About us – RCET Team

We have a great team of Volunteers, Trustees and Staff, find out more about our trustees and staff below.

Our Trustees

Malcolm Noble


Malcolm has been Chairman of the RCET since November 2011 He also chairs the RCET led Service Children Support Group (SCSG) and is the author of the history of the Trust’s first 200 years.

Peebles born, Malcolm was a London headmaster for 19 years and became Chairman of the Royal Society of Arts in the East of England in 2012. He lives just outside Chelmsford in Essex, where he chairs several organisations.

Colin Cook


Colin is Digital Director, Scottish Government. In that role he is responsible for the Scottish Government’s Shared IT service, data policy, the development of digital public services and the roll out of broadband and mobile connectivity.

Colin started his working life in the packaging industry before joining Royal Mail where he eventually became Marketing Director of the company’s £4 billion core letters business. Other roles have included Marketing Director, British Army Recruitment, Head of Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretariat and a Senior Civil Servant leading change programmes across NHS Scotland.


Gary Gray

Vice Chair

Gary is the former Deputy Chief Executive at Erskine and is currently at Poppyscotland. Before entering the voluntary sector, Gary had a varied career in the Royal Air Force and served for nearly 24 years. He has been a Trustee of the Trust since 2014.

Isla Campbell Lupton


At 15, Isla started fundraising and campaigning for Amnesty International. She is currently the Head of Fundraising & Partnerships at Music in Hospitals & Care. She has previously worked as Deputy Head of Fundraising at Poppyscotland, where she fundraised for and developed the £2 million learning outreach project #PoppyBud. Isla’s desire to tell stories in engaging and innovative ways sits alongside her advocacy for the professionalisation of fundraising, and enthusiasm for bringing new talent into the third sector. She has been a committee member with The Institute of Fundraising Scotland since 2008, and currently sits on the Scottish Fundraising Conference committee. Isla takes a very active role in her local community and will forever be a Gaelic learner.

Neil McLennan


Neil McLennan has held a number of key roles in supporting change and improvement in education. After a teaching career Neil worked for the national education support agency Learning & Teaching Scotland (now Education Scotland) and then local authority Quality Improvement Officer and Service Manager roles. He has also completed the Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES) Senior Leadership Development Programme. He is now a Senior Lecturer and Director of Leadership Programmes at University of Aberdeen.

He has a broad experience as a director in education and the arts. He sits on the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) Fellowship Council and is also a Burgess of Guild of the City and Royal Burgh of Aberdeen.

He was the recipient of a Royal Society of Edinburgh Medal “for his outstanding contribution to civic society, creativity and social enterprise, education and the social sciences.”



James Robertson

Honorary Treasurer

James was brought up in Edinburgh and educated at The Edinburgh Academy, and at Trinity College Cambridge, where he read English and Anglo-Saxon.

James is a Chartered Accountant (England & Wales) and a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association. Most of his professional career was spent in insolvency practice in London. He is retired. Although he lives in London, James still has family in Edinburgh.

Dorothy Strickland


Dorothy was born and educated in Glasgow. She joined RCET in 2012 and is Chair of the Grants Programme. Dorothy has 25 years experience as a volunteer in the charitable sector and is currently with Hope and Homes for Children in Wiltshire. She is married with a son, two stepchildren and four grandchildren.

Suzanne Wilson


Suzanne is Senior Legal Counsel at Galliford Try/Morrison Construction based in Edinburgh, having practised law for over 25 years, mainly across the construction and energy sectors. Suzanne has been a Trustee of The Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (formerly Sick Kids Friends Foundation) for the last ten years and she is a Member of the Children’s Panel. Suzanne also sits on Heriot Watt University’s Audit & Risk Committee.

Our Team

We are Hiring! Youth Participation Project Worker Wanted


Email We

Colin Flinn

Chief Executive Officer

Colin began his social work career in 1980 with Lothian Regional Council before working with Barnardo’s, then NCH as their Children’s Rights Officer. In 1994, he became Assistant Director of Children’s Services then subsequently Acting Depute Director with NCH Scotland before becoming their Head of Fundraising and Marketing (Scotland and Northern Ireland) prior to moving to Poppyscotland. Colin joined RCET in June 2016.

