Laura is a Speech and Language Therapist by background with over 33 years’ experience of working in the fields of Early Years, Vulnerable Families and Children and Young people’s Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Laura worked in the NHS for 23 years, developing and leading a range of community and hospital based services supporting children and adults with communication difficulties. She spent a significant amount of her career working in NHS Lanarkshire, managing 4 Localities and developing services for vulnerable children and adults, including children with autism, conduct disorder, neurodevelopmental conditions and children affected by complex adversity such as parental substance misuse and parental mental health problems. Laura led on service redesign and delivered innovative services in partnership with families and other agencies such as CAMHS and the voluntary sector.
In 2010, Laura joined Barnardo’s and as the Assistant Director in Fife Locality, managed a wide range of family support, counselling and advocacy services, Leading for Early Years in Scotland and subsequently working as the Assistant Director for Mental Health in Scotland, leading the development of the organisations work.
In 2017 she took up the UK wide role of Assistant Director Impact for Mental Health and Wellbeing within Barnardo’s and was responsible for setting the strategic direction for the organisation in relation to its Mental Health and Wellbeing work. Laura led on an ambitious programme of work across 4 Nations, focusing on facilitating place based whole systems change for children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing within Strategic Partnerships and leading Barnardo’s journey to become a Trauma Responsive organisation.
Laura became CEO for the Royal Caledonian Education Trust in January 2021, bring together her passions for leading a team, early intervention, ensuring children and families are central to service design/delivery and in developing innovative practice to help people thrive.
Laura lives in Perthshire, Scotland and spends her spare time hillwalking, reading and practicing yoga and meditation.