I am a Green activist, writer and artist. Originally from South Lanarkshire and the Borders, I now live in Dunbar with my partner Nat and *a lot* of books. I’m the Green candidate for Dunbar & East Linton ward and I headed the Scottish Green Party list for the South of Scotland region for the Holyrood election in May 2016.
When I was wee
Born in Lanark, I grew up between Biggar in South Lanarkshire and Peebles in the Scottish Borders and moved to Edinburgh to work and study when I was 16. I studied Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art and went on to serve two terms as President of the Students Union before doing another degree in economics, social policy and political philosophy.
I’ve worked in the voluntary sector for the last eleven years, most recently at Citizens Advice Scotland where I managed a wee team of fantastic policy and research folks working on issues like fuel poverty. Nowadays I’m self-employed, running a consultancy business working on policy and communications around climate change. Clients include WWF Scotland, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland and the Scottish Communities Climate Action Network. I also work for a student-led cooperative in Edinburgh and I’m involved in various voluntary things at a local and national level.
All things Green
I joined the Scottish Green Party just five years ago but have been active since day one. I was co-opted onto the Policy Committee in 2012, became Campaigns Officer for the Edinburgh branch in 2013 and then Female co-convener of Edinburgh branch in 2014. I also served on Elections and Campaigns Committee from 2013 to 2016 and was co-convener of the committee during our biggest Holyrood campaign ever.
I got selected to lead our list for the South of Scotland region in Spring 2015 and I’ve been privileged to get to work with some really phenomenal activists across this vast region ever since.
During the referendum I ran events and spoke on panels at numerous events across Scotland including in Hawick, Melrose, Biggar, Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh. I turned a Police Box on Edinburgh’s Leith Walk into a Green Yes campaign hub which drew international media attention and provided a space for local people to ask questions and debate the issues around the referendum.
One of the fastest learning curves I had during the referendum campaign was when I spent an amazing few weeks working on Referendum TV. Alongside Iain MacWhirter, Lesley Riddoch, Stephen Paton and Pat Kane, I presented the show and ran the social media side of things.
After the vote, I worked with other local people to open Scotland’s first Common Weal cafe on Edinburgh’s Leith Walk. There we held political discussions, poetry nights, book groups, craft workshops and music nights. Good folk from Lesley Riddoch to Elaine C Smith and from Andy Wightman to Robin McAlpine have graced our doors. Since moving to Dunbar, some great folk in Leith have taken over the running of CWENL and I’ve moved slightly sideways to join the Board of Common Weal nationally.
In May 2015 I started presenting Two Minute Manifesto with playwright and all round good guy David Greig. With the driving force of Chris Silver of Scotland Yet fame, we run a monthly discussion show where we invite guests, musicians, pundits and poets to share their wisdom. It goes out as a podcast here and you can catch us on tour over the coming months around Scotland.
In all that free time I have…
When I’m not doing all of the things above, I try and spend as much time as I can with my partner Nat and my brilliant friends and family. Nat’s a primary school teacher, poet, writer, blogger and a gazillion other things to boot. When we get a chance we love to go exploring new bits of Scotland with a tent and sleeping bag on our backs.
I love a good night in with the girls, putting the world to rights and wondering where our 20s went.