Our TeamAn introduction to the VOX Scotland team.
Wendy McAuslan, VOX Manager
We’re still too far off having enough support, services and a sense of humanity in communities for people with mental health problems and that drives me to want to make a difference. I recently talked to someone, who, when I said I worked in mental health said “do you need to socialise with them? I wouldn’t want to have to do that”. I was pretty taken aback and had almost forgotten that this attitude still exists.
I genuinely believe the way we treat each other is crucial in life, especially with social media being a key way we connect these days – we can say so much without thinking through the consequences. I am keen to see connection develop within communities and for people ‘othering’ or ‘dismissing’ people to stop!
I love spending time with my family and friends and enjoy searching for sea-glass when life gets a bit too much! I have a bit of a dark sense of humour, enjoy Monty Python, travelling (when we were allowed) to random European locations, reading medical journal articles on various topics, and listening to Stevie Nicks (don’t judge me 😊)
John Steel, Administration Officer
John has experience as a mental health service user since 1991 and has been a supporter of the Clubhouse movement since joining Scotia Clubhouse in Glasgow in 2001.
John has attended many Clubhouse conferences in Europe and the United States and spoke at a fundraising event at the UN in New York. He was also a Faculty Member of the International Centre for Clubhouse Development and, by being involved in the Clubhouse movement, has acquired many additional skills which he uses in his work with VOX.
As VOX’s Administration Officer, John looks after the VOX website and issues a weekly update for individual, group and associate members. John also looks after the day to day running of the VOX office and organises major VOX events such as the Annual Conference and Annual Members’ Meeting.
Paula Fraser, Development Officer
Hi, I’m Paula, Development Officer at VOX.
I’ve not been long in the role, but already I’ve been amazed and inspired at the hard work, determination and warmth shown by the people I’ve met who are raising their voices and spending their time driving forward change while making a difference each day in the lives of people around them through connection and compassion.
Seeing this makes me even more resolved to help push for positive action and change that people with living and lived experience of mental health problems need, want, and deserve. So, I’m here, and I’m listening! I’m asking questions, I’m admitting when I don’t know something (fairly often), and I’m trying to gather people’s views on issues that matter and represent those as effectively as possible to the people who can take action!
Getting outside, no matter what the weather is, is really important for me and, luckily, I have children who agree! So, muddy puddle walks, cycling by the river, and attempts at (junior!) archery in the garden are good for us! I love trips to the beach, visiting castles, having fun with friends and family. I like reading, eating chocolate, watching films (which I forget the plot of very soon afterward, so it’s like the first time every time!) and singing/dancing along to music while I hang up the washing, do the dishes, and cook the dinner! (Yes, at the same time 😀)
VOX Development Officer
Michelle McBride, Volunteer Engagement Officer
Hi, I’m Michelle, Volunteer Engagement Officer at VOX, I am passionate about the benefits of volunteering, and I enjoy working alongside people to influence and promote positive change.
I am always amazed when I learn about the extent of individuals’ skills and experiences (tapped or untapped). Through working together and utilising these capabilities through co-production, there are great opportunities to develop the power of peer support, which really does enhance our health and wellbeing.
In these current times there is a focus on ‘lived experience’ and now being part of the VOX team (who have been representing views for many years), I am excited to promote our work and look forward to creatively engaging with more individuals across the whole of Scotland in sharing their unique views, having a voice, and making a difference.
My passion for shopping is well known to my family and friends – a girl can never have too many shoes or handbags! To balance this, I love all things “mindfulness” from candles to aromatherapy and will gravitate to anything lavender or bergamot related. I would like to think of myself as being “green-fingered”, I enjoy pottering about in my garden and have now lost count of the number of indoor & outdoor plants I have in my collection… Always room for another one!
Volunteer Engagement Officer