ARC Scotland Team

Meet our skilled, hard working and experienced team


James Fletcher - Director

I have worked in and around the field of social care for over 30 years.  Beginning as a full-time volunteer, I have since worked as a practitioner and service manager in both the statutory and voluntary sectors.  A lot of my work has involved either setting up new projects, or making big changes to old ones.

I have been Director of ARC Scotland since 2010.  Working for ARC Scotland has given me the chance to help make changes that improve the lives of people right across Scotland.  I am very lucky to lead such a fabulous team and to be able to work alongside so many partners who share our vision and values. The main thing I have learned is to get out of the way- and to help people who get or need support, families and professionals to work together to find solutions to the problems they face and to lead changes to their services and communities.

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Derek Parker - Training Manager

I have worked in the Social Care Sector since 1986 and have a wealth of experience of supporting people within the voluntary, statutory, health and private sector.

I joined ARC Scotland in 2010 to support the development of the workforce in achieving appropriate regulated qualifications to enhance competence and confidence of those delivering support.

I am passionate about the work of ARC Scotland which underpins the principles of supporting individuals to have a say in all decisions that affect their lives and advancing knowledge, policy and practice in health and social care.

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Rachel McGinn - Deputy Training Manager

I have been Deputy Training Manager with ARC Scotland since May 2020. I started my journey in Health and Social Care in 1991 working for ELCAP, while there I worked in most areas within Health and Social Care, managing adult services, children’s services and visiting support. In 2004 I moved to run a small charity in Edinburgh supporting adults with tailored 1:1 services enabling them to be active participants in their communities. In 2009 I moved abroad and worked in the Philippines supporting children and adults on the Tondo dumpsites, I also worked in the prisons supporting British nationals. In 2011, I ventured to Nigeria, where my focus was on working in an orphanage and supporting staff to develop an understanding of child centred practice. I returned to Scotland in 2012 but still spend a lot of time in South East Asia. It was on my return to Scotland that I started my work with ARC, I enjoyed working freelance for ARC as this still allowed me to travel when needed. I have now started in my new role as deputy training manager and look forward to continuing my work for ARC and to the opportunities this will bring.

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Muriel McLeod - Administration Manager

After leaving College I began my working life in the Civil Service in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries at St Andrews House in Edinburgh as an audio typist and then carrying out secretarial duties. I remained there for 9 years before leaving to have a family. After a few years break I took up the post of office administrator with the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office based in the centre of Edinburgh. 20 years later the office was closed and we were made redundant.

After a short break I returned to work on a part time basis with ARC Scotland, my first job in the health and social care sector, to administer a European Social Funded training project. On completion of this project I remained with ARC Scotland on a full time basis.  I have now been with them for 16 years as Administration Manager for the training arm of ARC Scotland ensuring the office runs smoothly and efficiently in the delivery of SVQ awards to organisations throughout Scotland and giving support to our ever increasing number of Assessors/Verifiers working with us.

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Julie Windsor - Training Administrator

I began my career at the Church of Scotland, Board of Social Responsibility and worked there for 10 years.  After progressing my career within the Church of Scotland I then moved to further my career with Midlothian Council and thereafter Crown Castle International where I became a Site Share Executive.  I remained in this position for 3 years before leaving to have a family.

After a break I returned to work part time with Jo Jingles as a music/dance teacher organising classes throughout Midlothian.  Alongside this I also worked at Dobbies Garden Centre as a Cash Office Assistant and later moving to a Team Leader role on a full time basis within the Customer Service Department at Head Office.

I joined the ARC Scotland Team as a Training Administrator to support the Administration and Training Managers in all aspects of ARC Scotland’s training activities.  I am privileged to work for ARC Scotland and be part of a Team who can make a difference to improve the quality of life for people who have a learning disability, or other support needs by assisting those who deliver the support.

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Tony Bowman - Policy & Development Worker

My role in ARC Scotland is as the Policy and Development worker on the SOLD project, looking at ways of improving supports in the justice system for people with learning disabilities and of preventing and reducing offending.

I made a career change in 2004, with his first experience of working in social care. I worked as an employment support worker with the Action Group in Edinburgh for a couple of years.  I then made the decision in 2006 to go to university to begin a Masters in Social Work, and qualified in 2008.

I have worked in a number of different roles in both statutory and voluntary sectors. Prior to joining ARC, I worked for six and a half years with People First as an advocacy development worker. At the end of 2015, I qualified as a social work practice teacher, and would like to do more teaching in the future.

I am motivated by a desire to improve social justice and helping to make Scotland a fairer and safer place for everyone.

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Scott Read - Policy & Development Worker

Scott Richardson-Read is a Policy and Development Worker at Association for Real Change (ARC) Scotland’s Scottish Transitions Forum. He has over 22 years of experience of working and facilitating networks in the Voluntary and Statutory Sectors with a wide range of people, for example, from mental health, homelessness and other related backgrounds. He has worked with children and young people with learning disabilities and additional support needs and has experience of running transitions services and of senior management roles with a definite person centred focus. His work at ARC focuses on the principles of personalisation and evidence based practice to improve transitions from children’s services into positive young adult life destinations across all services involved. He has a deep interest in the difference empowerment makes in terms of right based services and how this can be achieved by embedding the voice of the families and young persons lived experience into implementing adaptive change. He has a Masters in Social Work, is a registered social worker and a qualified researcher. He is one of two authors of the Principles of Transitions.

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Rebecca Williams - Policy & Development Worker

I have been a Policy & Development Worker with ARC Scotland since 2015, and alongside Scott and Tracey I co-facilitate the Scottish Transitions Forum.

