Positive Help is defined by the people involved in it; our service users, our volunteers, our staff and our supporters. This page is designed to give you an insight into our organisation by telling you a bit about some of the many people that work to make Positive Help great.
Bios of the new team members will be added soon!
Manager – Gillian
Administrator – Emma
Fundraiser and Marketing Officer – Hazel
Hazel has joined Positive Help after working and volunteering for many years in Edinburgh’s third sector and statutory services. She enjoys spending time with friends and family and getting out and about when not in the garden.
Adult Services and Volunteer Coordinator – Melody
Befriending Coordinator – Jana
Although originally from the Czech Republic, I’ve been studying, volunteering and working in Scotland for the past two decades. Prior to my involvement with Positive help I was working as a physio and later on as a support worker with vulnerable adults in Edinburgh and Lothian. I enjoy outdoors, salsa and mindfulness.
Study Buddies Coordinator – Bragela
Kate – Befriender
I’m a University student and decided to volunteer with Positive Help as I thought it sounded like a great excuse to watch Disney films and go on the swings! I’m a Befriender and am paired with a fantastic young adult, who is great fun as well as incredibly inspiring and resilient. We’ve been ice skating, horse riding and rock climbing, and I’ve enjoyed every minute. If you’re thinking about volunteering with Positive Help… DO IT! I’ve learnt a lot about listening and it’s been an honour to have such an insight into another person’s life.
Iris – Home Supporter
I am a first-year PhD student and a Home Support volunteer at Positive Help. The main tasks of home support are to assist HIV/HCV-positive people in maintaining and improving their living conditions. By doing so, it has helped many people to live comfortably, especially for those who have difficulty in cleaning their own house.
Please join us. It is fun to interact with and get to know the people we work with. I have had very good volunteering experiences at Positive Help.
Blanca – Befriender
I joined Positive Help in 2014, during my second year of studying English Literature at the University of Edinburgh, and have been befriending a little 9-year-old boy since then. I am also temporarily helped out in the office as a Support Services Volunteer. Originally from Japan and Sweden, I’ve lived in both countries as well as in New Zealand and am now in Edinburgh until I finish my studies. In my spare time, I love to read (as my degree might have made evident) and travel. I am also regularly involved with theatre and am an enthusiastic foodie.
Ray de Souza – Chairman/Trustee
Ray has served on the Board of Positive Help for many years, seven of them as Chair of the Board of Trustees. With a professional background in Health and Social Services, he has extensive experience in the fields of HIV, substance misuse, mental health and criminal justice. He has held senior management and leadership positions in the statutory and voluntary sectors and is currently Deputy Head of Health Resilience within Scottish Government. Ray was instrumental in developing the initial national strategies for HIV/AIDS and Drugs and Alcohol Misuse in Lothian and Scotland and led the commissioning programme to deliver a range of HIV and substance misuse services in Lothian. He has served on the Boards of a number of voluntary and independent sector organisations.
Stan Cook – Company Secretary/Trustee
Stan joined the Positive Help Board in November 2010. Following a career in the private sector, Stan retired in 2009. Seeking opportunity for further work, he became involved with Positive Help and currently serves on the Board. Stan also enjoys curling, cooking and spending time in France with his wife.
David Watson – Treasurer/Trustee
David Joined the Positive Help Board in November 2011. He is a qualified CIMA accountant with 20 years experience in a variety of roles, including manufacturing, clinical services, the Scottish government and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service. He has provided valuable input to the organisation’s financial planning and reporting. In his spare time, he enjoys football and spending time with family.
Paul Perry – Trustee
Dr Paul Perry joined the Positive Help Board in April 2015. He is an enthusiastic and highly motivated general practitioner with 5 years of hospital clinical experience, and 6 years of general practice experience. Alongside his clinical commitments, he teaches postgraduate students at the University of Dundee. This clinical experience and previous management and leadership experience are now supported and enhanced with an MBA degree, enabling the pursuit and synergistic application of business knowledge to deliver and build on on-going leadership and management roles within the healthcare environment. Through this, he undertakes healthcare consultancy work in both the public and private healthcare sectors. Through all of these roles, he hopes to bring a wealth of experience to help to continue to develop Positive Help Charity in order to meet the needs of its service users.
Jenny Patterson – Trustee