Moira Bayne – Chief Executive
Chief Executive Moira Bayne joined Housing Options Scotland in August 2008. Since graduating from Glasgow University in 1979 Moira has held a range of senior housing posts gaining experience in homelessness, learning disability, mental health and addictions. Moira has professional qualifications in training and community care and studied for a management qualification with the Scottish Social Enterprise Academy’s “Leading Edge” programme for voluntary sector chief executives. Moira is an alumnus of the Windsor Leadership Trust and is a member of the Scottish alumni group.
Fraser Gilmore – Head of Engagement & Development
Fraser Gilmore, Head of Engagement & Development, has been working for Housing Options Scotland since August 2009. As a senior manager, as well as giving information and advice to disabled people across Scotland, Fraser also engages in development, research, fundraising, consultancy, providing training to professionals and leading on the organisations external engagement, communications and volunteering programme.
Fraser has been working in the field of housing since 2005, working with homeless people and disabled people across the country. His experience has ranged from project management to support coordination, service decommissioning to training, research, service user engagement, fundraising and consultancy. Fraser has worked in both the statutory and voluntary sector for well over a decade and is dedicated to the premise that adequate housing is a basic human right.
Fraser has a Diploma in Organisational Learning and Development and is a qualified trainer. Fraser holds a Post Graduate qualification in International Development Management, a bachelor’s degree, is a Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and recently completed a Clore leadership fellowship.
Originally from Aberdeen, Fraser has been living in Glasgow for 17 years, a city which he loves. Fraser has a passion for travel, food, yoga, the outdoors and his wee dog Tess.
Olivia has been working with Housing Options Scotland since 2016. In her current role, Olivia heads up our casework service and offers support and supervision to the HOS team. She continues to carry a reduced caseload whilst developing her strategic skills by working alongside Moira.
Olivia has begun working with our Military Matters project, delivering housing briefs around the UK to those who are serving in the armed forces and their families, to help them plan for housing after their service.
Olivia graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2013 with an MA in Philosophical Studies and is now working towards completing a Post Graduate Degree in Housing Studies at the University of Stirling. Olivia is enthusiastic and motivated about both her course of study and her role at Housing Options Scotland. She hopes to continue developing her knowledge and experience to continue to deliver excellent housing services.
Susan Mendelovitch – Housing Options Broker
Susan has been a member of our staff team for almost three years. Since she started with us in 2015 Susan began her HOS journey as Team Coordinator, this role saw her coordinating our staff team. She is now one of our Housing Options Brokers and also gives supports to our Chief Executive.
Susan has had her own personal housing journey in the past. In 2000 Susan and her family returned to live in Scotland after living abroad for almost 20 years. Susan and her family found themselves homeless and spent five months living with family in cramped and often stressful conditions. They eventually found employment and a wee home to live in and were able to settle down again as a family. Susan is enthusiastic and motivated and hopes that her knowledge and past experiences will benefit both the HOS team to continue to deliver excellent housing services and will help her to understand her client’s situations and experiences in finding ‘the right home in the right place’.
Susan gained a Post Graduate Diploma in Housing Studies in 2009 from Stirling University and has worked in various RSLs and council across Scotland.
Susan is married with two children she loves the outdoors and spends her free time with family or walking her Labrador called Blu.
Pedro Cameron – Client Communications Manager
Pedro is our Client Communications Manager. He is the first point of contact for all new enquiries and is always happy to help. He assists every member of the team with whatever they need help with!
Pedro worked as an associate with Housing Options Scotland during 2016 and joined the team full time in February 2017. Pedro has worked in a range of industries including oil & gas and hospitality, but now wants to settle in a job that is more rewarding and that makes a difference.
He is also a professional musician and songwriter who has toured the world as a member of Americana group The Dirty Beggars. He is recently obtained funding from Creative Scotland to run the “Bogha-frois” project, a workshop programme with aims to create folk music based on the LGBT+ experience.
Pedro lives in Glasgow with his dog Angus.
Jil Dyson – Housing Options Broker
I graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2017 with a BA (Hons) in Social Sciences. A number of my close family members have worked in the housing sector and have enjoyed their careers. This inspired me to pursue a career in housing. As a result, upon finishing my undergraduate degree I decided to go on to study a Post Graduate Diploma in Housing Studies at the University of Stirling.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Stirling and what it taught me about housing in Scotland. As part of my Post Graduate Diploma I was fortunate enough to do an internship with a local authority which allowed me to put my knowledge of the housing sector into practice. I hope to continue to develop my knowledge on housing services in the future.
I have also worked in retail for five years which has encouraged me to want to continue my work in helping others and providing excellent customer services.
I currently live in West Dunbartonshire with my family and my two dogs.