I am a qualified social worker and since 2003 I have worked in various services across the Voluntary and Statutory Sectors in Australia, Canada and Scotland. I have worked with individuals and communities facing a wide range of issues associated with health inequalities, disabilities, homelessness, substance misuse, mental health, family violence, grief and loss, criminal justice matters, transgenerational trauma and abuse. I have worked in a range of settings including crisis accommodation facilities, street-based assertive outreach projects, Aboriginal health service, community day centre and crisis drop in services.

I enjoy the variety and challenge of my role, and it’s great to be part of such a passionate, reflective and hardworking team.

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Tracey Francis - Policy & Development Worker

I have worked for children’s and young people’s charities in Scotland for more than 20 years, in a range of information, research and policy development roles. I specialise in the transition to adulthood of young people with additional support needs, and its lasting impact on them and their families or carers. I am committed to identifying and sharing good practice, and in 2015 received a travel fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to research the experiences of young people with autism, ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome in three European countries. Her report Life on the Edge of the Cliff highlights the issues facing this group of young people and their families and approaches that can make a difference.

Before joining ARC Scotland I worked for Contact, developing and launching the Talking About Tomorrow website to give parents and carers essential, Scotland-specific information on planning and preparing for transition. This included organising Scotland’s first national conference on transitions specifically for parents and carers in 2019.

I am the parent of a young adult with autism and remains passionate about promoting inclusion and improving life choices for young people facing barriers to learning.

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Paddy Carstairs - Development Worker

I joined ARC Scotland in December 2013 as Development Worker, and my job is to support the National Involvement Network (NIN).  I have supported NIN members to produce and promote the Charter for Involvement, develop local involvement groups and more recently design and deliver training on involvement.

I began social care work in the early 80’s when I worked with MIND and NACRO in Nottingham on what were called resettlement projects for marginalised people.

Since then I have worked mainly with people affected by mental illness and homelessness, and has held management positions in projects providing housing support, day services, vocational support and support for carers. I have served on the Boards and management committees of a number of local voluntary organisations, north and south of the border, all of which have aimed to support people to have more control over their own lives.

“What I like most about working for ARC Scotland is that respect for people with support needs genuinely underpins everything it does. There is a passion for making sure that people have a say in all decisions that affect their lives, and it is extremely satisfying to be part of this collective effort.”

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Julie Ritchie - Development Worker

I graduated from Aberdeen University with a Psychology Honours degree in 2003.  I then began my career in the voluntary sector as a support worker for Sense Scotland.  I quickly progressed to team leader and in 2009 became locality manager for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.  Even in my managerial role I still ensured I did regular support shifts with service users as this was where I started my career and making a difference to people’s lives will always be close to my heart.  I still do relief shifts to sustain my working relationship with service users and carry on my practice-based experience.

During my work at Sense Scotland I completed my Level 4 SVQ in Health and Social Care and Leadership and Management in Care qualifications.  I am also an SVQ assessor and can communicate to a basic level in British Sign Language.

I joined the ARC Scotland team in September 2015.  As a part-time development worker I facilitate three Provider Forums in Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highland.   I also supports two self advocate groups in Aberdeenshire – the Aberdeenshire Involvement Network and Aa’body Matters.  Amongst other things, these groups are working with the Police to help launch the Keep Safe Scheme in Aberdeenshire

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Alice Squire - Policy & Development Worker

I am a Policy and Development Worker for the National Involvement Network in Ayrshire. I work with individuals and groups who are keen to express themselves and get their voices heard. I facilitate Ayrshire Involvement Network.

I have worked in hospitals, care homes and day services but mostly in the community. I have been a care worker, a social worker, a trainer, a supervisor, and a strategic development officer for local authorities.

Through ARC Scotland I have met and learned from some amazing people with experience of the social care system. It is a great privilege to see people grow as individuals and share their talents and knowledge.

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ROBIN PARIS - Development Worker

I joined ARC Scotland in August 2020 as a development worker for Tayside and Fife. Part of my role is to support local involvement networks to use the charter for involvement and be actively involved in decisions about their support. The second part of my role is to facilitate provider forums, a place where provider organisations can connect, learn and discuss how to improve the lives of people they support.

My previous role was with the Scottish Association for Mental Health where I co-ordinated a community garden project. It was my role to help improve the health and wellbeing of people through creating new outdoor spaces in their communities. Previous to this I worked for the Royal Yachting Association as a development officer in which I helped develop clubs and voluntary organisations to increase participation.

I believe that every person is equal, important and deserves to be heard. I’m proud to work for ARC Scotland within a team that has people at the forefront of everything we do.

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Diane Eaton - Projects Administrator & Communications Coordinator

I started working with ARC Scotland on a part time basis and have been working with the ARC Scotland team since 2008 where I work as  a Projects Administrator and Communications Coordinator.

I have over 25 years of secretarial/administration experience. I started my working life in a bank and then moved on to work in a Consulting Engineers where I worked as a secretary for 7 years before leaving to have a family.  After a small break I went back to work and started working for a publisher as a secretary but was made redundant after a few years.

Working for ARC Scotland is extremely fulfilling knowing that I help enhance the lives of those with a learning disability.

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Chris Turnbull - General Admin Assistant

Chris Turnbull

I am a general admin assistant.  I makes photocopies of portfolios for candidates, does shredding.  I photocopy reports and bind them with a spiral binder.  I do filing, moved furniture and does some work needed round the office.

I also do office work at Midlothian Voluntary Action, which supports voluntary organisations in Midlothian.  I am currently undertaking the Advanced EDCL course to improve his Microsoft Office skills.

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