Stepping Stones for Families



We are a membership organisation

Stepping Stones for Families is governed by a set of Articles and a Memorandum.

Our members have a say in how the organisation is run via direct input with staff and raising motions at our Annual General Meeting. We currently have approximately 95 members. Most of these are service users – i.e. parents/carers of the children in our childcare services.

Board of Directors

The members vote annually to elect the Board of Directors.

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Damien McGarrigle - Chair

Damien is an experienced and rounded senior financial services professional. Having spent 20 years in FS, he now leads the FS and Fintech sector team at the University of Edinburgh. An accountant by profession, has worked across many disciplines including finance, change management, strategy, multi-channel distribution and P&L management, bringing a diverse range of experience and skills to Stepping Stones. 

Having undertaken a project with Pilotlight in East Lothian he decided to join the board of a local charity and subsequently joined Stepping Stones where he has been a board member for five years and chair for the last two.

A strong believer in skills based volunteering he is extremely proud to be associated with Stepping Stones for Families that makes such a positive and impactful difference in so many people’s lives. He says: “Stepping Stones for Families is an amazing organisation, not just from the huge difference its makes, but how it makes it. The culture and staff is unanimously caring and extremely passionate about what they do which is a credit to Isobel and the leadership team.”

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Siobhan Barrow

Siobhan Barrow is a Senior Business Leader with over 20 years’ experience in the Financial Services sector.  Siobhan has experience and led executive teams in a variety of business fields including sales, marketing, strategic planning, performance analysis and customer experience roles. 

Siobhan had been looking for an opportunity to volunteer on the Board of a Glasgow charity, using the extensive skills she has gained so far in her career. She is keen to support with developing the strategic direction and planning that will enable the charity to achieve sustainable success. Having worked with ‘Inspiring Scotland’ she was introduced to Stepping Stones for Families and was really engaged with the amazing work they do.  Siobhan is proud to be working with such an impactful charity that champions positive and sustainable change for the families they work with.

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Laura Devine

Laura is currently managing a community development programme that seeks to empower children and families to take part in place planning. She has always worked with children and families in some way or another over the years.

During her time at University she worked in respite units for children with additional needs and volunteered as a befriender. After University, she worked for a befriending organisation where she set up and ran a befriending service for children with additional needs. Laura also has her own facilitiation consultancy.

When she is not working, she is spends time with her family and is learning to play the fiddle.

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Christopher Graham – Vice Chair

Christopher is the CEO of The Marketing Department, a Glasgow-based agency helping businesses and organisations of all sizes with branding, marketing strategy and event delivery. He founded TMD in November 2015, after a seven year tenure working for Scottish Renewables, the representative body for renewable energy.

Chris and TMD were responsible for the Stepping Stones for Families re-brand 2016-2017, through inspiring Scotland’s Pro-Bono programme.

Once the rebrand was complete and Chris’s professional involvement was over he was co-opted onto the Board, being elected by the members in November 2017, and then as Vice Chair in October 2018w. Chris brings his expertise in marketing and promotion, working collaboratively with the organisation to help shape the vision and set the strategic direction of this award winning charity.  

Christopher lives in Glasgow and in his (little) spare time is an amateur photographer and likes spending time with his goddaughter.

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Yvonne Harkness

Yvonne Harkness has a track record of developing strategies that get results.  Yvonne recently joined Glasgow University after being part of the successful project team which delivered ground-breaking £110m UWS Lanarkshire campus, in a record-breaking 2 years and on budget.  She is a Chartered Manager and a Chartered Governance Professional.  A relentless glass half-full optimist who believes in the transformative power of education and community, Yvonne lives in Glasgow with her husband, step-sons and bearded dragons called Gary and Om.  

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Christy Lightley

Christy Lightley currently works as a Business Development Manager for a digital agency and has a wealth of experience in marketing, strategy, research and analysis. Christy has volunteered with a number of charities throughout her life so far, in the UK and abroad and has been looking for the chance to take the next step and join a board for a while now. She will be utilising her experience and skills from her work in the third sector from volunteering and also her day to day role.


Clare O’Neill - Treasurer

Clare is a CPFA qualified accountant with 25 years’ experience in the public and non-profit sectors - in Economic Development, Employment Access, and Community Development charities.  Her early accountancy career was in local government financial management, budgeting and systems audit.  She also holds an MA in Economics and Economic History, and an MPhil in Economic Development. She is currently the Head of Finance at the Scottish Community Development Centre. 


Judith Paxton

Judith Paxton is a retired Human Resources Director, having worked at the former Reid Kerr College, in Paisley, for 13 years and before that at Falkirk College, in a similar role. Responsibilities included managing a team of 50 staff covering personnel, training/development, health and safety, payroll and facilities (maintenance, security etc ), staff disclosures, FOI, IIP, SHAW, contingency planning as well as reporting in, directly, to the Board of Management on all of these areas.

Judith was also a Board member and chair of HR committee for St Vincent’s Hospice, for 5 years, and Board member of Howwood Parish Church for a similar period.

She is now secretary to the Glasgow and District National Osteoporosis Society group committee.

Judith lives in Howwood, Renfrewshire. And her hobbies include singing in the Kilbarchan Village Voices choir, Pilates, travelling and bus driving. Yes, the last one is correct - a bucket list ambition!

She believes, very strongly, in the ethos of SSFF and feels that her experiences of both being on voluntary boards and being in a position where she reported to a board would be helpful in the role of board member for Stepping Stones for Families.


Noreen Preston

Noreen is an experienced Director who has worked at board level for the last 15 years.

She has particular commercial expertise in public and private sector tendering and in the creation and management of business and HR systems. She has specialist knowledge in the management of international manufacturing sites and of strategic financial planning, annual budget setting and budget management in a multi-currency business. 

She has a personal interest in the protection of vulnerable children and young people and the rehabilitation of vulnerable young people with addictions and personal issues. As such she has been deeply involved in addiction charities and is a serving member of the Children’s Panel. She is also a registered Foster Carer. 


Senior Management Team


The Senior Management team are responsible for the day to day running of the organisation. We have a very flat management structure:


The members of the Senior Management Team are:

Isobel Lawson
Chief Executive Officer

Mike Lofthouse
Finance Manager


Louise Bennett
Human Resource Manager