ARC Scotland Team

Meet our skilled, hard working and experienced team

James Fletcher - Director

James has over 20 years experience working in the learning disability sector, both as Manager and practitioner. Much of this time has been in the voluntary sector, including 16 years working for ENABLE Scotland where he focused on the Management and development of supported employment and vocational training initiatives.

James has also worked in the statutory sector, most recently managing the transition of a traditional day service to more community-based models of support.

He has been working with the ARC Scotland team since 2008 where he has built strong partnerships with Local Authority and provider organisations to develop the involvement of the people they support in their planning and decision-making processes.

James was promoted to Director of ARC Scotland in September 2010.

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Derek Parker - Training Manager

Derek has worked in the Social Care Sector since 1986, both as a manager and practitioner supporting adults with physical and learning disabilities. His career has encompassed working both in and with the voluntary, statutory, health and private sector.

A large proportion of Derek’s career was spent as a senior practitioner with Capability Scotland, where he managed a residential unit and developed the services for respite provision. His career has included project management of community based living services and developing and evaluating a community resource centre.

For a number of years Derek was on the management committee of the Tayforth Voluntary Organisation Training Forum, latterly as Convenor. In the last five years his focus has been on the education and development of the workforce within the sector.

Derek joined ARC Scotland in 2010 as a Learning & Development Officer and will be focussing on the needs of provider organisations in the development of their workforce.

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Ann Best - SVQ Quality Compliance Appointee

I began my career in Health and Social Care 33years ago when I joined a youth training scheme when I left school. After this I went on to complete my Learning Disability Nursing Qualification. On completion of this I worked in a variety of community settings delivering support to individuals. I was a Manager of a residential service and during this time really enjoyed training and developing the staff team. At this time I decided I wanted to develop my career in learning and development and started working full time as an Assessor. I have now been an Assessor /Verifier for the past 15 years and have worked as a Freelance Assessor with Arc Scotland for 11years. I have recently taken up the position of SVQ Quality Compliance Appointee.

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Muriel McLeod - Administration Manager

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. 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 and have now been with them for 12 years as Administration Manager for the training arm of ARC.

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Tony Bowman - Policy & Development Worker

Tony joined ARC originally on secondment from People First until the end of March 2017, but chose to stay on. He now works permanently on the (SOLD) project.

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

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

Previously, Tony worked in the book trade. Initially with secondhand and antiquarian books, and later with new books. He worked for Borders UK for six years, organising author events and supplying schools and libraries, amongst other things.

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Scott Read - Policy & Development Worker

Scott has over 18 years experience of working in the Voluntary and Statutory Sectors with a wide range of people. He began his working career in the community working with individuals from mental health, homelessness, drug and drink related backgrounds. He later went on to become a member of the research team looking into recovery stories from mental health for the Scottish Recovery Network and then on to work as part of a Multidisciplinary team in a local hospital as a health  psychologist. He also has experience of Clinical Governance, website creation and information development as well as impacting clinical practice guidelines and information gathering practices.

He then returned to the voluntary sector, working with children and young people with learning disabilities and additional support needs and a has experience of running transitions services and of senior management roles with a definite person centred focus.

He then went on to complete his Masters in Social work and gained experience of various statutory and local authority areas, such as disability service teams, adult services and older peoples services. He is a registered social worker and has written about maintaining your Social Worker Registration whilst in the voluntary sector for Social Work Based Press.

He has been employed by ARC Scotland since 2012 and his works focus’s on the principles of personalisation and Self Directed Support in Transitions from Child to Adult Services. He also has a deep interest in the difference empowerment can make in terms of right based services and how this can be achieved in a Person Centred and holistic way.

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Rebecca Williams - Policy & Development Worker

Since 2003 Rebecca has worked in various services across the Voluntary and Statutory Sectors in Australia, Canada and Scotland. During this time she has worked with individuals and communities facing a wide range of issues associated with health inequalities, disabilities, homelessness, substance misuse, mental health, grief and loss, criminal justice matters, transgenerational trauma and abuse. In Australia, Rebecca worked as a case manager with two leading independent housing and homelessness organisations, and the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service. In Vancouver she worked as a support worker in a day service for adults with disabilities and as an outreach worker supporting adults with concurrent disorders experiencing long-term homelessness, trauma and abuse. Since moving to Edinburgh Rebecca has worked with Streetwork UK, supporting women at risk of, or who have experienced domestic abuse, sexual assault and commercial sexual exploitation.

