JESSICA PATERSON (Chair)
Jessica was born and raised in Durban, South Africa. On moving to the UK she attended the University of Kent at Canterbury, receiving a BA in English Literature and History of Art, and a Master’s in Modern Poetry. She was very lonely when she arrived in Falkirk in 2004, but gradually made friends through volunteering with the local Friends Of The Earth group. She loves gardening, and currently volunteers at the Dollar Park Walled Garden and the Zetland Park Rose Garden. Having put down roots in Falkirk, she hopes that FOSS will offer friendship and support to other newcomers, whether they be from Syria, Sevenoaks or Sydney!
BILL MITCHELL (Treasurer)
Bill has been involved with the Voluntary Sector for more years than he cares to remember. He has been a volunteer with various organisations and was also a paid fundraiser with Action for Children and Sense Scotland from the mid 1980’s until he retired some 10 years ago. Since then he has continued to volunteer with a number of smaller grass roots organisations in Falkirk and is presently a member of the Board at Falkirk Council of Voluntary Services. Away from the Voluntary Sector Bill enjoys golf, walking, art and music.
SARAH SHAW (Secretary)
Sarah studied Politics at University and has always felt like a ‘citizen of the world’. She hopes and prays for a world where all are treated with equal respect and dignity, no matter who they are or where they have come from. For Sarah, putting this into practice means extending a welcome to newcomers to this area, so that everyone has a place they can call ‘home’. She is delighted to be part of FOSS, trying to make a difference in this corner of Scotland. She lives with her family in Grangemouth, and is a church minister working for the Scottish Episcopal Church in Falkirk.
Cath was born, brought up and educated in Zambia but, having become engaged to an Englishman, came to live in the UK as a Zambian citizen at the age of 25. She had to resit her medical examinations in order to be able to practice medicine in the UK. She worked for 10 years in palliative care and then as a GP until she retired. She and her husband came to live in the Falkirk area in 1979. They have 4 children and 5 grandchildren. After retiring she worked for some time as a volunteer with the Scottish Refugee Council. She is a Quaker and believes passionately in peace and justice for all.
Pamela is originally from Chile, where she got her first degree in Law & Social Sciences. She has called Scotland home since 2006, when she was awarded her LLM in International Law from the University of Glasgow. She has experience working in Public Health and Administrative Law, had a brief stint in post war Kosovo, and has two years experience with refugees with Stirling’s Forth Valley Welcome, and now with FOSS. She is also an accredited OISC Level 1 Immigration Adviser in European Union Settlement Scheme. You can find her at Central Scotland Regional Equality Council (CSREC) in Falkirk, and volunteering with the Citizens’ Rights Project. She has an interest in Human Rights Law & Policy, and in International Politics. She likes reading and listening to music (Mozart, Faith No More, Manuel Medrano, musica latina and Turkish Damar are some of her favourites). Pamela believes that we should all do something to make other people’s lives better and the place where we live, friendlier to everyone.
Muna is a Muslim born community activist of mixed German and Pakistani heritage who was born in London. She relocated to Falkirk in 2014 with her husband, father and youngest son. She has two married sons in London. Her core beliefs, which underpin everything she does, are integrity above all else and tolerance. She has a solid understanding of different cultures and religions and has been involved in interfaith work since she was at school. She’s particularly passionate about teaching the importance of accepting ones differences and developing partnerships between groups and individuals and she has an overarching belief that we are all born equal, regardless of gender, faith, ability, colour, education or sexual orientation. She believe in the inherent goodness of people.
She has been part of the Scottish Government’s cross-party group on tackling Islamophobia, chaired by MSP Anas Sarwar. She is Secretary of the Falkirk Muslim Forum and a Community Advisor for Police Scotland.
I arrived with my family in Scotland in 2017 on the V.P.R.S. ( Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme ) from Syria. Leaving my homeland I faced a long journey via Lebanon, Istanbul and finally a flight to Edinburgh. When I was in Lebanon, I volunteered for 4 years in a camp. I helped to build a school and worked as a volunteer teacher with children from Syria. In 2021 I joined FOSS as a volunteer and trustee, supporting newcomers to Scotland. I love building people’s confidence so that they are able to socialise and integrate in Scottish society. I love reading and cooking for my family and care about other human beings and try to see the best in everyone