Dr Kirsty A Darwent
Kirsty has many years of experience of working at executive and non-executive board director level in the public and third sectors. Kirsty is currently the Chair of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. A qualified psychologist and psychotherapist, Kirsty co-founded the Family Therapy Training Network and was previously the Course Director for Systemic Family Psychotherapy at the Scottish Institute of Human Relations.
Jim has a wide range of experience of working within the Scottish Government and with local government. Posts include early years planning and funding, children’s services planning, management of major Scottish Government funds for local government and the third sector, and drugs policy (focus on treatment and rehabilitation). Jim was also seconded to COSLA for 2 years. Through these posts, Jim has worked with a wide range of partners, including local government, the NHS, Social Work, the private and third sectors and service users. Jim is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Scottish Drugs Forum, which informs and influences national policy and practice, drug trends etc, with a particular focus on meeting the multiple and complex needs of people with drug problems. Jim has also undertaken consultancy work for Children in Scotland for external clients covering child protection, health and social care, locality-based integrated services for children and young people, and the potential role of social enterprises in childcare.
Mark sits on the Board as an adviser representing the interests of the local family mediation services. In his main role Mark is the manager of Relationships Scotland Family Mediation South Lanarkshire as well as being a registered family mediator and facilitator of the Parenting Apart programme. Prior to joining Relationships Scotland Mark was a solicitor in private practice for 12 years. In his spare time he volunteers with a local Greyhound Rescue, enjoys archery and watching bad horror movies.
Mieke van der Zijpp
John has considerable experience across a wide range of political, government, public and voluntary sectors. He also has significant expertise in operating within both Westminster and Holyrood environments. At present John
serves as an independent prison monitor for Her Majesty's Inspector for Prisons in Scotland. He also works as a volunteer for a homeless project in Edinburgh.
Ian has an enduring interest in counselling, psychotherapy, and other mental health services. He was a consultant psychiatrist and a medical director in the Scottish NHS and also a part time Medical Commissioner with the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland. He was, with others, responsible for the establishment of counselling and mediation services in the Western Isles in the 1980s and was on the board of AVENUE in Aberdeen since 2008 becoming chairman from 2015 to 2021. He has also been involved in the development of community arts organisations and charities in the Western Isles and in the North East of Scotland.
Robin was nominated by Relationships Scotland Tayside and Fife. He has been a family mediator for over 20 years, and is the Chair of our Mediation Practice Committee. Robin continues to be impressed by how relatively brief interventions by family mediators can have a significant and lasting effect on the relationship between separated couples and on the welfare of their children. He was a teacher of mathematics until his retirement some years ago. He is also a keen cyclist and hill walker.
Serena was nominated to the Board through her previous role as Chair Person of Relationships Scotland Orkney. Serena is a Lawyer based in Orkney although her work takes her throughout the north of Scotland. Serena does mostly family law and dispute resolution but as part of a general practice legal firm deals with a wide variety of other work and enjoys the variety. In her spare time she enjoys walking her dog, going to the cinema and socialising.
Iain has over 30 years’ experience as a charity Finance Director, initially at Erskine, the Scottish ex-service charity, and then as General Treasurer of the Church of Scotland from 2005 until 2015. In this latter post, Iain worked with trustees and managers to improve financial management, budgeting and reporting, governance, regulatory compliance, audit and risk management, and pensions. Iain served on the ICAS Charities Committee from its inception until 2015 and is a treasurer of his local church in Glasgow and of Guidelines International Network.
Nicola is a member of the Faculty of Advocates where she specialises in family and child law. Her practice at the Bar has seen her appear at all levels in the Scottish Courts and she has a particular interest in promoting safe contact between separated parents and in obtaining children’s views.
Murdo is the Chair of Relationships Scotland - Family Mediation West of Scotland.
Isobel managed Relationships Scotland Borders for over 26 years, retiring from her post as Chief Executive in December 2021. For many years she was a Registered Mediator and Supervisor. During her time at RSB, Isobel introduced contact and children's services and managed the take-over of the local couple counselling service. She served on the Family Mediation Scotland Board from 1995 until its merger with Relate Scotland.