Staff Team

The Poverty Alliance has a small staff team whose role is to help deliver on the strategic priorities set by the Board am membership fo the Alliance. The current staff team is:

Peter Kelly, Director

Robin Tennant, Fieldwork Manager

Poe McHugh, Finance and Administration Manager

Twimukye Mushaka, Fieldwork Development Officer

Lynn Law, Fieldwork Development Officer

Fiona McHardy, Research and Information Manager

Carla McCormack, Policy and Parliamentary Officer

Rachel Thomson, Campaigns and Policy Assistant

Julie McGahan, Living Wage Programme Manager (Scotland)

Anne Callaghan, Living Wage Programme Manager (Scotland)

Jack Evans, Living Wage Accreditation Officer

Lynn Anderson, Living Wage Accreditation Officer

Mary Anne MacLeod, Research Officer

Patricia Di-Tommaso, Administrative Assistant

Judith Robertson, Administrative Assistant

Lesley Sherwood, Administrative Assistant


Peter Kelly, Director

Peter joined the Poverty Alliance as Policy Manager in 2002, becoming Director in 2004.  He is responsible for the overall day-to-day management of the organisation, ensuring that the Alliance is delivering the objectives set by the board and members.  Peter also represents the Alliance in a variety of forums and networks including Scottish Drugs Forum and Energy Action Scotland. He is also currently Vice President of the European Anti-Poverty Network.   Peter is also Company Secretary on the Board of the Alliance.

Before joining the Alliance he worked at the Scottish Low Pay Unit, helping to campaign for the introduction of the National Minimum Wage.

Contact Peter

Robin Tennant, Fieldwork Manager

Robin has been Fieldwork Manager with The Poverty Alliance since 2001. He is responsible for overseeing the development of the Alliance's community engagement work and our Poverty Awareness Training programme. Robin previously worked with the Alliance as a Community Resource Officer.

Robin has also worked with Scottish Borders Council, Glasgow Caledonian University (where he helped found the Scottish Poverty Information Unit) and Save the Children.

He has a Degree in Economic and Social History from the University of Edinburgh and a Masters Degree in Applied Social Science from Glasgow Caledonian University. He is married with 2 grown up children (oh! and 4 cats and a dog)

Contact Robin

Poe McHugh, Finance and Administration Manager

Poe was educated in Australia and has almost 20 years experience of working as an Administrator in Thailand, Ireland and Scotland.

Poe has been with Poverty Alliance since July 1999. She is responsible for the overall day- to-day running of the office and managing the budgets for the Alliance. 

Poe enjoys travel, reading (especially Thai) and is a 'fanatical movie goer' (but don't ask her the names of the actors and actresses - she's clueless!)

To contact Poe -

Twimukye Macline Mushaka Fieldwork Development Officer

Twimukye joined the Alliance in June 2008, and her main role is working with community based organisations enabling them to empower their members on poverty issues in Scotland, and strengthening the voices of people with experience of poverty in influencing policy at different levels.  Twimukye is also responsible for the delivery of the Alliance’s Poverty Awareness Training.

Educated in Uganda, and in the UK, Twimukye has extensive experience of working with national, regional and community based organisations in Uganda, Zimbabwe and other Southern African countries, where she worked with a regional based organisation – Development Initiatives and Services (DIS) and the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) in different capacities.  Twimukye is currently a Board member of the Scottish Refugee Council, and a former Chairperson of Karibu - a community organisation based in Glasgow.

Contact Twimukye

Fiona McHardy Research and Information Manager 

Fiona joined the Poverty Alliance in February 2009.  to work on the Evidence, Participation, Change project.  Fiona's role was as Research Officer is to work with and support individuals experiencing the issues of poverty to undertake participatory research, to provide an evidence base of living on a low income. She is now working on a number of research projects for the Poverty Alliance. 

Prior to joining the Poverty Alliance, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Scottish Poverty Information Unit.  During this time she worked on a range of research projects that focused on the issues arising as a result of living in poverty.  Fiona has been involved in projects employing both qualitative and quantitative methods.  Areas researched include; health inequalities, food poverty, financial inclusion and debt.

Her research interests includes participative methodologies, empowerment through research, community research and food poverty.

Contact Fiona

Lynn Law Fieldwork Officer (p-t)

Lynn joined the Poverty Alliance as a volunteer in November 2004 to deliver Get Heard Scotland, as part of a fellowship through an American university.  She remained with the Alliance until 2007 to support further engagement of people with direct experience of poverty in policy making processes, and returned in 2011 to undertake research on poverty sensitive policy making in Scotland.

Lynn is passionate about sustainable development and addressing issues of inequality, ardently believing in the power of human beings to enact change.  She also works with a mental health charity in Edinburgh, and is enthusiastic about the benefits of mindfulness, yoga and engaging with the natural world. 
Contact Lynn:

Carla McCormack Policy and Parliamentary Officer

Carla joined the Poverty Alliance as Policy and Parliamentary Officer in April 2014.   Carla is responsible for supporting the development of the policy positions of the Poverty Alliance in a wide range of areas related to poverty and social exclusion and ensuring that these policy positions are well understood by relevant policy actors including politicians, officials, as well as amongst voluntary and community organisations in Scotland.

Carla graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2009 and went on to work in a number of roles in Scottish and UK politics before joining the Poverty Alliance.

Carla  is a keen reader and enjoys travelling.  

