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Board of Trustees

Age Scotland has a Board of Trustees to monitor Age Scotland's strategic objectives. The Senior Management work closely with the Trustees to carry out the day-to-day running of Age Scotland.

Stuart Purdy - Chair

Stuart became a Trustee of Age UK in March 2018, a role he steps away from to take on the Chair role of Age Scotland. He has recently completed six years at the charity, Police Care, where he was the Vice-Chair and is a former Chair of the Scottish Police Pension Board.

During his career, Stuart served as CEO the Hibernian Group in Ireland as well as Aviva India where he also served on the board of Dabur, the Indian multinational. While Product and Investment Director of Aviva Europe, he chaired Aviva Investment Management Europe and Aviva Reinsurance. His last Executive role was as CEO of RSA's Asia and Middle East Region and Chair of RSA China. While in India, he led the establishment of a partnership with Arpana Trust to set up the Aviva Arpana Balvatika School in the slum resettlement area of Molarbund near Delhi which has, over the last fifteen years, supported the education of more than 6,000 younger children.

In other roles, Stuart sits on the Board of Assurant Europe and is Chair of two mutuals, British Friendly and the Beverley Building Society as well as being a Council member at the Medical Protection Society.

Originally from Stranraer, Stuart studied at Heriot-Watt University. He and his wife live in Edinburgh and have two daughters.

Marion E. T. McMurdo - Vice Chair

Marion is a medical graduate from Dundee Medical School and was formerly Head of Ageing and Health and Consultant in Medicine of Old Age at Dundee University. Her research focussed on the role of exercise, physical activity and nutrition as means of postponing age-related decline.

An enthusiast for public and patient involvement in research, she regularly speaks on the safety, fun and benefits of activity in later life. She chaired the successful UK NIHR Ageing Research Network 2009 to 2015, and received the Ian Stevenson award for Excellence in Public Engagement with Science. She retired from clinical medicine in 2015 and is currently Emeritus Professor of Ageing and Health and Chair of the Ethics Committee of British Medical Journal. She practises what she preaches, enjoying golf, cycling, and walking in addition to photography and playing the mandolin.

Brendan McCormack - Trustee

Brendan McCormack is Head of the Division of Nursing, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Prior to his current position Brendan was Director of the Institute of Nursing and Health Research and Head of the Person-centred Practice Research Centre at the University of Ulster. His internationally recognised work in person-centred practice development and research has resulted in successful long-term collaborations in Ireland, the UK, Norway, The Netherlands, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

He is also the Editor of the “International Journal of Older People Nursing”.

Brendan comes with a solid background knowledge of the Age Network as he was the Chair of Age NI for years prior to moving to Scotland.

Ken Nicolson - Trustee

Ken Nicolson is from Glasgow. He was educated at St Aloysius’ College, Glasgow, and at the University of Glasgow from which he graduated in 1963 with an M.A. (Hons.) in Economics and Political Science.

Ken’s career in industry started as a Management Trainee at Scottish Gas followed by an introduction to IT in the newly established department at Rolls Royce Aero Engines Ltd. This led to spells as a Management Consultant with Coopers and Lybrand, Internal International Consultant at J&P Coats Limited and European Systems Manager of International Playtex Inc. For the last eighteen years of his career Ken was Head of IT at John Brown Engineering Ltd. in Clydebank.

Since his retirement Ken has been involved with a number of organisations including the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (now Action on Hearing Loss) and the Scottish Pre-Retirement Council.

Pennie Taylor - Trustee

Pennie Taylor is an award-winning freelance journalist and broadcaster who specialises in health and care issues. BBC Scotland’s first Health Correspondent, she has also worked for a number of newspapers including The Sunday Herald and Scotland on Sunday. Pennie is a regular commentator on health and social affairs issues, and is a passionate advocate of older people’s rights.  

As a former Head of Communications for the-then Lothian University Hospitals NHS Trust, where she worked between 2000 and 2002, Pennie has inside knowledge of how the health service works. This gives her an informed perspective from which to approach and stimulate debate.

A sought-after conference Chairperson and discussion facilitator, Pennie believes that good communication and public participation is key to meeting the challenges that Scotland faces. 

Alison Harrington - Trustee

Alison studied a BSc(Hons) at Edinburgh University, followed by a year in retail management, teacher training and three years of primary teaching.

