The Community Ownership Support Service Team

Linda Gillespie

Head of Community Ownership
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Phone number: 07579 008467
 
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.
 

Fiona Taylor

Advisor
Clackmannanshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Glasgow, Argyll and Bute, Perth & Kinross, Stirling, West Lothian

Phone Number: 07946 024029

Fiona joined the COSS team in June 2023 and brings a range of skills and experience gained from over 20 years of supporting social enterprises and community businesses to thrive.

Most recently she has been supporting groups and individuals from Scotland's ethnic minority communities to start and grow their social enterprises and has worked with several flagship arts organisations in Sydney (where she lived for many years). She loves getting to know community groups and their diverse projects and has great admiration for all the benefits these groups deliver within their own communities.

 

Craig Allan

Advisor
North Lanarkshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Inverclyde

Phone: 07747097022

Craig joined DTAS from the public sector where he focused on the development of participatory budgeting and locality planning. Starting off his career within the third sector Craig is an advocate for community control, seeing first-hand the results when the experts (communities) have control.

Craig enjoys being active in his community through volunteering on the board of a housing cooperative and as a board member of the registration committee at CLD Standards Scotland.
 

Elspeth Mathieson

Legal Advisor
Based in Edinburgh office

Phone Number: 07857 625 716 

Usual working days Monday, Tuesday (morning only), Wednesday

Elspeth is the legal adviser for COSS, and provides legal assistance and advice to community groups seeking the transfer land and buildings into community ownership or management. She has many years of experience as a solicitor, working mainly in property. With her background of working in the private sector Elspeth brings a different perspective to the challenges faced by community bodies.  Elspeth also facilitates the Scottish University Land Unit (SULU); a collaboration between COSS and Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow Universities that gives students with an interest in land reform the opportunity, in conjunction with COSS, to provide practical support to community groups looking to exercise these rights.

Ruth Evans

Advisor
Angus, Dundee City, East Lothian, City of Edinburgh, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders

Phone Number: 07579 008465

Ruth combines her 3 day a week role as a COSS advisor with the additional temporary Facilities Management Advisor role on a 2 day a week basis.

Ruth joined DTAS in May 2022 as a Development Officer and moved over to the COSS team in May 2023 and brings a range of skills and experience gained from over 15 years of supporting community organisations with energy and renewable energy projects. She now works 3 days a week as the south east COSS Advisor.

Prior to this she has worked as an engineer in Building services consultancies and with public sector organisations assisting sports clubs with funding capital build projects. Her wide-ranging experience in different sectors has enabled her to be able to support community groups in various aspects. In her current role providing support on asset transfers and community ownership, she also enjoys assisting community groups and is particularly interested in community energy and signposting groups to obtain the best advice for their needs.

In her spare time Ruth enjoys fitness classes and being outside and walking her 2 dogs.

Position vacant

Advisor
Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City, Moray, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, Nan Eilean Siar, Highland

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