Craig Tyrie, Digital & Communities Lead
Craig writes the majority of content for the Digital Sentinel, the local news website for Wester Hailes, keeping up to date with community news and finding out what’s on in the local area. He runs weekly IT drop-ins, here at WHALE or at Clovenstone Community Centre. He is always on the lookout for local people who are interested in becoming volunteer community reporters and writing their own stories and content for the website.
Dawn Borthwick, Support Worker & Cleaner
Dawn supports a variety of our adult and young people’s groups. She also makes sure the building is clean and tidy.
Fabien Merville, Front of House Administrator
Fabien is the first point of contact for visitors and tenants, on the phone or in person. You can contact him if you need to book a room or have an enquiry about WHALE Arts activities. He supports with the distribution of marketing and social media materials additionally.
Gemma Smith, Community Wealth Building Project Lead
Gemma works with Go Beyond and other networks across South West Edinburgh. Community Wealth Building (CWB) means working with communities to find out what they WANT and NEED for their areas, spaces and places, benefiting them financially and collaboratively. Gemma is based between WHALE Arts Centre (Wester Hailes), Big Hearts Foundation (Gorgie) and SPACE (Broomhouse) and she will be working in and around Wester Hailes, Dalry, Gorgie, Oxgangs, Sighthill, Broomhouse & Pentlands. Gemma’s main aim is to work in a way that’s accessible and inclusive and she warmly welcomes any suggestions, ideas & input from our local community.
Kate Griffin, Creative Programme Manager
Kate manages WHALE Arts’ programme of arts activities for families, children and young people, including creative and strategic development, programming and working with partner organisations and artists to create exciting and engaging arts projects. She is responsible for the following groups: Creative Adventures, LYT: Discover, and Eco smARTies, as well as the holiday programme and WHALE’s exhibition programme.
Kirsty Frankland, Art & Wellbeing Manager
Kirsty runs our Arts and Wellbeing programme including WHALE Arts core Adults groups including: SmartCraft; Let’s Create; Stitch N Time; Men’s Makers; Let’s Dance and more. She manages a team of freelance artists who facilitate these groups and works with partner organisations to deliver a wider range of creative projects at WHALE. Kirsty is also involved with developing progression routes through WHALE Arts with our newest project Grow Your Own Artist.
Laura Delahunt, Enterprise and Facilities Manager
Laura has responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day management of building staff and facilities such as the maintenance and improvement of the building, including the community kitchen and community garden. She also develops and manages activities that are economically sustainable community-led social enterprises, maximising the income generation potential of the organisation through events, long-term and ad-hoc rentals.
Leah Black, Chief Executive
Leah is responsible for WHALE Arts’ strategic and operational development. Broadly she ensures the organisation achieves its objectives by overseeing all aspects of WHALE’s programming, building, staffing and finances. Leah works on fundraising, funding reporting and building networks with funders, HR, organisational policy development, governance, strategic projects, capital development and developing and diversifying income streams through enterprise development. Leah also works on area-wide networks through being co-chair of the SW Voluntary Sector Forum, co-chair of Living Well Wester Hailes, co-founder of Go Beyond and sits on the Community Planning Partnership. Additionally, Leah has a role within multi-agency area-wide regeneration projects such as the Wester Hailes Local Place Plan.
Michael Bowdidge, Community Development Lead & Street Arts Coordinator
Michael is the newly appointed Community Development Lead and he is responsible for managing the Street Arts team, programming exciting and innovative creative activities with partner artists, while engaging with young people as part of our award winning Street Arts project.
Rebecca Livingstone, Community Chef Coordinator
Rebecca is the Community Chef who cooks the Community Meal every Friday. She works with volunteers in the kitchen offering opportunities for them to gain new skills. Rebecca aims to make the Community Meal as sustainable and nutritious as possible by collaborating with the Community Gardener to utilise the garden’s fresh produce.
Rozanna Shah, Community Garden Coordinator
Rozanna is the Community Garden Coordinator and runs fun and educational sessions in the garden for volunteers to learn about growing fruits, vegetables and herbs along with maintaining the garden in order to create a beautiful space for the community to enjoy. Rozanna is passionate about maximising space in the garden for combining food growing with plants for pollinating insects and attracting wildlife into the garden. She plans to run harvest events, wildlife identification and herbal remedy activities along with picking and eating sessions with the volunteers.
Tiki Muir, Community Development Coordinator
Tiki works alongside Michael as the Community Development Coordinator. Together they are responsible for engaging with our brilliant WHALE Arts members, as well as encouraging and supporting new members to join. They are closely involved in larger scale community development projects in the area, and work to build and strengthen relationships with local people and partners.
Verity Combe, Operations & Marketing Coordinator
Verity assists the Enterprise and Facilities Manager with the daily running, marketing and ongoing improvements of the WHALE Arts’ building and enterprise activities. Alongside the Front of House Administrator, Verity liaises with contractors to ensure the upkeep and improvement of the building where required and carries out daily and weekly facilities procedures in line with health and safety requirements.