Granton Youth is a charity which provides opportunities for young people from North Edinburgh to engage in youth work, informal education, and programmes supporting their involvement in positive activities and learning opportunities.
Our board of trustees helps us steer the ship. A passionate group of volunteers led by our chair David Macnab, the group works closely with Granton Youth’s manager Mary Q-Burnside to oversee the organisation and ensure our amazing staff have the support they need so they can do what they do best.
Christina has worked for 3 years on a gambling education and harm prevention project at Fast Forward. Fast Forward is a national youth charity specialising in risk-taking behaviours, and her role as Project Development Officer involves using research to inform the development of new resources, the direction of the project, and the organisation’s activities more broadly.
Prior to joining Fast Forward, Christina has a background in health inequalities and qualitative health research, and communicating complex information with a range of audiences. She has worked on projects in academia, public health organisations, and the private sector - most recently, she was Programme Coordinator for the Just World Institute at Edinburgh University, while completing her PhD in political theory.
Joey joined Granton Youth as a trustee in 2021. After studying English and history in his native Arkansas, he moved to Edinburgh, where he spent five years as a consultant in digital agencies. During this time, he also volunteered with various youth organisations, including work at Craigroyston High and at several secondary schools in West Lothian.
He now works on the digital experience team at Renfrewshire Council and is the volunteer coordinator at WEAll Scotland. In his spare time, you can usually find Joey playing piano, reading Ursula K. Le Guin, or spending time with his partner and their cat.
Lauren has been working in the area of Granton as a primary school teacher for 8 years. She became aware of the work GY do through various transition projects and partnership between Granton Youth and Granton Primary school. Supporting young people in the local area is something Lauren is very passionate about and she feels thrilled to be part of an organisation that provides such a wide range of opportunities and support.
David has lived in north Edinburgh for 22 years. He’s worked in both the private and public sectors, latterly as a Learning and Development Consultant within the Scottish Government. In April 2021, he set up his own consultancy business. He is an enthusiastic runner with trail ultra running being his latest challenge.
David have been active in a number of voluntary roles in north Edinburgh over the years, such as a football coach with Spartans Under 16, leading a walk-run club in collaboration with Pilton Community Health Project, and a short spell as Secretary of the local community council before joining the board of GY six years ago. He has been elected Chair of the board of trustees for last five. David believes in the work that the staff and volunteers who make up GY do every day, knowing that it makes a difference. They take positive actions to promote the interests of people in this area. That is the reason he was delighted to join team Granton Youth as a trustee volunteer.
David has sat on the board of Granton Youth since 2016. David grew up in East Lothian before moving to Edinburgh to study Law. Since 2016 David has been working as the Parish Assistant at Granton Parish Church, an active congregation at the centre of the community. There he is involved in work with children, pastoral care, and outreach to the local community. Outside of work David has been interested in history ever since he was a child dragging his parent around castles, and more recently has been trying, with mixed success, to become a better cook.
Charlotte applied to be a trustee for Granton Youth because she felt that the role would give her an excellent opportunity to put into practice a number of the skills that she has gained throughout her varied career. Her first professional role was for the Isle of Wight Council as a Monitoring Assistant, in the Transport Policy Team. She was later a Transport Planner at Hampshire County Council. Whilst studying law at Portsmouth University, she worked part time as a Clerk to Governors and following her graduation worked at Clarke Willmott Solicitors, within the Social Housing Team. Since moving to Edinburg in August 2020, Charlotte very much welcomes the prospect of supporting an organisation that seeks to improve the lives of young people in her own community.
Mary has worked in the voluntary sector in North Edinburgh for nearly 30 years. First at the community newspaper, where she went on to become Editor, where she learned a great deal about local people, the area and its organisations, which has been beneficial in her role as manager at GY. She began her career at GY as a volunteer, then qualified as a counsellor and was keen to use her skills to support local young people. When the newspaper closed in 2011, she was employed by Edinburgh College to teach journalism students and given additional hours at GY in a youth work capacity. In 2014, she completed her BA in Youth Work at Napier University, whilst working full-time at GY and planning her wedding – enhancing her skills as a multi-tasker!
Much of Mary’s work now, as manager, is about securing funding, refining our strategy and sustaining and developing the work we do, and supporting our enthusiastic and skilled team of youth work practitioners. Mary still makes time to deliver face-to-face work in the form of counselling and the occasional streetwork (detached youth work) shift. This allows her to have important contact with GY service users which, in turn, informs her understanding of the real needs of local people and supports her practice and direction as a manager and for the organisation as a whole.
Bios coming soon for Sinead O’Donnell and Mizu Rahman.