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Communities Team

Rachel Searle-Mbullu, Head of Community Investment


Phone: 0141 341 4961Rachel SM

Rachel originally trained as a drama teacher and has extensive experience & skills in teaching, training, facilitation and project management with a diverse range of national and grassroots community organisations in the UK, Kenya, Palestine and South Africa.  She has managed community programmes for Centrepoint, Christian Aid and Save the Children, designing and facilitating action learning processes with young people and working alongside other stakeholders promoting rights based approaches to development. This work laid the basis for her interest in and commitment to community driven development.

Since starting work with the Foundation in April 2008, Rachel has contributed to the development and implementation of the Foundation’s community benefit work, enterprise grant-making and delivery of community engagement programmes. As a member of the Foundation’s Senior Management Team, she leads the work of the Communities team,  leading on services for clients with a place based focus, ensuring that programmes are efficient, effective and innovative. This includes our work to support the delivery of community funds for over 25% of Scotland’s commercial wind farms and the establishment of Resilient Scotland’s JESSICA Fund, supporting social enterprises delivering community regeneration outcomes.

Tom Black, Community Engagement Manager: North & Central ScotlandTom

Phone: 0131 524 0331

Tom joined the Foundation in January 2013. He contributes to the design and delivery of funding programmes and support for a diverse range of communities, working with donor organisations and the communities they seek to invest in as well as local, regional and national stakeholders. Tom oversees a range of consultation, facilitation, strategy development and grant making activity.

Tom started his career in the environmental sector, followed by employment at the Big Lottery Fund and later at trade body for community enterprises Development Trusts Association Scotland. He has also spent time working for a number of small not-for-private-profit organisations. Tom has experience in community engagement, organisational development, strategic and business planning, project management, grant making and evaluation. He is passionate about enabling communities to become more sustainable and resilient, working to their own priorities and taking an enterprising approach.

Tom is based in the our Edinburgh office. He is a keen hill-walker and climber, father of two boys and is involved in several voluntary groups in his own community, Portobello, Edinburgh.

Carol Elliot, Community Engagement Executive


Phone: 07500 779 227

Carol Elliot joined the Foundation at the start of 2012 after working for The Highland Council as a Ward Manager and in a tenant participation role supporting many tenant and residents groups across the Highlands. Carol has an honours degree in Psychology and an HNC in Business Studies.
Carol has been a volunteer for Girlguiding for over 25 years and also edits and produces her community’s regular newsletter.

Carol was brought up in Caithness and has lived in Sutherland and Ross-shire, and having also worked in most corners of the Highland Council area understands the challenges of rural communities.
Carol is married and has one son and loves to travel across the pond whenever she gets the opportunity.

Iain Catto, Community Engagement Executive

Email: Catto3
Phone: 0791 2759525

Iain joined the Foundation in April 2015 and works full time covering Moray, Aberdeenshire and Angus from his base in Elgin. Until March of 2016 he was part-time with the Foundation and spent the rest of his working week working for the Moray LEADER Programme, an EU funded rural development grants programme as its Programme Co-ordinator.  Iain has an honours degree in law, and spent much of his working life operating in Edinburgh. He has been a volunteer for various voluntary organisations over the years, including ones operating with the elderly, young people, and in the field of education.

Iain was brought up in rural areas of Perthshire and Ross-shire, and therefore understands some of the challenges facing rural communities. Iain in his spare time is a follower of Ross County, Leeds United and professional cycling, and is an active member of his local community council, where his particular focus is on transportation, planning, and licensing.


Eilidh Gunn, Community Engagement Executive

Phone:  01847 500100

Eilidh joined the Foundation at the start of 2015 and works primarily on delivering and supporting the Spirit of 2012’s Fourteen programme in Caithness; as well as contributing to the wider work of the Community Investment Team, particularly around the community funding around windfarms. Eilidh has held a number of positions in Caithness including working as a Business Development Manager for the local Chamber of Commerce, on the Inward Investment Team at Highlands and Islands Enterprise and in the Housing office. Eilidh took part in a year-long programme with the Social Enterprise Academy where she became enthused with the activities of social enterprises and charities.

Eilidh lives with her family in a small coastal village well suited to her spare time activities of horse riding, a little bit of running and multiple dog walking as she tends to acquire the occasional stray dog.

 Eilidh has an honors degree in Technology and is currently contemplating further study.

Rosalind Becroft, Programme Administrator 


Phone: 0131 524 0300  

Rosalind joined the Foundation in July 2013 after four years as a marketing assistant for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

She is an avid reader and traveller who in her spare time enjoys various creative pursuits, the occasional bit of baking, and spending time with her cat.