Karen is our Military Matters housing options broker. Karen joined the team in March 2019 thanks to funding from the Veterans Foundation. She works with members of the Armed Forces community to support them with their housing options.
Karen has been involved with Housing Options Scotland since 2011 and previously offered advice to our clients as a housing options broker. She then worked as a Communications Consultant for charities and small businesses in Scotland. In 2019 she re-joined the HOS team to move back into housing advice and support. She holds a Bachelors degree in Marketing & Communications and in 2014 completed a post-graduate diploma in Housing Studies at Stirling University.
Karen lives in East Lothian with her family and rescue whippet, Poppy. She enjoys spending as much time outdoors with her family as possible, from play parks to beach walks.
Ben Parker – Volunteer Coordinator
Ben joined Housing Options Scotland in May 2019 in the new position of Volunteer Coordinator. His role is to facilitate our volunteer programme, working with former clients and staff to create opportunities for people to engage with the work of HOS. He is looking forward to expanding the programme over the coming year.
Ben has an abundance of experience volunteering with different organisations and recently graduated from the University of Edinburgh where he studied Philosophy. He is excited to learn more about all things housing, as well as to put his ideas into action about how to develop the volunteering opportunities HOS provide.
Outside of work and voluntary commitments, Ben enjoys cooking and painting, as well as tending to his ever–growing indoor plant collection.
Margaret Follon – Chair Housing Options Scotland
Margaret Follon has been a board member since 2010. She retired from her position as a manager at West Lothian College in Livingston in 2014 and has since found life busier than ever! Margaret is a former client of Housing Options Scotland and became involved as a volunteer during the CPP2 year of engagement with the Scottish Parliament. She assumed the role of Vice Chair of HOS in 2014 and then became Chair a couple of years later.
“In September 2009 I developed a spinal abscess which left me unable to walk. I spent 10 months in rehabilitation during which time I had the great fortune to be pointed in the direction of Housing Options Scotland.
My flat was on the third floor, I could not return to it and had been given no advice or information regarding any alternatives.
At the first meeting with Fraser he assessed my situation, pointed out the possibilities, and gave me clear, effective advice.
I am now living in a suitable ground floor house, was able to return to work and am driving an adapted car.
This would not have been possible without the intervention of Housing Options Scotland and their support in finding me “The Right House in the Right Place”
I was delighted to be asked to join the board and hope to be in a position to support the work of Moira and the team for some time to come.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside Lorraine, Moira and the team in developing the work of the organisation. The highlight of the role so far was attendance at a European Conference with fellow trustee Tim Pogson. We highlighted the great work of HOS at the conference. It was apparent that there are many countries across Europe that do not have organisations like ours that offer a targeted and bespoke service for individuals.
Bill started his exploration of Disability Equality in 1988 when the Social Model of Disability was first introduced to Scotland. Shortly after, the Open University provided a course in how to provide Training in Disability Issues. In turn this led to the forming of Fife Disability Equality Trainers, a group of disabled people who were all interested in promoting Disability Equality and is now the longest established such group in Scotland.
Bill was one of the founders of The Dunfermline Forum on Disability, Fife Independent Disability Network, was a founding member of Dunfermline Advocacy Initiative and Fife Direct Payments Support Group. Bill served on the Committees of all of these organisations.
As well as equality Issues Bill has been involved in special projects, again adding to his experience and knowledge. One of these was to facilitate the Government of Portugal to evaluate social services for disabled people and to make it fit for purpose for the 21st Century. Bill has also been involved in the introduction of disability legislation and review of service provision in this country.
Other activities include being appointed a Tribunal member for Social Security appeals, a post he has held for over 25 years. He is the Retired Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Thistle Foundation, Vice Chair and founder member of the Dunfermline Citizen Advocacy Initiative and a Member of the Crown Office’s Equality Advisory Group.
In 2010 Bill was awarded the MBE for his services to Diversity and Disability Equality Training.
Bill is also a qualified Yacht Master and sails his 30 foot yacht round the coasts of Scotland, Northern England and Ireland.
Gordon MacDonald lives in the Highlands and is married with 2 children. Gordon is a disabled person and a carer for his wife and son.
Gordon had a road traffic accident in 1984 and was unsuitably housed as a result of this. He has been involved with Housing Options Scotland since 1999 when his family were clients in need of a housing solution. Having been on the urgent list for 15 years, they were referred to the newly formed Housing Options Scotland.
Housing Options Scotland helped to solve Gordon’s family’s housing problem and they now own their own bungalow which has been adapted to suit all of their needs.
Gordon says, “We are very happy with our very successful solution for the last 18 years.”