She then moved on to manage her husbands four surgery NHS/Private Dental Practice for thirty three years, involved in all aspects of the practice - patient management, HR, IT systems, regulatory compliance and full financial control. She worked with a staff of 15 people.

She is a guardian for a severely mentally handicapped deaf/blind adopted brother who is in long term care, provided by a charity.

Alison is married with 3 daughters in their 30s and one granddaughter.

She enjoys family, curling, golf, skiing, sailing and all outdoor pursuits and has been involved with Age Scotland since June 2014 when she joined the Finance and Risk Committee.

Graham Reece - Trustee

Graham Reece joined Age Scotland as a Regional Ambassador in 2016, before becoming a Trustee in 2019.

Graham served in the R.A.F. for 12 years as a driver on various squadrons and an aircraft refueller, as well as a term with the R.A.F Mountain Rescue Team. On leaving, he became a long-distance lorry driver for many years. Originally from Wales, he moved to Scotland in 1990.

Following his retirement, Graham became involved in the Men’s Shed movement, at first with the Wee County Men’s Shed. He then went on to help set up the Forth Valley Men’s Shed, where he now serves as Chair.

He is also a Trustee of Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface, Vice Chair of Clacks Older Adults Forum, Chair of Clacks Community Transport, and actively involved with Forgotten Forces and the Scottish Older People’s Assembly.

Graham lives in Tulliebody with his wife, and they have four grown-up children.

Kate Smith - Trustee

Kate Smith joined Age Scotland as a Trustee in June 2020. Kate has over 15 years’ experience in fundraising and communications. She is currently Director of Development with Capital Theatres, leading a £25m fundraising campaign for the redevelopment of the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh. A member of the Executive Management team Kate is responsible for revenue and capital income generation and plays a key role in organisational business planning. In her time with Capital Theatres Kate has led a organisational re-branding project and a digital engagement programme.

Prior to joining Capital Theatres Kate was Director of Fundraising and Communications at Children 1st, Scotland’s largest children’s charity. Prior to this Kate was Head of Fundraising at the Prince’s Trust in Scotland and Major Gift Manager at UNICEF UK.

Faith Jayne - Trustee

Faith Jayne is legal counsel for an engineering and defence company managing the legal, privacy and ethics team with operational responsibility for the Legal function. In addition, Faith is involved in her company’s diversity and inclusion programmes and is a former Chair of the Women’s Network. Faith was awarded the WeAreTheCity Rising Star in Defence Award in 2019 for her work promoting the female talent pipeline.

Faith returned to Edinburgh in 2014 having studied and worked in England and lives with her husband and two young children.

Robert Hare - Trustee

Robert is currently Managing Director of Park's of Hamilton Limited, a large luxury coach and motor dealer business. Previously he spent 40 years in banking at senior level leading a wide variety of businesses.

Robert has an MBA from Strathclyde Business School and is a Fellow and Chartered Banker as well as holding Institute of Directors qualications.

He currently chairs Age Scotland Enterprises and the Finance and Risk Committee and recently concluded two terms as a Governor on the Court of Edinburgh Napier University and member of their Finance and Estates Committee.

Robert now lives in Elie, Fife with his partner. He has two daughters.

Dr Lesley Sawers -Trustee

Lesley was appointed Equalities and Human Rights Commissioner for Scotland in 2016. She is also a Non-Executive Director of Crosswinds Ltd and a founding partner of GenAnalytics Ltd. Previous senior public appointments include Deputy Chair of the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Chair of the Royal Mail Advisory Board for Scotland, Chair of Action for Children Scotland, Board member of VisitScotland and a Trustee of Glasgow Life. She is also a local community councillor in Glasgow.

She has over 30 years’ experience working in the private, public and third sector including as Vice Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor for Business, Enterprise and Innovation at Glasgow Caledonian University and as CEO of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

Lesley has a degree in Economics from Glasgow University, a PhD from the Institute of Retail Studies at the University of Stirling and holds two Honorary Doctorates, from Strathclyde University and Glasgow Caledonian University, where she is also an Honorary Professor. In 2017 Lesley was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours for services to Business and Equalities.

For more information:
Call Age Scotland on 0333 32 32 400

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