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Meet The Team

The people that make it happen

CHILDREN'S UNIVERSITY SCOTLAND

Meet the Team

Neil Mathers CEO

Neil Mathers

CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Neil joined us as Chief Executive in September 2017. He has worked with children's charities for over 25 years and has led efforts at local and national level to tackle the impact of poverty and inequality on children's lives.

Neil initially trained in community education, and went on to gain post-graduate qualifications in counselling approaches and social services leadership. Neil worked as a practitioner with Barnardo's Scotland and a variety of community-based organisations, before moving into leadership roles with Wester Hailes Youth Agency and Children 1st. He was a volunteer with Voluntary Service Overseas in Tanzania working to improve access to education and health care for orphaned and vulnerable children. Neil went on to co-found Children of Songea Trust, a charity that has educated and cared for hundreds of children in Tanzania.

Prior to his current role, Neil was Save the Children’s Head of Scotland, focussing on the delivery of programmes and campaigns that tackle child poverty and its impact on children’s learning and development. Neil was also instrumental in leading Save the Children's work to better support child refugees and helped to strengthen Scotland’s role in responding to humanitarian emergencies through his work with the Disaster Emergencies Committee.

Neil has served on the boards of several voluntary organisations, and is currently board director of One Parent Families Scotland and chairperson of Children of Songea Trust.

As CEO for Children's University Scotland, Neil leads the charity’s work to raise aspirations, boost achievement and tackle disadvantage to ensure that every child has the best chance of reaching their full potential. 

Renee Nelms

Renee Nelms

DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Renee started at Children’s University Scotland in December 2016. Originally from the United States, Renee and her husband and sons moved to Scotland in 2013. Renee’s career as a non-profit development and communications professional spans 20 years and includes roles at American Red Cross, American Diabetes Association, Special Olympics Texas, and several years as development director in the private school sector. In 2015, she joined the development team at V&A Museum of Design Dundee, where she worked for 18 months pursuing support from Scottish trusts for the museum’s education and outreach programmes. As Director of Development and Communications, Renee’s duties include securing support for Children’s University Scotland from trusts and corporations, and raising the profile of the organisation and its offerings across Scotland.

Roseanne Smith

PROJECT AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Roseanne joined Children’s University Scotland as Project and Development Manager in September 2015. A graduate from the University of Edinburgh in Environmental Geoscience, Roseanne has worked as a science festival co-ordinator, science outreach assistant and science communicator for the Edinburgh International Science Festival’s Generation Science programme, so has first-hand experience of creating and delivering interactive, engaging workshops to children from 4 to 18. Roseanne has a variety of roles within the charity, from implementing our communications strategy and developing our online presence, to identifying and validating new national and local learning destinations and providing support to new local centres to help them get up and running.

Christine Norval

BUSINESS AND LEARNING SUPPORT OFFICER

Christine joined the team in November 2016 as a Business & Learning Support Officer. After studying Psychology at The University of Dundee, she graduated in 2015.  After developing her experience in various part time and voluntary roles, Christine worked full time as an operations administrator within financial services after graduating. In her previous roles, she has developed experience of using office systems, supporting digital projects and providing financial administration and customer support. Christine’s role within Children's University Scotland varies, and includes office and financial administration for the central team, supporting organisational development projects, updating the organisation's website and social media channels and providing hands on support to local centres.

 

We're only a small part of the story...

The Children's University Scotland team work with a wide range of partner organisations, including local authorities, universities and colleges, schools and learning venues. These organisations make up our local CU centres.

The managers of each local centre, the teachers and co-ordinators in each school, the activity providers in each local learning destination - these are the people that make Children's University work for children in Scotland. We are enormously grateful for their support and dedication.

To find out more about our local centres and the people behind them, visit the Our Centres page below.

Our Centres