Tim’s whole career has been in various aspects of housing. Since 2013, Tim has been a Service Co-ordinator with Scotland’s Housing Network, where he leads their work on homelessness and housing management. Previously he was the Head of Asset Skills Scotland, the Sector Skills Council for management of the built environment, including property, planning and housing. Prior to this Tim worked for the Chartered Institute of Housing, and was for nine years the Head of Professional Development with CIH Scotland.
Tim started his career in housing with an English local authority, where he worked particularly in homelessness. Tim holds the Professional Qualification of the Chartered Institute of Housing and is a longstanding Board Member with PATH Scotland, a charitable organisation that seeks to promote housing careers amongst BME communities. He is also actively involved in the local Edinburgh political scene.
Usman Ali joined the board in May 2016. He has worked in various political, public and third sectors roles as an adviser. He was elected in 2014 as Scotland’s 77th Chairperson of the Scottish Trade Union Congress Youth Committee – the first Scottish Muslim or Asian to have done so. He was also appointed as a Commonwealth Youth Lead and as a Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society. In June 2017, Usman was appointed a Queen’s Young Leader by Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace.
Joining the HOS family, Usman said “Housing is one of the big issues of our time. Scotland requires better, quality and more affordable housing. The most disadvantaged in our society need Housing Options Scotland to ensure they get all the information and support to make the right decision for them and their families. I am proud to support Housing Options Scotland in this important mission.”
John grew up successively in Oakham (Rutland) in 1940s; Bristol in 1950s and South Wales in 1960s. He studied theology and represented his college in football, cricket and tennis before serving as a Methodist minister for 14 years in Lincolnshire, Widnes and Wirral.
In 1979 John started working in housing and homelessness in Edinburgh. He managed direct services to homeless people with the Edinburgh Council for the Single Homeless and served on the board of the Scottish Council for Single Homeless, including Chair, for over 20 years.
From the early 1990s John worked across Europe with FEANTSA – the European umbrella organisation for homelessness – including two terms as President. There, he worked with the Accession Central European States on their housing policies regarding homeless people and EU housing policy issues. In his `spare` time he lectured on social welfare and housing policy.
John’s family includes 4 children and 6 grandchildren spread across the UK. His interest in railways and railway modelling led to his involvement with the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, which he has chaired for 6 years, and the Gauge 0 Guild – an international railway modelling society, which he chaired for 5 years.
Prior to becoming a board member in May 2017, Ryan was part of the HOS senior management team. He first joined HOS in 2013, after working in the social rented sector for a local housing association in Glasgow.
Ryan is a manual wheelchair user and has first-hand experience of the difficulties disabled people face when trying to find the right house in the right place. When Ryan first got in touch with HOS, it was as a client back in 2011, and he felt that the information he received was invaluable.
He believes that he has a well-rounded perspective on HOS, having been involved as a client, as a staff member and as part of the management team. He is hoping that these experiences will prove useful in his role as a board member.
Ryan lives in Glasgow with his wife and their three young children. He is the Ambassador Network Manager for an Edinburgh based charity called Euan’s Guide and in his spare time, Ryan is a huge sports fan and is involved in a number of disability sports in and around the Glasgow area.
We have three additional board members
- Lois Speed
- Sheenagh Simpson
- Pauline McHugh
Photos and biographies to follow.
Karen is a fellow member of the association of chartered certified accountant and her practice, Hardie McMillan Chartered Certified Accountants, works with a range of charities and small businesses. Karen is also a director of the Community Brokerage Network and a trustee of the Natural Change Foundation.
In addition, Karen has qualifications in counselling and cognitive behavioural psychotherapy and volunteers at Crisis Counselling in Erskine.
Away from the desk, she enjoys walking (canal paths and low hills mostly) and yoga. She is also passionate about mindfulness and all its many benefits.
An acknowledged expert in the field of housing benefit, Fiona’s local government background began within the social rented housing sector. She has represented CoSLA on a number of government working groups, and contributed to research undertaken by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Social Policy & Research Unit at York University.
Since 2008, she has been an independent consultant, adding welfare benefits – and particularly disability benefits – to her areas of interest. Representation work at appeal tribunals, and training new recruits to Citizens Advice Bureau ensure that she remains aware of ever-changing benefit issues, and she has recently delivered a series of welfare reform training courses to housing support workers around Scotland.
As an associate of Housing Options Scotland, Fiona has delivered welfare benefits training to – and on behalf of – Housing Options, and has provided invaluable advice and guidance on a wide range of benefit issues to individual clients
Ailsa has extensive experience in all areas of charitable fundraising, including strategic planning, funding application management and community fundraising. She joined the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow in 2003, managing the campaign to raise funds to build the £15 million, small animal hospital in Glasgow’s West End. She undertook a contract as Individual Giving Manager during Scottish Ballet’s 40th anniversary celebrations, followed by a freelance fundraising support role with Glenalmond College in Perthshire and the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability in Glasgow.
