Sharon Bairden: Services Manager

Sharon has been with Ceartas for over 15 years, starting off as an Advocacy Worker and now in charge of the day-to-day running of the service.

In her spare time Sharon likes to stalk crime authors, and occasionally dress up as a corpse/crime scene.


Alexandra Doherty: Advocacy Worker

Alex Doherty

Alex has been with Ceartas since April 2016, she works across the whole range of advocacy activities, supporting individuals to make choices and have their rights upheld and their preferences respected.

Outside of work, Alex likes to keep fit with yoga and pilates. She is a creature of habit – always having her afternoon snack of grapes, and her three o’clock cup of tea!


Gemma Graham: Senior Advocacy Worker

Gemma Graham - Senior Advocacy Worker

I am the Senior Advocacy Worker and have been with Ceartas since 2008.  On a day to day basis I am an Advocacy worker dealing with various issues for people and my senior role includes supervising and supporting the advocacy workers as well.  I also take part in various other pieces of partnership working with a local GP surgery, care home and the local council.  I very much enjoy the varied activities I take part in and the people I meet.

The people that work in Ceartas make it a very easy place to come every day!  Out of work I enjoy singing in a choir and helping out at my local brownies.


Karen Heath: Dementia Development Worker

Karen Heath

Karen joined Ceartas in March 2011 and has since become the main contact at Ceartas for dementia-related issues. Her job keeps evolving and she enjoys getting to meet some really interesting people. Karen’s main role is to provide people with dementia and their carers with advice and information on dementia and ensure, where possible, that individuals have access to support and services that meet their needs. She is responsible for supporting the four dementia cafes which we run across East Dunbartonshire in Kirkintilloch, Bishopbriggs, Bearsden and Milngavie. She also facilitates the Dementia Voices Group and runs various peer support projects for people with dementia.

When not at work Karen likes listening to music, walking her dog Rory, canoeing, and going to gigs.


Roy Hunter: Information Worker

Roy Hunter (and Milo)

Roy joined Ceartas in April 2012, he works on the OPAL telephone line and deals with information enquiries for Ceartas. Roy does a lot of work around Power of Attorney and Guardianship.

Outside of work, Roy enjoys walking with his two dogs, playing music, and building and restoring old-fashioned valve guitar amplifiers.


Susanne Martin: Advocacy Worker

Susanne Martin

My job is to support people express their views and wishes in a wide range of situations.  I can also help and support people explore their options in relation to their circumstances.


Linda McGavin: Involvement Worker

Linda McGavin sitting at her desk

Linda promotes user involvement across the broad spectrum of Ceartas’ work, supporting service users to become more involved in the direction of the organisation. This involves being active in all the Cafés, groups and outreach work that Ceartas undertake; as well as supporting service users to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence that they need to become active participants in the development of our work.

Outside of work, Linda is very active in her local community – she seems to know everyone in Kirkintilloch! – and she is dedicated to her family, particularly her grandson.


Katherine Moir: Advocacy Worker

Katherine Moir

Katherine has been with Ceartas since 2012 working across the range of advocacy activities. Katherine previously worked with Looked After And Cared For Children and has a keen interest in the Children’s Panel system.

Outside of work Katherine enjoys music and singing, she is a member of a singing group, and enjoys spending time with her family.


Patricia Ovens: Finance and Administration Manager

Patricia Ovens

I am responsible for monitoring all financial transactions, processing payroll, general admin. for the organisation – if it’s not advocacy or information it generally stops at my desk.

When not at work I tend to be “Mum’s taxi”, I like to read and watch football.


Gordon Thomson: Chief Executive

I have worked in social care since 1991 in daycare, residential and homecare but first started working in advocacy in 1999 when I was the sole worker for the Age Concern Scotland Advocacy Project in South Lanarkshire. I moved to Alzheimer Scotland in 2001 and led that project in East Dunbartonshire to independence in 2004 when it became Ceartas where I continue to be employed as Chief Exec.

In addition to working at Ceartas I have also been involved in supporting the development of independent advocacy nationally through being part of the Board of the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance.

In East Dunbartonshire, I have also been an active member of the Third sector and represented the sector in Community Planning and more recently in the Health and Social Care Partnership and Adult Support and ~Protection Committee.

For me being part of Ceartas is being able to play a part in assisting people to have their voice heard and help change happen so that people no matter their circumstances can be treated fairly.


Ronnie Whiteside: Marketing Assistant

Ronnie displaying his football skills

My name is Ronnie Whiteside and I am the Marketing & Fundraising Assistant for both Ceartas and OPAL. When I’m not promoting the services or having a look at funding grants you can usually find me on a culinary adventure through Kirkintilloch, deciding never to bring my own lunch and using this as an excuse to go on said adventure and collect one – rain or shine.

Outside of work you can expect to see me attempting to play football for my local team (currently enjoying free agency), playing the guitar (poorly), or going on an adventure (or two): as of writing this I am merely days away from a leisurely 5 day walk along the West Highland Way. This may be the last you hear from me..