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We know that the key to our success is our people and although there may be multiple departments across our business, we pride ourselves in working together as one team.
Meet our dedicated staff team below:
Founder and CEO
Angela founded The Larder in 2010 to address rising youth unemployment in West Lothian. Since then she has led the organisation to support over 3,000 people access training, good quality food and learn to cook. Since 1984 Angela has been active, in a personal and professional capacity, in communities, campaigning for a fairer and more just society that encourages and provides opportunities for everyone to flourish, regardless of their heritage and personal circumstances. She has a BA Degree in Community Education and recent qualifications in leadership and strategic development. She has a proven track record in community development and engagement and was a key driver for the community food sector between 2005 and 2010, working with likeminded organisations from the UK and Europe to collaborate and find ways to increase access to healthy food options whilst developing a social enterprise model. She has over 20 years experiencing of managing projects and teams in the public and third sector.
Director of Operations and People
With over 8 years’ experience of working in the hospitality industry, Emma decided to change roles and joined The Larder in 2017 through the Community Jobs Scotland programme as our Social Media & Administrative Assistant. After completion of the programme, she studied and achieved her HND in Business Administration and has worked up the hierarchy to Director of Operations and People. Emma shares The Larder ethos and believes that everyone deserves an opportunity in life to better themselves and is a true testament to this.
Over 18 years’ experience in Management, Training, People Development and Recruitment. After over 10 years’ operational management experience at Tesco I moved into the contact centre industry to support an organisations rapid growth from 20 staff to 110 implementing strategies in recruitment, training and employee engagement. With the success of this I launched and headed up an award winning SQA Accredited centre to support the development of our internal employees, as well as businesses and employees across Scotland. An expert in supporting and managing businesses becoming SQA Approved Centres and all SDS Funding streams as well as managing tenders and contracts. After branching out into consultancy in 2019 this was unfortunately put on hold due to COVID-19 and I go involved with The Larder as a senior training co-ordinator to support the business with its various contracts with SQA, SDS, DWP, local council and schools.
With over 30 years’ experience in the catering and hospitality trade, Willie is a creative professional Chef who enjoys sharing and teaching his skills to others. Willie works with our students directly at our training academy and in local schools around West Lothian. Since beginning his Larder journey back in 2018, Willie has successfully completed his SCQF Level 8 Assessors qualification. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family and taking regular visits to the golf course!
Fundraising & Communications Manager
Emma began her career with a keen interest in mental health following her MSc in Applied Criminology and Forensic Psychology from Edinburgh Napier University. She has a vast amount of experience in the hospitality industry and moved into the third sector supporting a local children’s mental health organisation before joining The Larder. She is knowledgeable and empathetic to mental health struggles for young people, specifically in Scotland. She has been working in the industry for over four years now supporting a wide range of fundraising and communications related activities.
Sales & Marketing Manager
With over 15 years of experience within the hospitality industry, Sean began his career in Hotel management following his graduation from Edinburgh Napier University with a Business degree. He has held management roles within various properties, most recently as an operations manager within a boutique hotel before changing career to join us at The Larder. Engaging with our food enterprise, Sean brings with him a keen eye for detail, a wealth of engagement and networking experience and has dedicated his life to helping others around him. He has a passion for selflessness and uses his experience to contribute significantly to our mission to alleviate food poverty across our local communities.
Community Development Worker
Debbie has a wealth of experience in leisure, hospitality and recruitment. She initially joined the Larder as a volunteer supporting our school students with their monthly pop up lunches but within 18 months had joined our team as a Community Development worker launching a new food insecurity program named Catalyst Kitchen.
Heather is a Forensic Psychology graduate, who began employment in the prison sector in 2014, working operationally as an officer, then trained to become a qualified offending behaviour programme facilitator working with adult male prisoners. She decided to change paths in 2017 and moved into the charity sector, working in youth unemployment, where she became fully competent in Employability Fund delivery. Heather recently joined The Larder team, where she has brought with her a wealth of EF knowledge and has fully immersed herself in the training and delivery of employability qualifications and workshops to help young adults become more confident and ready to enter the world of work.
