Staff Team & Board of Trustees

Management team

Margaret Murphy

Chief Executive

I have worked in the Third Sector for over 30 years and have loved every minute.  My experience has varied from working within the Criminal Justice Sector, working as a Senior Manager for 13 years in the Community and in the prisons across Scotland, to then working for Fairbridge in Scotland as a Senior Manager for the Edinburgh based project for 10 years. This project focused on outdoor education and support for young people who were having difficulties maintaining school or having other difficulties in their lives.

In October 2012 I was successful in securing the role of Chief Executive of Edinburgh Young Carers and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work alongside an amazing team of dedicated and passionate staff. Together we help children and young people to get the break from caring that they need and deserve, and also make some amazing memories and new friendships along the way.

Best thing about working for EYC:
Although this job definitely has its challenges due to us working in times of austerity, the rewards are endless due to the amazing young carers we work with.  Children laughing is the best part, seeing them having fun, smiling and hearing those giggles. You can’t help but smile.

Tracey Stewart

Operations & Development Manager

I joined Edinburgh Young Carers in 2012, and after spending over six busy years managing our Schools Awareness Raising Project, I moved into the role of Operations & Development Manager, a brand new post for EYC which I am really enjoying getting my teeth into.  Despite leaving the University of St Andrews with a science degree, I knew immediately that I wanted to work with people. 

I spent over six years working with Highland Estates and conservation charities in people engagement and youth and education roles – with tasks such as giving a guided tour of a Scot’s Pine forest to David Attenborough, dissecting owl pellets, making fairy dens in the woods, and everything in between.  I took a year out of youth work and trained as a florist, but realising that wasn’t the best choice for someone who suffers from hayfever, I found my role within Edinburgh Young Carers.  I was new to young carers, but I’ve learnt so much since coming on board and I’ve enjoyed these learning opportunities as well as lots of new challenges over the past few years. 

Best thing about working for EYC:
I think everyone will acknowledge that the children and young people we work with are so very inspiring.  The Young Carers we support motivate me every day to do the best job I can; finding ways to continue providing respite to young carers, and raising awareness of their situation.  It’s also incredibly rewarding working in such a small but diverse and skilful team, with a Chief Executive who gives us freedom to develop new projects and initiatives to improve outcomes for young carers.    

Chloe Sklaroff

Finance & HR Support Manager

I moved into the third sector to join EYC in 2017 and have never looked back. Even after a hectic day, I always feel so fortunate to be here as I know that we make a real difference in young carers’ lives. My main experience is in finance, risk, audit and office management, but I’m not completely boring! I ran a small business for a while, and further back I studied in Media, Design and Comms and also worked in the retail and food & drink industries (working in a bakery taught me never to go near the rum truffles – you’ve no idea what’s in them – it’s not rum!).

My primary role is in looking after the charity’s financial health and supporting staff wellbeing – it’s so important to take care of our people so that they can be at their best for our young people too. I love coming along to respite groups when I can too, as it gives me an insight into our young carers’ lives – not to mention the fun part! Outside of work, my vices are music, comedy and dogs. I recently adopted a lively (and loud) cockatiel, who provides entertainment at our team meetings.

Best thing about working for EYC:
The young people we work with are fantastic, and knowing all they do every day is very humbling. Being part of a lovely, knowledgeable team that give their all to the cause and having a very supportive manager is also really rewarding. It’s by far my favourite place to work!

Management support

Louise McKinlay

Finance & Administration Assistant

I have been a sessional youth worker since 2014 working with Crew and then with East Lothian Council before joining Edinburgh Young Carers in 2020. I also worked in a Nature Base in a High School Setting for 3 years. I joined the Finance and Admin team at EYC in 2022 alongside doing my sessional work in our groups.

Best thing about working for EYC:
Meeting and working with all our young people is the highlight of being part of Edinburgh Young Carers. Their energy is infectious and you always leave group full of energy.

Operations & development

Jimmy Gordon

Operations & Development Officer

I joined Edinburgh Young Carers at the end of 2020 – having spent the previous six months perfecting my recipe for sourdough bread – helping support the delivery of the new Edinburgh Young Carers Collaboration in partnership with our friends at Capital Carers and Space.  

I have near enough twenty years experience of working with children, young people and young adults in a range of community settings, but I try not to think about how long it’s been because that makes me feel old. I also work in community arts, including running creative writing workshops and supporting a filmmaking group for local young people, and am constantly amazed at the creativity of participants, seeing what they can achieve with just a small amount of support and encouragement. 

I’m born and bred in Edinburgh, my work has taken me as far afield as Palestine, but now I live in North Berwick, and when I’m not working am most likely to be walking the dogs on the beach. Either that or eating sourdough bread. 

