The Eric Liddell Community was founded in 1980, in honour of the sporting and inspirational Scotsman whose 400 metres gold medal win at the 1924 Paris Olympics inspired the film Chariots of Fire. When Eric Liddell lived in Edinburgh, he was very familiar with the converted church where The Eric Liddell Community is based.
We are delighted that a close connection with the Liddell family has been maintained with Eric’s three daughters Patricia, Maureen and Heather who live in Canada. In the UK, we are fortunate that Lord David Puttnam CBE, FRSA, the Oscar-winning producer of Chariots of Fire, is one of The Eric Liddell Community’s patrons, as is Eric Liddell’s niece Sue Liddell Caton and Professor Alexander McCall-Smith CBE, FRSA and writer.
Sue is Eric Liddell’s niece. Her father Ernest was Eric’s younger brother.
Sue was on the Board from 2003 until 2009 when she was invited to become a Patron. Her role is to represent the family and to promote and support the work and ethics of the Charity.
Sue is a widow and lives in Edinburgh. She is a retired Physical Education Teacher and also lectured at a Further Education College in Computing.
She has a wide range of interests which includes a love of the countryside, gardening, bridge and in particular sport and is still involved in playing golf.
Lord David Puttnam
Lord David Puttnam is Chair of Atticus Education, an online education company founded in 2012 that delivers audio-visual seminars to students around the world. Until October 2021, he was a member of the House of Lords for 24 years, where he pursued an active role in a variety of areas, from educational and environmental issues to digital skills. Most recently, he was a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Environment and Climate Change, prior to which he Chaired the Report of the Select Committee on Democracy & Digital Technologies entitled ‘Digital Technology and the Resurrection of Trust’.
He spent thirty years as an independent producer of award-winning films including The Mission, The Killing Fields, Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, Bugsy Malone and Local Hero. Together these films have won ten Oscars, 13 Golden Globes, nine Emmys, 31 BAFTAs and the Palme D’Or at Cannes. Lord Puttnam is President of the Film Distributors’ Association, Life President of the National Film and Television School and a Unicef Ambassador.
Alexander McCall Smith
Alexander McCall Smith CBE was Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh before he became a full-time author.
He has written and contributed to more than 100 books, including specialist academic titles, short story collections, stand alone novels, and children’s books. His various series of books have been translated into over 46 languages and have sold more than 30 million copies across the world. These include The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, set in Botswana; the 44 Scotland Street and Isabel Dalhousie novels, set in Edinburgh; the Professor von Igelfeld series; and the Ulf Varg novels, set in Sweden.
The 44 Scotland Street series, first published in The Scotsman newspaper, is now the longest running serial novel in the world.
In 2007 Alexander received a CBE for services to literature, and in 2011 was honoured by the President of Botswana for services through literature to the country. In 2017 he was the recipient, in New York, of the National Arts Club Annual Medal of Honour for achievement in literature.
Alexander is the co-founder of an amateur orchestra called ‘The Really Terrible Orchestra’, in which he plays the bassoon.
Working alongside the full Staff Team and Volunteers, the Board oversees and supports the development of our Strategic Business Plan with regular input from the CEO and Senior Management Team. The Board provides clear direction, strategic planning, decision-making and regular support and guidance to ensure the delivery of our vision, mission and strategic aims.
Irene Adams OBE – Chair
Irene Adams OBE became a Trustee in 2019 and was appointed as Chair in 2022.
Born and educated in Edinburgh, she spent a couple of years in London before relocating to South Africa for 14 years during which time she married and had two sons.
Returning to the UK in 1985, Irene worked in Northampton for Rockware Glass and Plastics in Sales and Marketing before moving to London where she spent a short time in publishing before joining Morgan Grenfell Asset Management (Deutsche Asset Management) where she remained for 14 years. She held a role as Global Business Development Director, before retiring and returning to Scotland in 2002. Irene was involved in the startup and sale of the UK Green Investment Bank headquartered in Edinburgh. She now presently works as Special Advisor to Lord Smith of Kelvin KT CH for Alliance Trust, British Business Bank and IMI plc.
She is a former Board member of Inspiring Scotland and currently a Trustee of the Glasgow School of Art Development Trust.
Irene was awarded an OBE in the 2017 New Years Honours List for services to the UK Green Economy.
Her hobbies include golf, gardening, reading and spending time with her grandchildren.
Kendall Allan – Company Secretary
Kendall was appointed as a Trustee in 2020. She is a Banking & Funds Solicitor and she has also spent a number of years volunteering within both legal agencies and charities.
She has a passion for working with the elderly and those who live with dementia. She has been working with Alzheimer Scotland, both volunteering and fundraising since 2016 following the passing of her Nanna, who had dementia and whom she became very close to during this time.
In her spare time, Kendall likes to climb Munros, explore Scotland, travel and just be outside as much as possible!
Colin Baillie – Treasurer
Colin was appointed as a Trustee and as Treasurer in 2019. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant with 40 years experience in the accounting profession and the manufacturing and financial services sectors. He spent 24 years in The Royal Bank of Scotland holding a number of senior finance positions across the Retail and Operations Divisions, gaining significant experience in growing businesses in a cost effective manner.
After retiring, Colin was looking for an opportunity to make use of his skills in the voluntary sector and a family experience with dementia drew him to The Eric Liddell Community.
Colin is married to Elizabeth and they have three boys. He enjoys sailing and together they enjoy walking and exploring in their campervan.