Since leaving college in 1988, following a 2-year catering course with West Lothian College, Nicola has worked in Catering and Hospitality. She has loved baking since she was a little girl, baking and decorating cakes as a hobby. Prior to joining The Larder, Nicola was working with Saltire Patisserie as a Head Pastry Chef for 12 years. She is delighted about her new adventure with The Larder and is looking forward to working to support the young people.
Employer Engagement Officer
Adam is an International Hospitality Business graduate. He grew up in Norfolk and he began employment within the Hospitality sector from the age of 16 in the 4-star Hotel and progressed from an entry-level role to supervisory and management roles within conference and events and duty management while studying at catering college prior to attending University in Leeds. On completion of his degree, he moved to Florida to work at a 5-star private members’ country club in Boca Raton 20 miles north of Miami. Here, he held roles within restaurant and events teams before managing the pool bar offering. On returning to the UK Adam held several roles with the hospitality, Facilities Management, corporate banking, and the college sector. After redundancy as a result of the global pandemic from a regional Business development role within the hotel sector, Adam joined the larder team and has brought a wide knowledge of the corporate sector landscape within West Lothian and central Scotland and is championing corporate sector engagement with The Larder to support our young people with employment opportunities in a variety of sectors and to generate partnerships with the corporate sector to support and add a value to the community work The Larder undertakes.
Roisin started her journey with The Larder as a barista before being recruited to the role of Group Worker and subsequently, Training Coordinator. Roisin currently supports our students on the employability fund programme by delivering employability, health and wellbeing and barista workshops. Roisin is a strong supporter of all our students regularly signposting and helping students in their personal endeavours. She is currently studying at university to achieve her dreams of becoming a PE teacher.
Kerry is a Criminology and Sociology graduate with a background in support work in particular working with people with mental health issues and behavioural issues. She has also worked in the voluntary sector delivering an employment programme for the Scottish Government to help people who had barriers to work such as a conviction to find employment. Working with a range of different people she realised she enjoyed working with young people in particular and went and worked with as an outreach key worker for those in residential care addressing all aspects of their life. She has recently joined the team as a training coordinator working directly with the students at The Larder.
Amanda has 25 years’ experience in the field and has recently joined us at The Larder as a Youth Worker. She has worked as a frontline worker in Customer Services for West Lothian Council for the past 20 years. Her experience has largely been around issue-based work, such as LGBT and Sharp Solutions. She has worked in many partnership projects such as Skate Skool with the Vennie in Knightsridge and the museum of poverty with Save the Children, and was part of the team that delivered Scotland’s very first ‘Big Gay Prom’. She loves being a Youth Worker/Coordinator and has worked with many different young people in various communities and is delighted to use her experience to support The Larder.
Senior Cafe Assistant
Starting her journey as a temporary Kitchen Assistant 5 years ago, Christie has excelled in her role and is now The Larder’s Senior Café Assistant. Working throughout all our café locations in West Lothian, Christie is now a Barista Trainer and supports our students with their front of house and barista skills. During her time at The Larder Christie has completed multiple personal development courses, recently completing her Modern Apprenticeship in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership.
Finance and Information Assistant
With over 35 years of experience in the training sector, Angela brings a wealth of knowledge with her to the role of Information Management Officer. Angela works closely with the training team and Business Manager and provides administrative support to the organisation. She thoroughly enjoys following the student's journey from signing them up to start on a course to issuing out their end qualifications. In her spare time, Angie enjoys walking and trying out yoga, spending time with family and her daughter Chloe.
After joining the team in 2018, Esther successfully completed her SCQF Level 8 Assessors qualification. Esther now works within our training academy and externally in schools working directly with our students in a kitchen environment. Esther is passionate about cooking and helping young people better themselves through training and independent living skills. She enjoys to experiment with Mexican cuisine at home which the staff thoroughly enjoy sampling!
After successful completion of his Community Jobs Scotland placement, Ewan secured his position as our Café/Kitchen Assistant at The Larder. 3 years into his journey Ewan is a keen Barista and can be seen working in our community cafes, supporting our chefs in the kitchen and events and assisting with our Catalyst Kitchen Project. Ewan is a keen football supporter, taking trips to the stadium to watch his favourite team and has a keen interest in cooking.
