Meet our team

Our CEO

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Gary Meek

CEO

Gary has significant experience working within the health and social care industry, with a particular focus on recovery driven services. His previous roles have been with national and local charities, local authorities and private business, all of which have been addressing needs to achieve the best outcomes for individuals who use support services. Gary has a wealth of experience in services which deliver support such as; Addictions, Employability, Training and Education, Community development, Tenancy Sustainment, Counselling, Group work and Health care.

Gary’s role is to lead the organisation in accordance with professional ethics, vision and values that are at the centre of GCAs beliefs and support the governance of the organisation in line with charity and company law.

Our Senior Team

Lesley Ross

Head of partnerships / Deputy CEO

Lesley manages a number of projects and services for GCA included Elevate-Glasgow PSP, Recovery Employability Service, Young Persons ADRS Recovery Service, South Lanarkshire Young Person Peer Support Service, Community Justice First as well as the community development links we have with the North West recovery Community.

Lesley develops and maintains relationships with external providers, drives high-quality and high-performing partnerships through effective communication and robust evaluation. She has developed links and established partnership services with over 60 key partners in third, private and public sector and links to over 150 community groups as well as developing Elevate into the largest PSP in Scotland.

Lesley has extensive employability experience with a particular interest in recovery based employability. She has a Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance from Strathclyde University and a Management Degree from St Andrews University as well as being a member of CIPD. She has previously worked in retail management, hospitality management and recruitment.

Peter Russell

Head of Finance

Peter gained most of his Accounting experience working in a major manufacturing company for almost 30 years. Starting as an Accountancy Assistant in 1974 and graduating to become a Finance Manager for the organisation’s Glasgow Factory which had a turnover of some £90m.

In 2003 he took early retirement and since then has worked for a variety of companies and organisations. These have included a catering company, a shipping company , a graphic design company, a healthy living charity and a firm of Chartered Accountants before landing up at the Glasgow Council on Alcohol in October 2015.

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Norma McKinnon

Academic Director

Norma is most interested in projects that build capacity and deliver culturally sensitive psychosocial interventions and working on projects that promote wellbeing and social change.

She is UKCP Registered, Dip Counselling, MSc Psychotherapy, Certified Transactional Analyst

Morag McIntyre

Head of HR and Corporate Services

Morag is an Associate member of the CIPD and has an SCQF Level 10 qualification in Employment Law and Bachelors of Law degree from Strathclyde University. She has over 4 years experience working in HR and Employment Law with several years of management experience. In her role as HR Manager she ensures policies and procedures are legally compliant and in line with best practice as well guiding on all aspects of HR and Employment Law.

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Ali Smith

Head of Client Services

Ali oversees GCA’s integrated counselling service, which helps individuals abstain from or reduce their alcohol consumption, as well as our Wellbeing Services, which includes support for survivors of abuse through Building Positive Pathways (BPP) programmes, GCA and Say Women Partnership, supporting women and the Befriending Service.

Before GCA, Ali worked for a consultancy, supporting Registered Social Landlords on their community development and regeneration plans within urban and rural areas in Scotland to secure funding, develop, implement and project manage environmental, landscape and art projects that aimed to bring about lasting change. More recently, Ali managed a mentoring service across Scotland to support veterans and families in recovery from mental health issues through one to one goals based support.

Ali Graduated in 2004 with a BA (Hons) degree in Community Arts.

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Susan Philp

Head of ITC and Prevention

Susan holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Information Technology and has over 20 years’ experience in IT and data management roles. She is responsible for the data and IT operations within GCA, ensuring that all data processes are compliant with data protection and GDPR legislation. Since working at GCA Susan has gained an interest in service delivery and has been managing the ABI project within GCA for the last 4 years.

Our Management Team

Neil Macaulay

Training Manager

Neil has been with GCA for over 25 years and has provided a high quality training service to thousands of students in that time.  Neil is a qualified practice supervisor and psychotherapist and has been providing supported and therapeutic sessions for a great many individuals.

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Zara Dyer

Elevate Team Leader

Zara Dyer is a professional mental health and employment expert.

The London native has worked for Fortune 500 companies and recruitment agencies across the UK, bringing with her almost a decade of experience. She joined GCA in June 2020 after deciding to move away from the corporate sector and pursue her ambitions of supporting and guiding those in recovery. During her time with GCA, she has helped launch employment partnerships and personal development projects and created learning pathways with local, national and international organisations. Currently, she is the Team Leader for Employability services within GCA, RES, Young Person’s Service and PSP. Alongside guiding clients, managing employability, support workers and advisors and leading on strategy and policy. Zara is also undertaking two courses of study, a Diploma in Counselling and a BSc in Psychology with Counselling. Zara has a passion for helping others and a track record of leading by example.

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Lisa Cheatley

Employability Team Leader

Lisa is an Employability Team Leader currently leading the Recovery Employability Service and the Young Person’s Recovery Service. Lisa has a passion for mental health and well-being, having graduated with a 2:1 degree in Psychology. Developing and leading teams is one of Lisa’s key strengths with 6 years experience in retail management, mentoring and coaching teams of staff and shift managers and also successfully having set up a new store. Lisa came to GCA out of a desire to use her leadership skills in a sector with looks to improve the mental health and well-being of others. Growing up in a deprived area Lisa seen first hand the effects of unemployment so for this reason is delighted to be leading services which helps those with barriers to employment to reach their goals, whether that be further education, training, volunteering or paid employment. Drug and alcohol related issues were also prevalent which meant Lisa seen first hand the effects of this.

