Board

Helen Keron
Chair
Helen has worked on community and third sector projects in the region since 2009. Her work chairing and then project managing New Galloway Community Shop and other projects has given her experience of community ownership, social enterprise, and community engagement. Helen is currently the Education and Community Engagement Officer for the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme and has volunteer roles with Glenkens Community and Arts Trust and New Galloway Community Enterprises.
John Dougan
Vice-Chair
John is a native of Stranraer but now lives in Dumfries with his family. He has worked both in the third and public sector and previously managed a drug rehab centre near Kirkcudbright. He has also worked for Alex Fergusson MSP, and as a councillor with Dumfries and Galloway Council. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Relationships Scotland Dumfries and Galloway, a charity offering family support, counselling, mediation, and child contact services, along with counselling for carers.
Alex Dickson
Treasurer
A retired police officer, Alex Dickson joined the Board of Trustees in March 2019 and has since been appointed Treasurer. He became Project Manager of Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project in 2015 and is passionate about the positive impact the volunteer befrienders have on their young person’s life and well-being. Session Clerk at his church he enjoys curling and is a qualified coach. Alex recently took up cycling and can be seen on local roads trying not to get in the way of motorists.
Christine Leadbeater
Christine joined the board in 2019 and has worked and volunteered with local and national organisations that provide support to those working with children and families. She chaired the Board of Smart Play and regional networks and forums that support service provision in childcare and family services. Christine currently works for Dumfries Toy Library and coordinates services delivered from the Family Centre Lochside and Early Learning and Childcare services provided at Playworks nursery.
Kim Dams
Kim is a new Scot living in rural Galloway. She is a board member of Scottish Rural Action, chairing the risk committee; and a director of DG Voice, a charity that gives disabled people across Dumfries and Galloway a voice and is on the board of Inclusion Scotland. Kim has a professional background in finance, risk, strategy, change management and compliance and has a passion for equality and human rights. She is engaged in her local community, keen to address rural issues, inequality and poverty.
Wendi Cuffe
Wendi lives in Ardwell and has worked with the Stranraer community for the past 25 years. She is a former employee of Dumfries and Galloway Council with Economic Development Services, managing community and capital projects to support the regeneration of Stranraer and Loch Ryan. Previously, Wendi was a community development practitioner with NHS and voluntary sector organisations. Since retiring in 2016, she has worked as an independent consultant with third sector organisations.
Kalpana Ratnam-Roarty
Kalpana is the chief officer at User and Carer Involvement, who work hard to make sure that people with additional support needs and their Carers have the right to live the life they choose. Kalpana moved back to Dumfries after a period teaching in Glasgow in additional support for learning where she specialised in communication and working with children who had profound and multiple disabilities. She is passionate about communication and human rights and enjoys reading, art and crafting.
Jo Cochrane
Jo has lived and worked in Dumfries and Galloway for over 30 years. Although Dumfries is now her base, her heart remains in the west of the region. Recently retired from her role as a strategic planning manager for children’s services with the Council, she is keen to use her knowledge and experience on the Board to further support better partnership working for the Third Sector. On a personal basis, she is a keen advocate of disability rights and ensuring families get the right support.
Phil Stewart
Phil Stewart lives in Dumfries with his wife, Tracey. He is the Chief Executive Officer for Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service having previously been a Police Officer for 30 years and Work Experience Co-ordinator at Dumfries and Galloway Council. He is keen to develop partnership working to ensure that all those in need throughout the region get the help support and assistance they need to live without fear of poverty. He enjoys watching rugby, playing golf, and walking his dog.
Jason Railton
Jason was born and raised in Dumfries and Galloway, and worked as a Project Manager with Langholm Initiative for five years with a key focus on employability, rural poverty and digital inclusion. He has significant experience in fundraising, stakeholder engagement, partnership management and community development. He is currently Chair of OutPost Arts in Langholm, as well as a Trustee of Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project. He now works as a Digital Inclusion Development Officer with SCVO.