Caitlin started her journey with The Larder through the Employability Fund Programme in 2018 successfully achieving her SCQF Level 4 Working in a Professional Kitchen. On completion of the course Caitlin secured a position as a Café/Kitchen Assistant. You will find Caitlin working front of house in our cafes across West Lothian, Caitlin said “I love working in the cafes the best, I really enjoy speaking with the customers and making them smile”. Caitlin enjoys taking long walks in her spare time and creating healthy dishes that she regularly shares on her Instagram page to inspire others.
Bonnie, one of The Larder's newest members, started her career as an Activity Instructor, supporting young people through team building activities such as rock climbing, abseiling and archery. Through this work, she discovered a passion for the catering side of the business and soon found herself joining The Larder as a Barista. Bonnie is based at our Strathbrock Cafe, loving the fast-paced environment and opportunity to meet new people, she will also be supporting our Community Development Worker, Debbie with our food insecurity project, Catalyst Kitchen, dining experiences on Wednesday evenings.
Michelle is an Organisational Development professional. Starting her career in Life Science following her BSc, Michelle’s developed an expertise in maximising staff performance which supported her career development to director level over 15 years in the sector. For the last 16 years Michelle’s focus has been supporting clients across a range of sectors to get the best out of their staff, working across the globe. Michelle is a certified coach; is fully qualified to deliver a range of Psychometric tools and has an MBA (Open). Michelle has worked as a volunteer or Board member on various Charities over the last 27 years with a focus on supporting young people who due to a range of circumstances are disadvantaged, to have the same opportunities as every young person. Michelle was the Chair of WHALE Arts for 5 years, is the current Co-Chair of Reuse & Thrive a Board member at YES! Tanzania and the Chair of The Larder.
Alan is the Chief Finance Officer at Rapport with extensive experience driving results in data and technology businesses. A qualified Accountant, he spent time at Ernst & Young in London before spending 16 years in leadership roles at Wood Mackenzie, including as VP of Corporate Development and as Managing Director of the Petroleum Edge Joint Venture Company. While there, he led mergers and acquisitions, resulting in three successful closed deals, and post-merger integrations with international teams. Alan also volunteers as a board member, business mentor, and advisor for multiple Scottish enterprises.
Joyce has been with The Larder since 2013. First as a volunteer, and shortly after joined the board as a director. She has watched and participated in the growth of the Larder as it has become more successful and a shining light in West Lothian. At the time she was volunteering with the Princes Trust as a business mentor for people starting up their own businesses and was looking to do more charity work around mentoring. She joined The Larder as a chance to help young people gain confidence and get a foot onto the employment ladder. She worked for many years for The Royal Bank of Scotland doing a variety of jobs, building up skills in communication, collaboration, stakeholder engagement and administrative skills. Since leaving RBS in 2014, she has spent a few years as self-employed within the finance industry, but is currently working on supporting projects for Public Health Scotland.
Rob is a former financial journalist and experienced corporate communications director. After 15 years at The Times in London, latterly as business editor, he returned to Scotland as business editor of The Scotsman and later as business editor Scotland for The Sunday Times. In a major career shift in 2000, Rob became communications chief for Stagecoach Group, and subsequently head of communications at Scottish & Newcastle. He then became director of a London financial public relations firm, expanding its business into Scotland. As a former financial journalist and board level advisor to a wide range of companies, Rob is experienced in the practicalities of investor and media relations, and of finance and corporate governance. Now semi-retired, Rob sees The Larder as one of the best social enterprises in the country, and is keen to lend his experience to the board.
Gillian has over 20 years’ experience in business, from family business, to financial services, high street retail and ecommerce. She has run her own online fresh food delivery business, worked in the wine and whisky trade and has a Masters in Gastronomy. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Digital and Direct Marketing.
Joanne started her career in Finance as a Management Accountant, working for large technology companies. A side-step in to finance projects developed an interest in delivering change, and specifically process improvements. Joanne qualified as a Six Sigma Black Belt and a PRINCE2 Practitioner and has 18 years’ experience delivering a variety of projects ranging from small scale improvements to international organisational changes. Joanne broadened her experience across Media and Financial Services sectors and further developed her skills to include Agile delivery. In several roles, Joanne has set up training forums to share knowledge and coach. Joanne became involved in The Larder in 2017, inspired by the vision and execution in creating a supportive environment for young people to develop, and is proud to serve on the Board.