist for around five years. She gained experienced in diverse areas of occupational therapy including paediatrics. Sarah joined us in March 2017 and works directly with parents and carers.

Chris Nicol

Administrator
Chris provides administrative support to the Chief Executive, Business Manager and Direct Help & Support team. He has a corporate administrative background with international corporations such as Computershare Canada, Ernst & Young New Zealand and PwC UK. Chris joined the Salvesen Mindroom Centre in October 2016.

Nell Page

Family Advice Specialist
Nell qualified as a nurse in 2007 and practised for several years at hospitals in Edinburgh, before moving to the third sector. While working with adult patients, Nell developed an interest in learning difficulties. After leaving the NHS, she worked as an administrator for a charity supporting children with ASD before joining the Salvesen Mindroom Centre’s Direct Help & Support team, where she works directly with parents and carers. Nell joined us in September 2016.

Lisa Ross

Direct Help & Support Team Leader
Lisa qualified as a social worker in 2005, and worked in the private, public and third sectors. Lisa supported children, young people and adults with a range of needs, including learning difficulties and disabilities. Lisa started as a member of the Direct Help & Support team, supporting parents and carers directly, and in 2015 took up the position of Team Leader in the Direct Help & Support team. She continues to support parents and carers directly, as well as over-seeing the delivery of our service. Lisa joined us in July 2012.

George Ruston

Trusts Fundraiser
George graduated from the University of Bristol in 1974 and joined the NHS fast-track management training scheme. In 1985, he became Chief Executive of Hope UK, a national drug education charity, and in 2000 achieved a master’s degree in Voluntary Sector Organisation at the London School of Economics. He became a freelance interim manager/fundraiser in 2009 and has worked with more than 50 charities on a paid or pro bono basis, including Friends of the Earth and four Scottish Camphill charities. For six months in 2014/15, he was the interim Chief Executive at the Salvesen Mindroom Centre. George joined us in December 2012.

Kirsten Shield

Children & Young People Outreach Specialist
Kirsten is a qualified social worker and previously worked within local authority social work and education services for around 10 years. Her background is in working with children and young people with additional support needs, including roles in family support, additional support for learning, and children and families social work. Kirsten has also been a registered Specialist Disability Foster Carer since 2011. Kirsten joined as Children and Young People Outreach Specialist, and provides individualised advocacy support to children and young people with learning difficulties up to the age of 25. Kirsten joined the Salvesen Mindroom Centre in August 2018.

Michael Sinclair

Family Outreach Specialist
Michael started his career in market research, working in various roles in a telephone operations setting – with a focus on people management, quality, compliance and data security. More recently, he worked as a support service manager for a charity supporting families affected by cystic fibrosis. Michael’s focus there was providing a befriending service to young people as well as supporting families in areas such as benefits applications, individual grant funding and advocacy work. Michael joined us in June 2017 and works directly with parents and carers.

Andrew Wright

Project Consultant
Andrew has a professional background in education, and worked as a classroom teacher for 15 years with management responsibilities that included whole-school development of personal and social education, and behaviour management. He has also been employed in the third sector as a children and families worker, working with teenagers and young adults, and more recently has worked in human resources, administration and hospitality. Andrew leads our project supporting neurodivergent young people in the transition from school to the world of work through bespoke supported work experience placements. Andrew joined the Salvesen Mindroom Centre in September 2018.