I’m also studying creative writing and considering writing a play about my two dogs – working title: Waiting for Coco – but recognise that this is likely to have a limited appeal.

Best thing about working for EYC:
It’s been great working with, and learning from, a really amazing and committed staff team. 

Schools awareness raising

Helen Guy

Young Carer Statements & Schools Development Worker

I worked for the Church of Scotland as a children’s and families outreach worker, working in schools and setting up community engagement projects to support families, for the best part of a decade before going onto further study. After completing my degree in Psychology and Sociology I then went into Education, working as a family liaison officer before joining the team at EYC. I love working with children and families and get so much satisfaction out of knowing that I’m helping to make a difference in whatever small way I can.

I moved down to Edinburgh in 2013 from Aberdeen, though I was born in Stirling. The ‘big smoke’ definitely feels like home! I love nothing more than spending time with my family and friends and have 4 nephews and 2 nieces. In my spare time you will usually find me in a coffee shop gabbing away with friends but I also love dancing, drama and arty stuff!

Best thing about working for EYC:
The team are amazing, it feels like a family. The job is very varied which is great as no day is the same so I never get bored of the same tasks. However, the best part is definitely engaging with the children, having fun with them and creating an environment where I know they feel safe, happy and can let go and have the most fun possible in the time we spend together doing fun activities! I’m a big kid at heart so I love to join in on the fun too 😊

Development workers

Mel Aitken

5-9s Development Worker (currently on maternity leave)

I started at Edinburgh Young Carers in April 2020 as the new Under 12s worker. I started out working with children, young people and families when I was 18 and I have loved every minute since! I studied Community Education at the University of Edinburgh and have worked for a number of wonderful organisations. A big passion of mine is work with groups of young people who face inequality, whether that’s due to mental health, gender, LGBT+ identity, poverty, ethnicity and/or disability. My favourite part of the job is being getting to know loads of young people and support them with whatever is going on for them in that moment. I enjoy anything arty and creative and like to have fun (especially if it involves getting up to lots of mischief!).

Best thing about working for EYC:
I am so excited to be working with Edinburgh Young Carers. My favourite bit so far has been the incredible and inspiring young people and the warm, funny and passionate team!

Marina Pérez

5-9s Development Worker

I was born in the south of Spain, in one of the sunniest regions of the country. I also have a strong connection with France, where I lived and worked as a foreign language teacher for a few years. When I came to Scotland in 2018, I started working as a project worker, supporting young people with learning disabilities and autism. This was a life-changing experience that made me realise how powerful it is to help others develop and reach their full potential, no matter the circumstances. I joined EYC in April 2021, as I was amazed by the great work they have been doing for years, supporting young carers and raising awareness in schools.
About myself: I love literature, learning new languages, dancing and travelling (although Scotland is definitely my favourite place in the world!).

Best thing about working for EYC:
I love seeing how the young carers do something they’ve always wanted to do for the first time. Their laughter and excitement is contagious!

Jamielee Balloch

5-9s Development Worker

I studied Primary Education at Edinburgh University and spent a few years teaching in primary schools, where I was passionate about inclusive practice and implementing a nurture-based approach. At the end of 2023, I started my role with the 5-9s at Edinburgh Young carers and I feel so lucky to be able to support the amazing young carers I work with. I love being able to facilitate a range of opportunities for young carers to be able to relax, have fun and just be a child (me included!). When I’m not getting beat at Uno, I enjoy exploring nature through wild swimming and climbing Munros – Scotland is too beautiful not to. A recent achievement of mine is reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro!

Best thing about working for EYC:
The best part of the job is definitely seeing the young people enjoy themselves and become more confident. Another huge benefit is being part of a fantastic team who are always there to offer support, creative ideas or even just a laugh!

Gary Shaw

10-12s Development Worker

I studied BA Hons Community Education at Edinburgh University. I have worked at EYC since April 2015 and support young carers between the ages of 9 and 12. I also work part-time supporting people who are experiencing homelessness. I have completed a variety of courses to give me an insight into the issues that young people face within today’s society.

Best thing about working for EYC:
It doesn’t feel like work!

Kellyann Dunnett

10-12s Development Worker

What can I say, I have worked for Edinburgh young carers for 15 years now!* I first joined as the 16+ Development Worker in 2009. Since then I have had various roles; in 2014 I had the role of Schools Development Worker, and now I work with the 10-12 age group, which I absolutely love.

During my uni days I also worked part time in sales for a property developer which was great for meeting a wide range of people and gave me the opportunity to also do work on my other passion, home interiors (so I come in handy at propping up the pillows on the office sofa when I walk past for a cuppa)!

I have taken part in several training courses throughout the years and I am keen to keep developing and learning new skills. I have real passion for issue-based work and have run various girl groups with all ages at EYC over the years.