Ailsa graduated from Aberdeen University in history before she trained as a journalist with DC Thomson & Co., working as a reporter on the Dundee Courier. She moved to Glasgow to start a 15 year career in public relations, working for blue chip companies including William Grant and Sons, Coca-Cola, Stakis plc and international accountancy firm, Ernst & Young.
Ailsa spent time in the USA where she worked for the US Government’s State Department, heading up their International Visitors Programme in Georgia and was responsible for over 100 international VIPs visiting the State annually. On her return to Scotland, she worked briefly as a customer relations manager with the SQA before starting her fund-raising career at Glasgow University.
Ailsa’s contribution to Housing Options Scotland’s work is invaluable and concentrates on funding applications and press engagement.
If you would like to find out more about how Ailsa might be able to assist you in the areas of fundraising, PR and marketing you can contact her on E: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07703 988977
Tony Carruthers – Military Matters Associate
I have been involved with Housing Options Scotland for around 8 years now as a board member and I am still impressed with the commitment, passion and enthusiasm of everyone connected to the organisation. Having recently moved from Blackwood Group, where I worked in HR, latterly as the Head of the HR function, for over 16 years. This experience gave me a unique insight into housing and care issues in Scotland. Before working in HR, I served in the Royal Navy as a mine warfare officer spending most of my career in ships based in Rosyth, and was luck enough to be deployed far and wide around the world. With my experience in housing and as a veteran, I have recently taken on a different role within HOS, moving off the board to become an associate supporting the Military Matters project. This offers me the chance to put both of my careers to the test, developing this exciting project and raising awareness of HOS across the UK veterans landscape, but with a specific focus on those living or wanting to live in Scotland.
I am really pleased to be working with Housing Options Scotland. Having the chance to contribute to the brilliant service they offer and work with their fabulously talented team is a huge privilege.
I’m a vocal champion of good communication and have nearly two decades experience in public relations, marketing and campaigning. I’m a strong supporter of social justice and equality issues. My years of work with people who live with disabilities and people who are deaf, blind, or deaf and blind have allowed me to specialise in communicating with people who some services described as ‘hard to reach’. I’ve had some senior paid jobs in some big and well-known organisations and volunteered with many others. I’m a professional member of the chartered institute of public relations and a fellow of the chartered management institute.
When I’m not reading or writing, or following the Wales and Ospreys rugby teams, I enjoy getting out and about on my bike to burn off the extra calories my love of cooking provides.
My name is Anne Harkes and I am an ex-client of the organization.
I have a 41 year old son with a learning difficulty.
I contacted Housing Options Scotland 3 years ago to help my husband and I access a house where our son could be supported independently and prepare for a future when we are no longer here.
We were very grateful to Fraser and Moira for their commitment to us and guiding us through the long process of obtaining a house through Shared Ownership. We were so impressed by the help and support we received that I volunteered to become a peer supporter.
The aim of HOSmates is to share our experiences with others who are going through the same housing journey as we did: to be a listening ear and a support to them as they search for the right house in the right place.
My name is Linda McLean, and I have a background in Nursing. This fostered an interest in disabilities, and I went on to study Community Care. Shocked at the challenges presented by Housing for people with disabilities and amazed at how incredibly difficult to obtain information, I took a personal interest. The unfairness of the system struck me so forcibly that I wrote: “The Effect of Community Care of Housing for Disabled People” as my study.
By the mid- nineties, firmly entrenched in my position as Assistant to a disabled gentleman, we decided to test the system by attempting to move house from one Local Authority to another. Even with prior knowledge, we were appalled at the hoops we had to jump through and the hurdles we had to overcome. It was as if someone had designed a bespoke obstacle course to prevent anyone with a disability from moving anywhere.
Over four years, I wrote up my experience, and although it does not cover every eventuality, I believe it forms a solid grounding for the many problems encountered. The progress in this field has been so slow, that I thought by becoming a HOSmate, I could assist by listening to the current frustrations. Through my own experiences, I could relate to the complete frustration of others, and attempt to alleviate feelings of anxiety and frustration.
Annette is recently retired from a career in Human resources with the NHS in Scotland. Before that, Annette worked for 5 years in local authority housing. She enjoys cinema, bridge, walking and cycling and lives in Glasgow with her two cats.
Annette joined the HOSmates team over a year ago and is looking forward to sharing her experience to help disabled people find housing that is suitable for their needs.
Hello, my name is Margaret MacDonald and I became a hos-mate to help increase awareness and understanding of housing for disabled people in Scotland. I am visually impaired and my family have varied disability needs in which housing options helped us get the right home in the right location. As a peer i feel I can give a positive input for the needs required of visually impaired people through housing options support.