Meet the Edinburgh Trust Committee


Helen Chambers – Trustee, Chair of Edinburgh Trust Committee 

Helen believes in challenging established thinking and has been instrumental in designing and delivering many ground breaking innovative and collaborative approaches within government and the voluntary sector tackling a wide range of social issues. Both within her work in Scottish Government as Head of Child Poverty, and a founder of Inspiring Scotland, she has overseen the investment of over £200m into responses to alleviate Scotland’s ‘wicked’ issues.  

Her history is that of a serial social entrepreneur founding a number of organisations from the award winning Equality Network through to most recently, Inspiring Scotland; a funder and capacity builder of the voluntary sector in Scotland. 

She has been a member of a number of academic groups on equality, social impact, research and evaluation including representing the UK in the European Union’s Social Impact Study Group and the School of Management Advisory Council for the University of St. Andrews.She was also a Steering Group member for  Collective Leadership Scotland. Helen has held a number of Fellowships, including founding Fellow of Pioneers for Change, a Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, and is a Fellow of the RSA. 

Carrie Stokes – Chair of the Board of Trustees 

Carrie is an independent strategic brand consultant and executive facilitator with 30 years’ experience influencing and advising boards and executive teams in the private and non-for-profit sectors for clients that have included The John Lewis Partnership, London 2012 Olympics, London Business School, Leap Confronting Conflict and Radar (now Disability Rights).  

She is passionate about addressing foundational issues that impact people’s potential to grow, broaden their horizons and succeed, and has balanced being a Director of a WPP owned agency and then her own business, with working pro bono for charities that focus on food security, financial insecurity, disability rights, adult literacy and youth issues.  

Mary Craig OBE - Independent Committee Member 

After 20 years in the voluntary sector, in 2016 Mary retired as Strategic Advisor for Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland having held the post of its Chief Executive since 2009. Previously she was a Senior Manager for Lloyds TSB Scotland and a member of the Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland who awarded her a Fellowship in 1997.  

Mary is a past Convenor of Evaluation Support Scotland and a past Convenor of the Scotland Funders Forum. She is also a past Governor of Glasgow Caledonian University. She was awarded an OBE in 2010 for services to the Voluntary Sector. 

Cllr Cammy Day - Ex Officio Committee Member 

Cammy Day is councillor for Forth Ward in the north of the city and leader of the Edinburgh Labour Group. He was born and raised in what he describes as “Scotland’s fine capital city” and is a proud Edinburgh citizen. He was a front bench councillor in the last administration which was run by Labour and now he has a prominent role in the present set-up. 

The Rt Hon Robert Aldridge - The Lord Provost – Ex Officio 

Robert Aldridge is elected to the City of Edinburgh Council representing the Drum Brae/Gyle ward. Appointed Lord Provost in 2022, he is Edinburgh’s civic head, promoting Edinburgh at home and abroad. The Lord Provost is also Lord-Lieutenant and greets members of the Royal Family and visiting heads of state.  He represents the Council on numerous bodies and organisations including the Edinburgh International Festival Council, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Dynamic Earth Charitable Trust.

Mark Upward - Independent Committee Member 

Mark currently works as Advice Services Manager for Edinburgh Council, delivering welfare rights and debt advice in order to prevent and alleviate poverty. His advice work began at Shelter in 2003 when his background in homelessness and substance misuse took him to a role providing housing advice across Scotland as part of a campaigning organisation.  

Prior to that he had worked in housing support in Edinburgh following years spent in residential and crisis substance misuse services and at an emergency night shelter in London. 

Sandy MacDonald - Trustee 

Sandy has a professional background in Corporate Affairs, Responsible Business, Sustainability and Marketing. He has focused on working within and across sectors to drive social and environmental change, inclusion and wellbeing. Previously Global Head of Corporate Sustainability at Standard Life Aberdeen plc, Sandy was appointed as Director of Public Policy & Communications at Scottish Financial Enterprise in May 2021.  

Sandy’s strong, active interest in social justice and tackling inequalities is also reflected in his voluntary and non-Executive career. He is a former trustee of charities including Children 1st and Venture Scotland, a former Chair of the Living Wage Scotland leadership group and was an Independent Commissioner on the Edinburgh Poverty Commission. He is a founding trustee of Everyone’s Edinburgh and sits on the Nominations Committee of the National Trust for Scotland.  

Gillian Russell - Trustee 

Gillian is Director of NHS Health Workforce in Scottish Government with responsibility for all national aspects of that workforce. She sits on the senior management Board for the Health and Social Care System. Prior to this Gillian was responsible for making communities safer in Scotland including policy responsibility for the Police and Fire Service in Scotland. She has chaired the Justice Board, worked on a range of social policy response to reduce crime and victimisation and led national security and emergency resilience arrangements. She is a lawyer by background and moved from senior legal roles through social policy and public service reform to her current strategy/ operational delivery role.

Throughout her career Gillian has had a focus on tackling inequality, developing place based approaches and supporting the most vulnerable. She has lived and worked in Edinburgh for most of her life and has been active in her local community particularly when working with others to get her local High School built. Gillian is looking forward to using her skills and experience to support the advisory work of the committee with its focus on addressing poverty in her home city.