Best thing about working for EYC:
The best thing is the young carers for sure! They are truly inspiring! I love being able to be in a job where I can be creative and well supported. FAB GROUP OF PEOPLE!

*at time of writing; 2024

Masie Stewart-Mcilwraith

13-15s Development Worker

I am from Perth (Scotland not Australia) and moved to Edinburgh in 2023! I have worked with Young Carers across different organisations since 2018. I started with EYC in 2023 as ‘Group Development Worker’ and have been working with the 13-15’s since the beginning of 2024. Supporting Young Carers is something that I have always been very passionate about!

Best thing about working for EYC:
My favourite thing about working for EYC is getting to work with such inspiring young people. Being able to work with young carers to support them achieve their ambitions is very rewarding! I love working as part of the team at EYC. Its been amazing, being able to work as part of such a diverse, skilled and dedicated team!

Gareth Richardson

Young Adult Carer (16-20s) Development Worker

I am a Kiwi with a background in education in Australia. I started my teaching career as a distance educator for the West Australian Department of Education. My work was mostly with young Aboriginal people and included living and teaching in a remote Aboriginal community in the middle of the West Australian desert! I also have a previous life as a music journalist and DJ. I started with EYC in August 2022 after moving to Edinburgh from the Republic of Ireland. 

Best thing about working for EYC:
It has to be the young people. I am amazed by their resilience and ability to achieve great things in the face of adversity. It’s a pleasure to be able to support them on their caring journey. Also great being part of such a skilled, professional, caring and supportive team in the office.

Mo Colvin

Young Adult Carer (20-25s) Transitions Development Worker

I joined EYC as a Sessional Worker in July 2021 and jumped at the opportunity to join the Permanent Staff Team when the chance arose. I took up the YAC role in January 2022. Prior to this, I’ve been a volunteer, sessional, part-time and full-time youth worker at local, regional, national and international levels. Having had amazing and life enhancing opportunities as a young person via the youth work approach, my practice is firmly rooted in person centred youth led approaches.

Best thing about working for EYC:
Everything that’s already been said! Minus the coffee. I’m more likely to be found with a Pepsi Max. Other colas are available.

Substance Use Support Team

Laura Piunti

Drug and Alcohol Development Worker

I was born in Italy, in a small town near the sea, but moved to Edinburgh in 2014. After a Masters in Developmental Psychology, I qualified as Cognitive-Behavioural therapist in 2021. I have always worked with children and young people, providing emotional support, and I am really passionate about supporting young carers impacted by parental substance use.

I love art, I go to a lot of gigs, and I have a soft spot for animals – my favourite is the capybara!

Best thing about working for EYC:
My favourite part of the job is working and having fun with the amazing children and young people at EYC. I also enjoy working alongside such a diverse and fantastic team, developing new projects and ideas, and sharing a good coffee during breaks.

Anna Marta Sveisberga

Drug and Alcohol Development Worker

I am from Latvia, and moved to Edinburgh in 2013. I studied MA in Philosophy and Theology and MSc in Cognitive Science in Edinburgh University. I am currently undertaking COSCA certification in Counselling Skills, and working towards a degree in psychotherapy.

During my studies and since then I have worked in third sector as a Children’s Services Coordinator, Personal Assistant, and Research Intern.

I also spent a few years serving delicious coffee (have been known to make a latte art swan or two). I love learning and exploring new ways to contribute to individuals and communities. I started working with EYC in August 2023.

Best thing about working for EYC:
I love working with our young people – they are bright, funny, caring and full of potential. Knowing that my work supports them in achieving their ambitions is very rewarding. I love being part of the EYC team – they are dedicated people, who will always spare a moment to help you out, they full of exciting ideas for the young people and ready to problem solve through any challenges. 

EYC Membership Service

Bella Balloch

Information & Advice Officer

More info coming soon!

Board of Trustees

Jessica Wade


Jess joined as Chair of the Board of Trustees in November 2022. Jess is currently CEO at Carers of East Lothian and Co-Convenor at the Coalition of Carers in Scotland. Additionally, she is an experienced non-executive director, currently sitting on the board of OSCR, Home-Start Edinburgh and Wheatley Care. She has worked in both local and national charities across Scotland including Self Directed Support Scotland, RNIB and Barnardo’s. Jess joins our board with extensive knowledge of social care policy and practice in Scotland, well placed to support our vital work with young carers.

On joining EYC, Jess said, “Edinburgh Young Carers does such incredibly valuable work in helping young carers to realise their rights and access the support they need, so it is a genuine privilege to have the opportunity to take on this role. I am looking forward to working with Board, staff and young carers to ensure the organisation continues to thrive so we can offer the right support to young carers both now and in the future.”

