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Meet the Team

HELLO FROM THE HEADTORCH TEAM

At Headtorch we are privileged to have contacts with many people who work in the field of mental health and or have experience of mental health conditions themselves. We draw on this knowledge and expertise to ensure that the work we deliver resonates accurately with our clients.

Our team comprises a wealth of knowledge from a variety of industry backgrounds.  We all have one thing in common – a desire to enable people to feel good and be more productive at work.  We know that a mentally healthy workplace makes business sense.

Amy McDonald

Founder & CEO

I enjoy learning when I’m being challenged, actively participating, my senses engaged, when it’s fun - that’s when learning and development (L&D) makes a difference.

I combine a passion for respect and equality at work with theatre and L&D. I’ve strengthened these core skills with mediation, neuro-linguistic programming, coaching and the Mental Health First Aid course. For over a decade this expertise allowed me to run my sole-trading business, creating and delivering numerous dramatic learning events on subjects from family business to handling difficult conversations. During this time I established a niche in mental health and well-being.

The consistent success of The Cynthia Show – Mental Health at WORK combined with a clear market need, provided me with the catalyst to move into e-learning and launch Headtorch.

Networking has played a significant part in my career. Great learning and incredible support has come from Scottish Women in Business and the Professional Speaking Association.

Other than that you can catch me stretching out at yoga, reaching high on a climbing wall, singing, laughing, at the theatre or standing on top of a mountain breathing it all in.

Angus Robinson

Chairman of Headtorch

When the world zigs, zag – a mantra to live by. From my first real job in the shipyards to having my own companies, it’s a really interesting ride. From engineering, to business, to the nuclear industry, to the medical industry, my career has always been highly stimulating and has taken me into all sorts of areas in the UK and internationally.

I have a pattern of being attracted by innovative new ideas, and making these a reality in the market place. This has been across many different products and sectors, and in my opinion is about understanding the potential, applying intelligence, and using principles.

When I’m not working, I’m practicing extreme sports like adventure racing, mountain biking and skiing. When I’m not doing that, I’m chilling with my family.

Tom Craig

Director

I founded Craig Corporate in 1985. I am now Chairman of Craig Corporate and sit on the board (as a non-executive or Chairman) of several companies including Houston Bottling and Co-Pack. I was also delighted to have been appointed as the Chairman of the Scottish Golf Union, leading it through to its amalgamation with the LSGA.

During my early career, I qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Young & Co (now Ernst & Young), after which I joined ICFC (now 3i) as an Investment Controller. I then spent some time in industry before moving into management consultancy with PA.

I golf
I ski
I go to the gym (makes me healthier but I’m never happy in the gym)
I garden that’s good exercise and gives me great satisfaction - that’s the physical side.

I also do puzzles, like chess puzzles, Killer Sudoku, Wordwheels (esp like The Times puzzle section)
I like finding solutions to business problems and opportunities - that’s the brain health side.

I read a bit – usually non-fiction
I listen to music. These help me relax and make me happy

I like visiting interesting places
I like watching interesting TV programmes, like Brian Cox and history - that makes me happy.

I enjoy good food, and good wine and good company - that makes me happy, but probably isn’t very healthy!

Lynda Nicolson

Advisory Board Member

While not quite ‘Mad Men’, my early career in advertising was certainly ‘interesting’. A few years in a huge and busy advertising agency in Manchester allowed me to hone my craft and manage client advertising campaigns for subjects as diverse as shoes, college courses, foster parents and regional economic development. The phrase ‘thrown in at the deep end’ comes to mind but it was a fantastic learning experience. I was tempted home to the fabled Rex Stewart Agency in my beloved Glasgow and here I have stayed.

My career has continued in the marketing, design and advertising industry and I can now add specialist sector knowledge of education, property, construction and technology marketing to my cv. Never a dull moment! I also ran my own agency for a few years and recently managed an entrepreneurial learning programme for the University of Glasgow, helping small businesses become more innovative.

Hobbies? I read everything I can get my hands on and enjoy quality tv and film, but my favourite pastime has to be flying to the States, picking up a hire car and seeing where I end up. Heaven.

