About COSS

The Community Ownership Support Service (COSS) has been funded by the Scottish Government to support community based groups in Scotland take a stake in or ownership of previously publicly owned land or buildings.

This adviser based service is being delivered Scotland wide and aims to provide individual community groups and public bodies with a bespoke support service. It is likely that our support will include a combination of -

  • Expert advice on all aspects of asset transfer
  • Training courses on the asset transfer and asset development process
  • Sign-posting to other support agencies
  • Web access to information on good practice, toolkits and case studies.

Communities will also be able to link into the Development Trusts Association Scotland’s wider network to explore the wide range of business models being adopted by other communities throughout Scotland and across the UK.

The Community Ownership Support Service Team:

Linda Gillespie

Programme Manager
Edinburgh
Following an early career in the private sector during which she was responsible for multiple retail sites in areas across the UK, latterly managing large scale visitor centres, Linda moved into local economic development.   Initially as business adviser to a portfolio of high growth companies before moving on to manage a range of business and social enterprise programmes.
 
Over the years Linda has worked with 100s of community led organisations and social enterprises and has seen at first hand the positive benefits ownership of assets can bring to communities; improving the sustainability of their organisations, protecting and developing services and creating jobs.  Within her current role at COSS she has a particular interest in exploring the underlying enterprise models and innovative options for sustaining community assets into the future.
 

Diane Campbell

Advisor
Highlands, Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City, Moray and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Diane has been working with community groups since 2002. Before joining the COSS team she was Development Manager for Community Woodlands Association with a particular focus on social enterprise development and funding.  Diane is based in Ullapool and covers Highlands, Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City, Moray and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for the COSS project.

For six years Diane contributed as treasurer for Ullapool Community Trust, a DTA Scotland member, and until 2016 sat on the board of Community Woodlands Association. Before joining the COSS team Diane spent 18 months on the board of DTA Scotland. She is also a qualified trainer and facilitator.

Rory Dutton

Advisor
Northern Scotland
Combining his role as north area Development Officer for DTA Scotland with delivering the COSS service, Rory provides the COSS service to development trusts in northern Scotland, as well as to wider groups and public bodies in Orkney and Shetland.
 
With three decades behind him working for both the public and voluntary sectors in rural development and small business/ community group support, Rory has particular expertise on community led development, group governance/ structures and social enterprise.
 
Rory was director of the Scottish Crofting Federation for several years, and has been involved on a voluntary basis with the community association that runs his local community centre.

Nicky Donald

Advisor
Angus, City of Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, East Lothian, Fife and Scottish Borders

Nicky comes to the COSS team having worked for 12 years for a Rural Partnership in Aberdeenshire supporting all aspects of community economic, environmental and social development. She has enjoyed supporting  groups developing ideas into successfully running project, making a difference in their communities. Her particular interests include community consultation, researching funding information, facilitation, training and governance. Nicky works on all aspects of Asset Transfer based in Angus, City of Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, East Lothian, Fife and Scottish Borders to move the community ownership agenda forward.

Nicky has been involved as a volunteer in different organisations over many years. She has completed training in facilitation, developing training courses and community consultations methods and very much enjoys using this training in her work.

Lynn Molleson

Advisor
Edinburgh, Fife, Stirling, Falkirk, West Lothian and Perth and Kinross

Lynn is a COSS Advisor working part-time in our Edinburgh office, supporting the development of community assets largely, but not exclusively, in Edinburgh, Fife, Stirling, Falkirk, West Lothian and Aberdeen City.  Lynn is passionate about people and places and being a Director of a community anchor organisation where she lives, she has learnt first-hand the positive power of ‘folk working together with a common purpose that benefits many’.

Lynn has worked for 15 years in the voluntary sector for a range of charities and has particular expertise in enterprise development, community participation, skills development, outcomes evaluation and action research, as well as a strong interest in renewable energy.  She has experience in community shares and co-operative models and sits on the board of three local organisations covering youth work and community energy.

Pippa Robertson

Legal Adviser
Edinburgh

Pippa initially trained as a solicitor and spent a number of years working in environmental and planning law before joining COSS in June 2017. With her legal background, Pippa provides specialist advice and support on leases, licences, and land law matters, as well as asset transfer policy, community empowerment and the wider land reform agenda.  As well as working for COSS, Pippa also acts as an advisor for the Federation of City Farm’s and Community Garden’s Community Land Advisory Service, where she supports communities and land managers through the process of making land available for community growing projects.

Pippa is particularly interested in promoting access to land, advocating sustainable land management, and improving community engagement in decisions about land use. When not at work, she is usually to be found trying to grow vegetables on any bare piece of earth she can find, or exercising access rights to go rock climbing somewhere.

David Henderson

Adviser
East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire

David is covering the role of Drew MacEoghainn on a temporary, part time basis, until April 2018. In his other roles David works with Midlothian Voluntary Action supporting the third sector with governance and funding issues and a consultant with his own firm where his clients include the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise amongst others. He is also on the Board of SCOREscotland which works with black and ethnic minority groups in South West Edinburgh.

His previous experience includes support for social enterprise including spells with Fife Employment Access Trust, Social Enterprise Midlothian and the WHALE Arts Centre in Wester Hailes. During his time at WHALE, David established a business incubator unity for new start creative businesses and founded a network of crafters.

As an adviser for COSS, David provides support in East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire.

Stephen Boyle

Administration Officer
Edinburgh

Stephen has a strong background in administration. He first started at Scottish Widows and has over nine years’ experience in administration and customer service from the financial services sector. He moved to the Scottish Qualifications Authority helping deliver the new Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) framework across Scotland and has experience of social media management from volunteering with a charity called The Mondo Loco Foundation.

Stephen works part time for COSS (half days in the mornings), but his main passion is his stained glass business. Other interests are science, art and music. He is also captain of his local darts team.