Phone: +44 (0)131 322 7350

Email Colin

Tash MacKinnon

Fundraising Development Manager

Natasha has worked and volunteered in the charity sector for over 10 years for well-known national charities such as Breast Cancer Care, Samaritans and Alzheimer Scotland. In her spare time, she is also a Trustee of Play Midlothian, a charity providing free-play opportunities to children in the local area and is a qualified TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Teacher. Joining RCET at a time of growth for the organisation she is really excited to raise funds that will allow us to support, and work alongside, Armed Forces children and families enabling them to thrive.

Phone: +44 (0)131 322 7350

Email Tash

Francesca Penny

Fundraising Assistant

Francesca supports Natasha across all income streams, helping us raise vital funds and awareness of the charity. Francesca has worked with young people since 2017, firstly as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) in Japan at junior high schools and then as a SkillForce instructor in Scottish schools since returning to the UK. This sparked her interest in the wellbeing and rights of young people and children. In her spare time, Francesca volunteers with the Citadel Youth Centre Girls’ Club once a week. She is looking forward to what the future will bring for RCET as we continue to grow and is excited to see how this can positively benefit the young people we support.

Phone: +44(0)131 322 7350

Email Francesca

Nina Collins

Youth Participation Manager

Nina is RCET’s Youth Participation Manager and will be responsible for developing a Scotland-wide Armed Forces Children and Young People’s Participation Project. She is passionate about empowering children and young people to shape services which meet their needs. Nina has a SVQ in Community Development Work and a Diploma in Leadership and Management. Prior to joining the team Nina worked with Fife Young Carers, initially as the Development Worker and subsequently as their Manager.

Phone: +44 (0)131 322 7350

Email Nina

Sarah Rogers

Policy and Research Officer

Sarah is passionate about children’s rights and supporting all children and young people in reaching their potential. She studied at the University of Edinburgh where she obtained an Honours degree in Law and an MSc and PhD in Social Policy. Her PhD explored child well-being in non-resident father households. Prior to joining RCET as the charity’s first Policy and Research Officer, Sarah worked with Enquire, the additional support for learning advice service at Children in Scotland.

Phone: +44 (0)131 322 7350

Email Sarah

Moira Leslie

Education Manager, Scotland

Moira manages the RCET Education Programme. For 22 years she was Head Teacher of Raigmore Primary School, Inverness which has many children from Armed Forces families. Much of her career has been dedicated to supporting these youngsters, particularly during transitions and when family members are away on deployment. She is passionate about health and wellbeing – in particular, emotional literacy – and its importance in helping children and young people achieve their potential in life.

Phone: +44 (0)131 322 7350

Email Moira

Carolyn MacLeod

National Transitions Officer (Seconded to ADES)

Since 2012, Carolyn has been seconded to the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland. Her role is to work with Scottish local authorities, schools, children’s services partners and the Armed Forces Services to ensure best practice in supporting the education of Service Children.

Carolyn has taught at all levels of education during her 35+ years as a teacher in Canada, USA, England and Scotland.

Phone: +44 (0)131 322 7350

Email Carolyn

Stephanie Ferrier

Office Manager and PA

Stephanie comes from an Army family and attended Scotland’s only MOD school, the Queen Victoria School in Dunblane.

Being married to an Army Medic, Stephanie spent three years in Germany and worked for SSAFA, a close partner of RCET. Stephanie is the Office Manager/PA and is passionate about supporting military families.

Phone: +44 (0)131 322 7350

Email Stephanie
Grants officer, Karen Stock at the 2017 Practitioner's Conference

Karen Stock

Children and Family Support Co-ordinator

Karen’s role is to support children, young people and their families, both with financial assistance and any other wider support that our clients may need.

Karen has spent most of her working life serving in the Royal Navy and on retirement, she embarked on a second career working predominantly in the charity sector for organisations who support the Armed Forces community with their education, employment and support needs.

Phone: +44 (0)131 322 7350

Email Karen