Pippa Gardner

Advisory Board Member

I am a Project & Programme Manager by trade and very passionate that the people side of change projects is handled well, and with care. I have worked across a range of consultancy projects in the public sector - enjoying the strategy side of things and then delivering on the promises made. A specialist knowledge of ‘Smart Cities’ (the technology, data and engagement response to the rapid urbanisation of our cities) led me to co-found and become CEO of Urban Tide in 2014. We work with clients across the public and private sector on areas such as: strategy development, visioning, investment roadmaps, data mining, data engagement and open data. Urban Tide is currently engaged on projects across the UK and planning expansion into global markets.

I love cocker spaniels, the great outdoors and have a particular soft spot and passion for the Western Isles. A room-temperature gorgonzola would be my downfall.

Andy Edwards

Content Writer & Social Media Associate

I’m a playwright, visual artist and performer who has made and performed work across the UK, cobbled things together and collaborating with dancers, museums and app designers along the way.

I’m good with words basically. Good at putting them into sentences, just like, this, one.

Though I write a lot about mental health I do tend to go around the houses, trying to get at it from different angles. I’ve been treated for depression, anxiety and OCD but what I’m most interested in is mental health in context, in situ, in relation to other things like astronomy, the wilderness and sausages. What it means to have mental health now, with all this other stuff that's going on, that’s super interesting.

Besides theatre I work a lot of jobs. I was once an ultrasound model and that was fab. I’ve scrubbed toilets, stacked shelves, been a security guard, sold tickets, and managed a box office; provided over the phone counselling, worked in an emergency call centre and now find myself as a receptionist/artist/writer/editor.

Doing different things is exciting. Working with Headtorch is a different thing and it is very exciting.

If I’m not writing or putting together PhD proposals in performance studies I’m usually eating, bathing or asleep.

Laurence Malyon

HeadIntern

I'm the HeadIntern!

I really love business, marketing to me is actually a real passion. Sad as that may seem. From a young age I’ve always preferred doing businessy-work-stuff to being on the playstation or whatever stereotype I was supposed to fit into. Business development, nailing marketing messages, getting social media to run super smoothly - that's what really makes me tick. It helps when the business is genuinely good at improving people's lives. Thanks Headtorch.

Growing up in a family business has given me experience with marketing and growth planning internationally. I led a project that saw us forming a joint venture with the biggest Chinese company in our field. I was also personally responsible for dealing with major blue chip clients at home - which was pretty cool.

I love to travel. I’ve visited almost every country in Europe and plan to see the rest in the next few years. I think that travel is one of the best ways to educate yourself and understand the world. I’ve improved my grasp of history, politics and cocktail tasting. Travel is a brilliant way of diluting the day to day worries of my world. It keeps me mentally healthy as it allows me to remember what is important in life and ensures some fun-packed weeks in the year - at least until I have to return and catch up with all those emails. Visiting Tibet and China has to be the highlight so far. Anyone fancy buying me a ticket to Tokyo?

Keeping busy helps me relax - I love motorsports. I used to kart race, competing in the British and Scottish Championships. Through my racing career I learned about competition - got lots of trophies!; how to work as an integral part of a team; and how to bond with the people close to me whether they were family, friends or colleagues.

I’m having a great time at Headtorch, learning tons and sharing some unforgettable laughter.

Linda Craig

Advisory Board Member

I’m a Clinical Psychologist by qualification. By day you can find me working with people with mental health difficulties, such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and eating disorders. The resilience, determination and courage of those I work with never ceases to inspire me.

Is this what I set out to do in life? It's hard to say. I remember choosing my undergrad course based on a lecture I attended with a friend! But human behaviour and functioning is fascinating. What drives us and why we do what we do. And now I’m here, using this knowledge to help people improve their lives.

I am delighted to join the Advisory Board for Headtorch. Anything that helps spread understanding and compassion for those whose lives are more challenging or who face struggles with their mental health is something I believe in.

To maintain my own mental health I like to get out on the ice rink as much as possible to spin, jump and skate myself to calm or officiate at competitions to give back to the sport that has given so much. I can also be found reading, watching Netflix, doing a bit of Mindfulness or seeing friends and family.

Everything in moderation.

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