LINKnet Mentoring - Minority Ethnic Mentoring Service, Edinburgh

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Board Profiles

Office Bearers

Denboba K. Natie (Chair)
Denboba is a Senior Public Health Practitioner with an extensive Public and Clinical Nursing background.

He has attained MSc in International Health (UK) and Diploma in Management from Chartered management institute (UK).

He has experience in working with International originations such as WHO/UNICEF at strategic levels when he coordinated the activities of nationally funded projects for lengthy periods. He has also worked for a health and social services affiliated voluntary organization in Edinburgh since 2004.

He held the post of President of the National Health Professionals' Association when he was in one of the east African countries and was one of the key players in the said country in developing national policies in the areas of women and children and mental health issues. Denboba has also worked in the capacity of the managing director in a private sector organisation and also in an NGO.

He has been involved in the capacity of a board member of various ethnic minority voluntary organizations in Scotland including Africa Centre Scotland, Ethiopian Community Scotland of which he is a founder. He has also been involved in various advocacy groups including the Edinburgh Race Equality Forum, Connections for Development, International Inter-religious group for World Peace, Ethiopian human rights groups and the Pressure group for Global Justice. Denboba Natie can work both at strategic as well as operational levels with utmost proficiency.

Ordinary Members

Melanie Vowels
Melanie Vowles has worked continuously within local government for 27 years. She commenced employment in the Planning department as a filing clerk in 1983 and has risen through the ranks to reach the post of Team leader in the Planning Archives section with additional responsibility for committee work preparation and Freedom of Information requests.

She also received a customer care award for her work at the public counter of the Planning office. She is an associate member of the Institute of Administrative Management (an organisation that has direct links with students studying a variety of management courses both here and aboard) where she gained an international diploma and certificate in administrative management. She is also the acting treasurer of the local branch based in Edinburgh.

She is also a member of the charitable trust which owns and maintains a 17th century style public garden in East Lothian.

Harpajin John Singh

John started work in the local shipyard as an apprentice Marine Engineer for 5years, after completing his apprenticeship he worked in the merchant navy, offshore and power generation industries for a period of 20 years.

The last 10 years he has been working for a black minority ethnic organisation called Skillnet Edinburgh, providing career guidance, employability training and volunteering opportunities.

Within the organization, a project called Mind 2 Work which I was in charge of. This project worked with people from the BME communities who were experiencing mental ill health issues/problems in accessing employment, training and education.

The project would provide 1:1support, employability training, IT, English and outdoor activities.

Sarath Pathirana

Sarath had worked from 1975 to 1988 as a forest ranger. Having qualifies with Forest Ranger's Course 1n 1990 Sarath was promoted to the post of forest conservation officer with the forestry institute of Sri Lanka. He resigned the post in 2004 to go to the UK for studies.

In the UK he qualifies as a bachelor of nursing from Glasgow Caledonian University. Currently he is working at Southern General Hospital, Glasgow.

Ewen Logan

Ewen works as a Social Worker in the area of Child Protection for a Local Authority. He has been working as a Social Worker for 20 years since graduating from Moray House in 1992.

"I have always been passionate about supporting, advocating for and empowering other people particularly people affected by poverty, loss, discrimination and harm through partnership, planning, public access and support, creativity and accountability. I have supported development projects in the past where I have experienced them supporting others (I have worked with) with a clear agenda, resources and a direct impact on their lives. This is why I have joined LINKnet as I respect the mentoring philosophy and I have contributed to its work by undertaking a mentoring role when the project linked to the Local Authority I was working for at the time. I wish to support the continued work of LINKnet building on its successful past and I believe my experience of working in the public sector will help target ongoing areas of development.

Beyond work, I sustain an interest in art and literature. I also enjoy gardening particularly growing fruit and vegetables to add to the kitchen larder. My family and I enjoy attending music festival particularly the smaller festivals the support emerging musicians. Rest and relaxation also comes through seeing friends as I enjoying catching up with them and listen and share on what is happening in each others' lives."

Miriam C N Zziwa

Currently she works as a supply teacher for the City of Edinburgh Council Schools and Mannafields Christian School.

She has 14 years secondary school teaching experience, 2 in Uganda and 12 in Scotland (both in the state and private sectors). She has taught in East Lothian and Midlothian Council Schools and also in primary and special schools.

She is a Plant Pathologist and have research experience in plant breeding (done at Kawanda Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) in Uganda) and in plant pathology (done at the Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh (SAC)). She has supervised Students' projects at Edinburgh University in the past. She tutors Biology students of all levels privately and also teaches English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) as a volunteer with the East Lothian Council.

She has been appointed an Adjudicating Panel member with the General Teaching Council for Scotland and she is the South and East Scotland Lupus UK contact.

"My main interest in life is education for all; so together with some of my friends in the UK we have educated many members of my family and some non-relatives in Uganda".

Steve Robb

Steve Robb has extensive project management experience in the Arts and Heritage fields. After completion of postgraduate Museum and Gallery Studies at the University of St Andrews, he worked for almost two decades as curator and archivist for the Demarco European Art Foundation, an Edinburgh-based cultural and educational charity, and as an independent researcher and writer. He has initiated and managed archival and curatorial projects in association with the City of Edinburgh Council, the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee, and the National Galleries of Scotland. In 2009, with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, he began working on the extensive archives of the Edinburgh University Settlement (founded 1905), and he has been instrumental in the recent establishment and development of Settlement Projects Ltd, a local social enterprise initiative of the International Federation of Settlements and Neighbourhood Centres - Europe (IFS-Europe).

Naomi Brunton

Having attained BA (Hon) (2:1) in business studies from the University of Edinburgh Naomi now works for Scottish Water as People & Organisational Development consultant. She also has work experience in the capacity of a Development Consultant with Lloyds Banking group and as a Recruitment Consultant for Adecco, Edinburgh.

Joan Higginson

Joan is self employed and works part-time as a youth worker. Joan has sat on various Boards and Committees over the last 15 years. Those have included the Community Woodland Association and Fifeshed Inclusive Theatre Company. Her roles have included Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Joan studied at Queen Margaret University as a mature student and gained a HNC in Environmental Justice.

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