Contact Carla:

Rachel Thompson Campaigns and Policy Assistant

Rachel began at the Poverty Alliance in August 2016 as our Policy and Campaigns Assistant.  She previously worked at Shelter Scotland as a Housing Adviser and at the Big Lottery Fund as a Funding Officer and Communications Officer.

She has previously volunteered as a Helpline Support Volunteer at Rape Crisis Scotland, as a Refugee Integration Volunteer at the Scottish Refugee Council and she is currently on the board of trustees at YWCA Scotland - The Young Women’s Movement.

She has a Politics degree from the University of Glasgow and enjoys reading, travelling and listening to Beyoncé.

Contact Rachel:

Julie MacGahan Living Wage Programme Manager (Scotland) (currently on maternity leave)

Julie joined the Poverty Alliance in April 2014 as the Living Wage Accreditation Advisor. She is working with a range of employers across Scotland to increase the numbers that are accreditated as paying the living wage.  Her role also involves gathering evidence to inform the business case which demonstrates the positive impact that introducing the living wage has on businesses and organisations.

Prior to joining the Poverty Alliance, Julie worked in a variety of roles in health improvement within NHS Health Scotland, including the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives. Before joining the NHS, she worked in Shanghai as a language assistant with Towson University.

Julie has a degree in Literary Studies and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Glasgow. Her big passion is travelling and experiencing new cultures as much as she can.

 Anne Callaghan Living Wage Programme Manager 

Anne is Living Wage Programme Manager (Scotland) whilst Julie McGahan is on maternity leave. Anne has worked for a number of charities and NGOs including Amnesty International, Free Tibet Campaign, Oxfam, the Trade Justice Movement and UNICEF UK in London in public campaigning roles over the past two decades.  Anne helped make the case for Unicef UK to become a Living Wage accredited employer whilst working on a UK child poverty campaign there.

She studied Politics at Glasgow University before going south to Essex for an MA in Human Rights. In her spare time, she helps local people campaign for change, enjoys terrible multiplex films, and keeps trying out choirs

Contact Anne:

Jack Evans Living Wage Accreditation Officer

Jack joined the Poverty Alliance in March 2015 as a Living Wage Accreditation Officer.

Jack studied Politics at the University of Glasgow. Prior to joining the Poverty Alliance, Jack worked in a variety of roles in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining the Poverty Alliance he was a logistics manager with Hennes & Mauritz AB  (H & M) a Swedish multinational retail-clothing company.  Jack was also responsible for sustainability at H&M Scotland.

His role at the Poverty Alliance involves private sector and local authority engagement on the Living Wage.

Contact Jack:

Lynn Anderson Living Wage Accreditation Officer

Lynn joined the Poverty Alliance as Living Wage Accreditation Officer in June 2016. She works with a range of employers across Scotland, with a particular focus on Third Sector organisations.

Lynn graduated with a degree in Public Policy from the University of Glasgow and went on to work in a number of Third Sector roles with the Wisegroup and Energy Saving Trust. Immediately prior to joining the Poverty Alliance, Lynn worked in a management position at Citizens Advice Direct for over 4 years.

Lynn has a young son named Jack. When time allows, Lynn is a keen reader, enjoys watching movies and loves a good debate on social policy issues. She is partial to a good French Martini from time-to-time.

Contact Lynn:

Mary Anne MacLeod Research Officer

Mary Anne joined the Poverty Alliance as a Research Officer in June 2014 working on a project on connections between emergency food aid organisations and public services in Scotland. The project aims to contribute to combating the growth of food insecruity in Scotland and identifying how a more sustainable response can be developed. Since then Mary Anne has continued work on a number of food insecurity related issues as well as contributing to the wider research work of the Poverty Alliance.

Prior to joining the Poverty Alliance Mary Anne worked for the Big Lottery Fund. She has also started work for her PhD with the Urban Studies Department at the University of Glasgow. Her research interests include neighbourhood deprivation, social justice, feminist methodologies, and community-led responses to inequality. Mary Anne has a Master’s degree in Community Education and has experience of community work and English language teaching in both Spain and Scotland. 

Contact Mary Anne: 

Patricia Di Tommaso Administrative Assistant

Tricia has many, too many to mention, years of administrative experience working in all sectors.  Although she admits that all her report cards described her as “very easily distracted” we think this makes her an excellent multi-tasker!

Outside of work, she enjoys beach combing, listening to vinyl and reading American crime and French classic fiction.  Her personal goals for this year are to create a stained glass window for her new home and to improve her poker playing skills.

Contact Patricia:

Judith Robertson Administrative Assistant 

Judith joined the Poverty Alliance in March 2015 as an Administrator on a part time basis.   Working within the administration team Judith’s main tasks include responding to all telephone and e-mail queries received, processing travel and expenses and assisting with a range of events.  

Prior to her role at the Poverty Alliance, Judith worked in a variety of roles  within both NHS and Higher Education settings.

Judith has a degree in English and Sociology from the University of Stirling. Her main interests include attending live concerts, reading and attempting to run as much as possible.

Contact Judith:

Lesley Sherwood Administrative Assistant 

Lesley joined the Poverty Alliance in June 2016 as a part time Administrative Assistant.  Her first job was as a shorthand typist in the circulation department at DC Thomson in Glasgow and her most recent employment was as an administrator with Cosgrove Care in Giffnock.  

Lesley completed a secretarial course in Langside College, Glasgow back when you learned how to use a Gestetner Machine for copying documents. Lesley spent 10 years living and working in Copenhagen and is really enjoying the arrival of Nordic noir to our television screens!

Contact Lesley:


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