Since joining GCA Lisa has helped the services she manages to grow and continue to help others. Lisa has maintained current links with partners as well as seeking out new opportunities such as linking in with HMP Barlinne to begin working with pre release prisoners to support them in their transition back into the community and positive destinations.

Ann McLean

Senior Counsellor

Anne became a volunteer receptionist with GCA in 1993, after COSCA training she started counselling and then was promoted as a sessional counsellor which led to a full time post in 1996 Community Counsellor, she provided a counselling service in the north of Glasgow for 8 years. Working with other agencies is beneficial for people to speedily access training, a variety of opportunities, promoting inclusion and or to develop new lifestyles and avoid relapse. Anne is currently managing a community based counselling service in Yoker and working closely with the N/W Recovery Network and always promoting a positive reputation for GCA

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Leona Irvine

Team Leader - Community Justice

Originally from Northern Ireland Leona studied Psychology at the University of Dundee before doing her Post Grad Diploma in Social Work at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. After working as a Social Worker for the Deaf Community Leona went on to work in mental health for 9 years which also involved some years working at an Alcohol Related Brain Damage Unit. Leona later became an Assistant Service Manager at a Supported Living service.

This was followed by 5 years hearing from those who had spent time in institutional care in Scotland for the Mental Welfare Commission and then time working on a project reviewing mental health homicides.

Knowledge of the justice system was gained during this time which lead to Leona’s interest in her current post as Community Justice Team Leader.

Irene McKenzie

Office Manager

I have worked at GCA for nearly 18 years.  I have worked in various administrative roles including Admin Assistant to the Training Officer, Admin Worker at Community Alcohol Support Service in the East End, Admin Assistant to the Admin Co-ordinator and also p.a. role to the Chief Executive Officer.  I have been the Office Manager now for nearly 12 years.

My responsibility as the Office Manager is to organise and supervise all of the administrative activities to facilitate the smooth running of the office, including carrying out a range of administrative and IT related tasks and line manage the administration assistants and volunteers.

I previously worked in the Human Resources Department of one of the major Banks for 27 years.  The experience in each of the various teams which included Training Dept, Equal Ops, Rem & Ben, Finance, PA to Head of HR provided me with vast amount of knowledge and has assisted in my present post of OM.

Training provided to me as a new manager by GCA:

  • Certificate in Personnel Practice (CIPD)
  • New to Management (GCVS)
  • Supporting and Supervising Staff (GCVS)

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Eve Jones

Community Development Officer

Eve is our Community Development Officer, who works in partnership with North West Recovery Communities.

Eve did her undergraduate degree in Human Geography, and then went onto complete her Masters in Earth Futures: Environments, Communities and Relationships.

Eve started working in the community as a classroom assistant for a number of years, giving 1-1 support to children who faced barriers too inclusion. She then began to volunteer helping to provide essential items to people currently experiencing homelessness in the City Centre of Glasgow.

Eve then began to work with Dynamic Earth, and oversaw a number of different community engagement projects. In particular she helped to establish partnerships with charities who support refugees in Edinburgh.

Eve is just in the beginnings of her career, but is passionate about working collaboratively with the North West Recovery Communities, to co-design empowering and inclusive projects.

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James Fraser

Young Person Peer Education Service

James is the Team Leader for the Young Person Peer Education service across South Lanarkshire.

James has experiencing working with young people in one to one and group settings and most recently worked in mental health distress with all ages. He has worked in youth clubs, employability and outreach working with young people from the age of 7 upwards. James has managed Peer Education services across Glasgow where young people will take the lead and deliver workshops on issue-based topics that are affecting them in their local communities whilst achieving qualifications.

James has a passion for supporting individuals, encouraging them to overcome barriers and independently solve problems.

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Vikki Fleming

Team Leader- Wellbeing Services

I have worked for GCA for 7 years in a variety of roles- ranging from Criminal Justice Group worker, Building Positive Pathways Support Worker/ Counsellor and Volunteer Counsellor to Co facilitating Cosca Counselling and Trauma training.

I have been the Wellbeing Service Team Leader for the past year which has been an exciting new venture. The Wellbeing service incorporates the Building Positive Pathways project which was set up a few years ago to support all survivors of abuse through person centred support and group work; and the recently formed partnership with SayWomen to encourage and empower women who have experienced Gender Based Violence. I have a passion for encouraging and supporting others to gain the confidence and motivation to overcome barriers.

Prior to GCA I was a Lifeskills Tutor for young people in North and East Ayrshire, Adult literacies Tutor in North Ayrshire and an IT lecturer in a North Ayrshire college.

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Marketa Buricova

Befriending Coordinator

Marketa has 7 years’ experience working with diverse groups within varied community settings, including asylum seekers and refugees, individuals to enhance positive mental or physical health, and addictions.

Marketa commenced working with GCA in 2021 to set up and develop our Befriending Service, with a focus on volunteer recruitment, befriender training, client referrals and matching volunteer befrienders with individuals to help enhance their social networks.

Before GCA, Marketa worked as a volunteer co-ordinator for a befriending organization, supporting older people and currently holds a part-time position within a bike charity, co-ordinating a development project for New Scots. She connects with communities to promote cycling, not just as a sustainable means of transport, but also as a powerful way to improve people’s mental health.

Marketa believes that encouraging people to take ownership of their lives and the communities they live in has a tremendous impact on creating healthy relationships, a sense of belonging and self-worth. She is also an advocate of equity and equal access to resources and opportunities.

Marketa graduated in 2018 with a MA degree in Art History from the University of Glasgow and has a Master’s degree in teaching.

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