Rosalind moved to Scotland from the United States in 2008.


Cara Gillespie, Community Engagement Manager:South Scotland

Cara _G

Phone: 01557 814927

Cara joined the Foundation in July 2013 and works across South Scotland. Based in Dumfries and Galloway, Cara came to us from the local Social Enterprise Network, where she provided business support to social enterprises.

Prior to that, Cara’s diverse work history includes freelance capacity-building contracts with social enterprises such as the Food Train, The Melting Pot and Edinburgh Community Food Initiative; four years in a strategic role in the Scottish Parliament and, prior to that, a support and development role with Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre. Cara has an honours degree in Politics and a postgraduate certificate in Management for non-profit organisations.

When she’s not working for the Foundation, Cara is a keen Permaculture gardener, growing fruit and vegetables for family and friends. 

 Katie Nairn, Community Engagement Executive, Annandale & Nithsdale

Email: Katie Nairn
Tel: 01557 814927

Katie joined Foundation Scotland in August 2015 and is based near Lockerbie, in Dumfries & Galloway, working across Annandale, Nithsdale and the Western Borders. Katie’s career started off in recruitment, including running her own agency before taking time out to have a family. More recently Katie has a background in community engagement and fundraising for local community projects and project development with a rural community development trust. Before joining the Foundation, she worked for the University of Glasgow where she provided support to two local grant funded research centres.

Katie also volunteers with various local groups, enjoys horse riding, running, reading and baking in her spare time but most of all spending family time with her husband and three children

Laura Moodie, Programme Administrator, South ScotlandLaura Moodie

Phone: 01557 814927

Before joining Foundation Scotland in April 2015, Laura was a freelance writer juggling part-time work with three small children and renovating a rundown house, one acre garden and five-acre field in bonnie Galloway. In a previous life she worked as a television subtitler in Glasgow and received an MA in history from the University of Edinburgh.

Originally from Yorkshire, Laura has spent most of her adult life in Scotland and has been keeping herself occupied as a community activist and organiser. In Glasgow she chaired two community and heritage organisations (the Strathbungo Society and Glasgow Civic Forum). Since moving to Galloway she has become secretary of her community council and is a host for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF). She now works as a job-share programme administrator with Karen Slattery in the South of Scotland office in Gatehouse of Fleet. 

Karen Slattery, Programme Administrator, South Scotland

Email:  Karen Moodie
Phone: 01557 814927

Karen joined Foundation Scotland in April 2015 as a part-time administrator for South Scotland and works, in a job-share role with Laura Moodie, in the office in Gatehouse of Fleet. When not working for the Foundation Karen runs an outdoor after school club for primary aged children and is co-ordinator of a woodland based toddler group. She gets regular work in the local school and is currently designing and building a Peace Garden with the children and volunteers at their gardening club.

Karen has an honours degree in Sociology and Anthropology from University of Glasgow and a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Management (The Open University). She has a long history of volunteering and employment within the charity sector, including work with Concern Worldwide and the British Red Cross. Over the past 5 years she has been actively involved in the local Forest School movement and has nearly completed her training as a Forest School Leader.

When not working or volunteering Karen is kept busy with four young children, playing, camping, learning and generally, having fun.


Kim Soliman, Community Engagement Executive; Spirit 2014

Phone: 0141 341 4968

Kim joined the Foundation at the start of 2015 and works primarily on delivering and supporting the Spirit of 2012’s Fourteen programme in Glasgow and Edinburgh; alongside contributing to the wider work of the Community Investment Team. Kim came to us from Inspiring Scotland and SAMH, where she had led on establishing, delivering and managing an assets based community Project in Dundee working directly alongside local people and community groups. 

Kim began her career working with young people which involved developing and facilitating personal development and training programmes, designing and delivering residentials and managing community projects both within the UK and overseas with Raleigh International. She has wide and varied experience in facilitation working previously with Columba 1400s Leadership Academy in Staffin, Isle of Skye and also on a consultancy basis with Diabetes UK Scotland to build capacity and bring about social action. Throughout her career Kim has been inspired by the ideas, creativity and enthusiasm of the individuals and groups she has worked with. Kim has an honours degree in English Literature and Sociology and a postgraduate diploma in Community Education. 

Kim is passionate about the outdoors and enjoys being active striving to escape to the hills and countryside when she can. She’s also been known to take on the challenge of a run or two! She enjoys relaxing whilst exploring new places around the world – when she’s lucky enough to do so!


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