Prior to joining ARC Scotland Rebecca was a social worker with the City of Edinburgh Council’s Transition Team, which greatly enhanced her understanding of the complexities of transitions and the need for co-ordinated and effective person centred planning. Rebecca has a Bachelor of Social Work, a Masters of Public Health Practice and is passionate about promoting human rights and social inclusion.

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Paddy Carstairs - Development Worker

Paddy has been working in the voluntary sector in social care since the early 80’s when he worked with MIND and NACRO in Nottingham on what were called resettlement projects for marginalised people.

Since returning to Scotland he has 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. He ha served on the Boards and management committees of a number of local voluntary organisations, all of which have aimed to support people to have more control over their own lives.

Paddy  joined ARC Scotland in December 2013 as Development Worker, and his job is to support the National Involvement Network to relaunch its Charter for Involvement.

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Brid Cullen - Development Worker

Brid Cullen

Brid’s first job was teaching English in France for 4 years, followed by a range of jobs with voluntary organisations in Ireland and Scotland.  These included development and management roles in organisations which delivered HIV support, a national volunteering programme, and issues related to the ageing population.  She has worked with ARC since 2013, on a freelance basis to start, and is now in a full-time post.

Brid facilitates regional network meetings where provider organisations meet with Health and Social Care staff to discuss ways to make policies meaningful to people with learning disabilities, and improve their quality of life.

She believes strongly in the power of partnership working to build strong links between people and agencies, which benefit everyone involved. We can achieve much more through working together than on our own.

She also helps members of the National Involvement Network to understand how the Charter for Involvement can help them take a greater role in the organisations which provide their support.  This includes helping organisations to improve the ways in which they actively involve people with learning disabilities in the way that their services are run.

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Julie Ritchie - Development Worker

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

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

Julie joined the ARC Scotland team in September last year.  As a part-time development worker she facilitates the Aberdeenshire Provider Forum and Voices for Change self advocates group.  Since starting this role she has been busy networking and building partnerships with the provider organisations, self advocates and local authority.

Julie hopes to expand the self advocates group to also cover the South of Aberdeenshire.

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Alice Squire - Policy & Development Worker

Alice has been involved in the health and social care sector for nearly 30 years. She has experience of providing and arranging support in a range of settings.

Alice is strongly influenced by person centred approaches and is passionate about human rights.

Alice has a degree in philosophy and an MSc in Social Work. She also has qualifications in Public Policy and Management and has studied Art History.

Alice joined ARC Scotland in August 2018 as a Development Worker. She is working across North, South and East Ayrshire.

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Beverley Collins - Policy & Development Worker

Beverley has worked in the health and social care sector for over 20 years.  She started her career working across different social care settings providing support to a wide range of adults with diverse support needs.  Following on from this, she project managed a user involvement service and then for the past 12 years she has worked for the NHS in the field of health improvement and health inequalities. 

Beverley is extremely passionate about involvement and exploring different participatory approaches to promote meaningful opportunities for engagement. 

Beverley joined ARC Scotland in August 2018 as a Development Worker to support the Dundee Involvement Network.

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Diane Eaton - Projects Administrator & Communications Coordinator

Diane has 25 years of secretarial/administration experience. She started her working life in a bank and then moved on to work in a Consulting Engineers where she worked as a secretary for 7 years before leaving to have a family.

After a small break she went back to work and started working for a publisher as a secretary but was made redundant after a few years.  Diane started working with ARC Scotland on a part time basis and has been working with the ARC Scotland team since 2008 where she works as  a projects administrator and communications coordinator.


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Chris Turnbull - General Admin Assistant

Chris Turnbull

Chris is a general admin assistant.  He makes photocopies of portfolios for candidates, does shredding.  He’ll photocopy reports and bind them with a spiral binder.  He does filing, moved furniture and does some work needed round the office.

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

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