Gillian became a Trustee in 2021 when she was looking for a way to contribute more to the local community and was inspired by the vital role The Eric Liddell Community played in supporting vulnerable people through the pandemic.
Gillian has worked at the Scottish Parliament since it was established in 1999 and is now head of the Participation and Communities Team, helping as many people as possible to have their voices and experiences heard in Parliament.
She has two nearly grown up children and as a local Bruntsfield resident has attended family activities and classes at The Eric Liddell Community for many years.
In her spare time she is a volunteer mentor for vulnerable young people and she enjoys swimming in the sea, making sourdough and relaxing on the sofa with one of her two cats and a good book.
Mike became a Trustee in 2018 and has been in the Hospitality & Retail industry all his life. Originally from Angus, where his parents had a hotel, he went to school and university in Edinburgh.
After University, Mike worked with his parents in their restaurant in Perth before moving to Edinburgh in 1998, where he has remained since. He has worked in two of Edinburgh’s top speciality food shops before opening his own Delicatessen in Bruntsfield with his wife in 2014. In 2019 their shop was announced as a finalist in The Guild of Fine Foods 2020 Shop of the Year Awards.
Mike is married to Charlotte and they have two sons both at school locally. Mike’s interests are food and wine and he enjoys reading about motorsport and history.
Clare became a trustee in August 2022 when she was also appointed as Vice Chair of the board. She has lived in the Morningside area since 2010 with husband Bruce, daughters Natasha and Stella and stepchildren Rebecca and Charlie. Originally from Northern Ireland she came to Edinburgh in the mid-nineties to work as a physiotherapist. She is now the Head of Implementation, Strategic Planning, NHS Lothian.
During a mid life gap year in 2021 she started as a volunteer with Day Care Services at ELC. She continues to volunteer following her return to work in spring 2022.
In her spare time she enjoys travel, wild swimming, watching rugby and fine wine.
Anne became a Trustee in 2021. She is the Director of Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing organisation.
Originally from Edinburgh, Anne moved to Birmingham in the early 90s to join Birmingham City Council’s arts team. She went on to hold posts with West Midlands Arts, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Watford Palace Theatre, and worked as a consultant with organisations including Arts Council England, The Reading Agency and A New Direction. In 2005 she was awarded a Clore Leadership Fellowship.
Anne moved back to Scotland to become the founding Director of Luminate in 2012, making Bruntsfield her home.
In her current post she works with older people, artists and cultural organisations across Scotland, and she is passionate about the positive impacts that the arts and creativity can have on our lives as we age.
Anne is also Chair of the Board of All or Nothing, Scotland’s leading aerial dance company.
Derek was appointed as a Trustee in 2022. Derek is an experienced HR professional with over 25 years experience. Initially Derek started his HR career in Scottish Widows, then as part of Lloyds Group. Derek has had his own HR consultancy since 2012, where he supports SME organisations on a variety of HR issues. Derek is looking forward to using his HR skills and experience to support The ELC when required.
To his knowledge, Derek is no relation to Eric Liddell, but the opportunity to become involved as a trustee and support a great charity in his name was eagerly accepted.
Derek enjoys running, watching rugby, golfing & hill-walking.
Diane became a trustee in August 2020 – a very interesting time to take on the role.
She is Dean of the School of Arts and Creative Industries at Edinburgh Napier University, which enjoys a strong relationship with The Eric Liddell Community.
Prior to joining academia, she worked at the BBC as a documentary-maker, and continues to make documentaries for the Gaelic language channel, BBC Alba.
She also worked for the Scotsman, writing for their heritage site, and when she has time, continues to write freelance for magazines like Scottish Field. She is currently involved in a project to film the oral history of everyone involved in the Scottish jazz scene.
She travels to the Hebrides at least once a year to recharge batteries and ignore the rain. Diane lives in Edinburgh with her husband and three mostly grown up sons.
Dr Tirion Seymour
Tirion was appointed as a Trustee in October 2019, serving also on the Caring Services Committee. Tirion is a former employee of The Eric Liddell Community, having worked in the LOOPs (Local Opportunities for Older People) collaborative project until March 2019. She currently works for a national charity as a Service User Engagement officer.
As well as her work in the third sector, Tirion has a background in social science research, exploring the role of third sector organisation support for long term health conditions. In her spare time Tirion enjoys movies, the theatre and travelling.
‘I’ve seen first hand the importance of community services to support the health and wellbeing of individuals. I’m delighted to be part of the important work of The Eric Liddell Community.’
Fiona became an ELC Trustee in 2019. She is a serial entrepreneur with three businesses. She started a property development company for her five grandchildren three years ago; she has been a therapist for more than 30 years (personal counselling, hypnotherapy and a bit of coaching to add structure to help clients to live their best life) and, together with her husband (Andrew), has a global scientific services company (for the last 21 years) working with the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries, the NHS, laboratories and universities to help ensure the quality and safety of products and veracity of claims made about the products.
Fiona has been married to Andrew for nearly 46 years and they have 2 grown-up children and 5 grandchildren.
Fiona enjoys quiz nights, reading (particularly about crime and forensics), baking, cooking and socialising with friends.
Fiona is a Director Consultant of Business Network International (BNI) and has been a mentor for Aspire (related to women in senior positions in business) and Glasgow Caledonian University life sciences students.
Volunteering is a fantastic way to build your skills, meet new people and have fun, all while making a real difference to the lives of some of Edinburgh’s most vulnerable people, ensuring no one in our community lives lonely or isolated. We have a wide range of volunteering opportunities and are sure to find something that matches your interests and time commitment.