All Trustees volunteer their time to work with us, and offer a wealth of experience, as well as continued support and commitment. Our present Board consists of the following individuals:
Gillian is the founder of BackStrong Trust, where she experienced first-hand the significant lack of help and support for those managing spinal injuries and conditions but who can walk. Gillian broke her back in a horse-riding accident in 2008, and has overcome short-term paralysis and numerous surgeries. Gillian is passionate about enabling better support and understanding of such invisible disabilities, while also inspiring others to achieve personal goals. In 2016, Gillian climbed Kilimanjaro, raising funds for BackStrong Trust.
Malcolm is the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian, appointed in July 2015 following his appointment as interim Chief Executive in December 2014. Prior to this, Malcolm was Chief Executive of NHS Education for Scotland, a post he held for 11 years. Malcolm has spent his career in the National Health Service and was awarded an OBE in the 2008 New Year’s Honours List for services to the health service in Scotland. Malcolm has a passion for educating and empowering people to live life to the full.
Colleen is a personal trainer and nutritionist with over 18 years’ experience. She has run her own business for the past 10 years and has worked with a large number of clients, some involving rehabilitation programmes as well as preparing clients for surgery, and now also works with cancer patients. Colleen has an incredible amount of passion for exercise and fitness and takes great satisfaction by helping others achieve their goals.
Ian has spent 25 years in managerial roles and has owned several award-winning businesses in Aberdeenshire. He has always maintained a "there's no such thing as can't" attitude to life, and has continuously demonstrated this in both his work and personal life. Ian has spent years fundraising for charities, particularly through running events. He strongly believes in working towards goals, adapting to limitations, and focusing on improving health & wellbeing - all core beliefs at BackStrong Trust.
Niall is a Consultant Orthopaedic Spinal Surgeon at NHS Grampian and has worked there since 2004. Prior to this he undertook fellowship training in Stoke-on-Trent and Oswestry. His practice involves treating many spinal conditions including trauma and he was Gillian's treating surgeon from 2009 until 2014. Niall has an interest in improving spinal care and has been keen to help support Backstrong fill the gap in provision of advice and rehabilitation for people with spinal injuries who are still able to walk.