Directors

Bipolar Scotland is governed by a Board of Directors and one honorary member. Each Director is elected at our Annual Conference/AGM for three years at a time and if they want to continue as a director, they must stand for re-election. The Board meets every six weeks and is effectively Bipolar Scotland’s ‘government’.

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George Frame

Honorary President

I joined Manic Depression Fellowship Scotland in the 1980s after my wife Christine was diagnosed. I became a Director in 2003 and I’ve done what I can to help the organisation develop. As a diagnosed person and a carer, my wife and I have benefited greatly from Bipolar Scotland membership and from the treatment provided through NHS care in the community. Christine and I attend Active Age exercise classes every week and we also record material onto CD for sight-impaired people through the RNIB Transcription Centre.
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Mark-Paul Buckingham
Chair
I joined the board in 2020 at a time of unprecedented change for everyone across the Globe. We must endeavour to make mental health a priority in these time and Bipolar Scotland is an amazing organisation dedicated to dealing with and support those with Bipolar. 
 
I have a PhD and Degree in Engineering and have focussed my skills at developing companies that assist the world with improved engineering in many sectors including Health & safety and Renewable Energy . I thought I would be able to bring some of my skills to the board to help grow what is an already outstanding organisation with a dedicated team of staff and volunteers.
Aymie Black
Vice-Chair
 
I believe in removing barriers in access to services for a wide-range of people who have lived experience, or are affected by, bipolar disorder. My experience as a young adult has made me especially keen to shine a light on young people’s issues, and I think it’s imperative we are representative of that on our board. My communications skills are a missing skillset on the board and I think they are necessary to boost the profile of Bipolar Scotland. At a time where Bipolar Scotland is more comfortable financially than in recent years, I think it’s time to make massive changes and hear new voices to truly make the best of our support for our community.
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Marian Cowie
Director
I joined the Aberdeen Manic Depression Group in 1999 and received amazing support. I Chaired the Group for ten years and got involved with Bipolar Scotland and the Glasgow Group when I returned to Glasgow in 2017.
 
I became a Bipolar Scotland Director in 2018 because Bipolar Scotland does amazing work to support people and spread awareness of the illness.  My hobbies include reading, music and theatre and I participated in the 2018 Kilt Walk to raise money for Bipolar Scotland.
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Hazel Gilbert
Director
I joined the Board in 2016 and currently serve as Vice Chair. My experience of bipolar has given me a strong desire to empower people to gain control over this treacherous illness through NHS treatment and Bipolar Scotland’s Self-Management Training Course. Raising funds is imperative as is keeping up to date with specialist academic research.  After postgraduate study, I worked in Careers, Recruitment and Liaison Services and I also worked with the BBC Social Action and Information Service. In my spare time, I love ceroc dancing and enjoy fostering and training animals.
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Helen McGinty
Director
 
I’m a solicitor working mainly in Mental Health and Incapacity Law. For many years, I was responsible for the Edinburgh office of Legal Services Agency, a non-profit Law Centre. I’m regularly appointed a Safeguarder in Adults with Incapacity and other cases, and I’m a member of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland.
 
I have a longstanding interest in improving services for people experiencing ill-health and in expanding access to justice. I’m impressed by Bipolar Scotland’s work and want to advance its activities in any way I can. I live in Edinburgh and enjoy swimming, theatre, films and ballet. I became a Bipolar Scotland Director in 2018.
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Gordon Johnston

Director

I was first diagnosed in 2007 and joined Bipolar Scotland shortly afterwards. My background is in urban regeneration and community development so I know what third sector organisations can do to offer information and peer support. 

I’m currently an independent consultant, working in mental health peer research and community development. I’m also involved in several other organisations, such as the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland.  In my spare time, I write psychological thrillers and have had two novels published – Calling Cards and Cold Roses.
Tog Porter

Director

I am 69 years old with many years’ experience in business management and ownership. Among other things I am a website designer and still run a small website design business. I am also a Mensa member.

 

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder around 15 years ago, but have had it all of my life. I attended the Bipolar Scotland self-management course in Ayr a few years ago and found it extremely helpful. I welcome the opportunity to be of help to Bipolar Scotland.

Chris Mackay

Director

My name is Chris Mackay, I am 48 years old and have bipolar II. I’m lucky enough to function most of the time and have spent my career in journalism, mostly on Fleet Street with the Guardian and Observer. 

 

Since 2013 I have worked in editorial for the DC Thomson stable of titles in Dundee and Aberdeen, where I live.

 

I was diagnosed in 2010, 10 years after first presenting. I am a member of Bipolar Scotland and visit the Aberdeen branch’s meetings.

Rose O'Doherty

Director

Born in Glasgow in 1959, I returned to live in Glasgow in 1996, after a career in research entomology, much of it overseas.

 

I became a member of Bipolar Scotland several years ago and have benefitted greatly in my wellbeing through physical meetings of the Support Groups and now on zoom. I believe I could make a small but significant contribution to the work of the Board despite periods of depression and mania.

Anne Fearful

Director

I am aged 63 and have bipolar disorder, which was diagnosed around 15 years ago. I was an academic for 30 years but left my university in 2017 after a long spell of ill health.

I feel that my work with FVA heading up the lived experience team (LET) has given me insights to issues relating to mental health beyond my own that I would otherwise not have had access to.