Brian Gordon

I became aware of EYC through a friend that was then a volunteer – I was one of those people that didn’t know EYC existed and when I did, I wanted to find out more about the organisation and how I may be able to help. I have been a member of The Royal Merchant Company of Edinburgh for eight years and a member of the Charities Committee for six years, (three as Chairman of the Charities Committee)*, during this time the Company has been able to assist some of the carers in a variety of ways and continue to do so. Through my contact with EYC I was approached about a year ago to ask if I’d consider applying to become a Board member, it didn’t take me long to say yes and thankfully my application was approved and I joined the Board in November 2018.

My career has been predominantly in sales and account management and I now run the family business that was established back in 1969. I have worked in various places across the UK but have always found Edinburgh to be my favourite. I am married, we have two children, our daughter is a student and the other about to start his first job. I enjoy watching rugby, walking and being involved in different organisations.

*at time of writing; 2019

Eunice Reed

I have spent most of my adult life working in the NHS as a clinical psychologist. For many years, leading up to taking early retirement, I was a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in substance misuse and also in supporting the training of new clinical psychologists. I spent several years on the Board of a charity which supports individuals with alcohol problems and importantly, also their relatives and friends. It is always encouraging to see organisations supporting the needs of people who, at times, may be overlooked in a difficult situation.  

I hope the combination of these experiences will allow me to participate in the development of EYC as it offers such an important service to young people who may be overlooked at times.

James Cox

I have been involved in social work and social care since the early 1980s, and have been based in Scotland in the last 30 years apart from a year in Lithuania supporting development of fostering and services. For the moment I am a social work professional adviser within Scottish Government, primarily in relation to child protection. I also have a role as the Children and Families Lead for Social Work Scotland, (which is an organisation that supports the leadership of social work in Scotland and contributes to related improvement of legislation, policy, guidance and practice).

My main interest is in direct support of children, young people and their parents together, respecting that every person, every family and their path together is in some ways unique. EYC’s aims align with these interests… but I am very new to the Board* and still learning about how I might contribute.

*at time of writing; 2021

Anna Carr

I have a background in communications and policy, with a strong interest in human rights based approaches.

I am currently Marketing Campaigns Partner at Electrify, a creative agency specialising in community, public and third sector campaigns.

Before joining Electrify I spent the majority of my career in the third sector working at SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) as Senior Campaigns Officer, in communications and events for a social care charity, and I also have experience in service delivery.

I joined EYC in March 2020. Growing up I was a sibling carer for my late brother, Fraser. I know firsthand the complexities of trying to balance caring responsibilities, family time, education and importantly, a social life.  What I also know is young carers grow up to be compassionate adults with an abundance of skills and talents. I am passionate about achieving good outcomes for young carers, who I believe have a right to receive support to allow them to flourish.

Craig Wilson

More info coming soon!

Shona Montgomery

Minute Taker and Administrative Support

I very much enjoy working with Edinburgh Young Carers. My main role is to record the minutes of the meetings of EYC’s Board of Trustees. As the need arises, I also undertake research, help in the work of sub groups of the Board set up to examine aspects of policy or operation, and record the minutes of meetings of EYC’s Staff Team.

Until 2010 I worked with The Scottish Government, formerly The Scottish Office, then The Scottish Executive. I was fortunate to work in several policy areas including health, education, child protection and the third sector. This afforded the opportunity to meet with stakeholders from several strands of life in Scotland. In my spare time I enjoy continued studies at Edinburgh University in creative writing and literature.

Purpose of the Board of Trustees

“The Board of Trustees who serve Edinburgh Young Carers is made up of a number of members who represent a variety of professional and work backgrounds.

On application to the Board, a potential member is initially interviewed by the Chair, then introduced to the other Board members who accept the application if appropriate. At present, the Board has representation from areas including law, accountancy and finance, education, social work, HR and other third sector organisations. An attempt is made to be as diverse as possible in board membership while recognising that certain skills are vital to the governance of the organisation. Stakeholders e.g. former/present young carers and members of staff are often present at Board meetings. We also have a minute taker who has very good knowledge of our organisation.

Board meetings take place every six weeks, with sub group meetings running throughout the year. Regular attendance is required from board members. Board members (Trustees) are encouraged to offer their skills in different areas of expertise or interest and most try where possible to attend EYC functions throughout the year. As a result of a recent quality assurance survey conducted by a sub group, even more effort is being made to enhance the relationship between the Trustees and the stakeholders, making this relationship as open and cooperative as possible. Professional Trustee training has also taken place in order to acquaint the board members with their responsibilities.

Above all, our aim is to support the work of the CEO, the EYC staff, young carers and their families and to promote the financial and general wellbeing of the organisation which we all value and admire.”