Board of Trustees

The Trustees of the Board are responsible for:

  • Recruiting and Managing staff and volunteers
  • Providing annual accounts and reports
  • Finance and fund-raising
  • Ensuring the organisation works within policies, guidelines, budget and law
  • Submitting Annual Accounts to an independent Auditor

Members of the Management Committee consist of Sikh women who use the service and representatives from professional bodies with an interest in our organisation. Office bearers are Chairperson, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary who are elected annually at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The quorum for meetings is two office bearers and three other members.

Our Board of Trustees are:

Mary McKenna – Chair of the Board

Mary McKenna has worked as a social worker in Children and Families for over 40 years. She has worked in Local Authorities but spent most of her career in the Voluntary Sector, latterly as Assistant Director for Barnardo’s in Scotland. Her professional expertise is in working with troubled children, fostering, adoption and children with disabilities. In the last ten years she has worked as an independent consultant, which has involved her in a much wider range of work in research, training and inspection of Children’s Services across Scotland. One of the most challenging experiences was in working in Russia in helping the government develop services for children with disabilities.

Mary has lived in Leith for 35 years but it was only in coming on to the Board of Sikh Sanjog in 2010 that Mary began to appreciate the challenges for Sikh women and young people growing up in Edinburgh. While some of the constraints on the Sikh girls reminded her of the old fashioned attitudes she experienced in the 1960’s, the ongoing constraints and limitations on Sikh women today are significant and do not reflect expectations and norms in the UK in the 21st Century.

Trishna Singh OBE – Director

Trishna Singh is a first generation Scottish Sikh. Born in Glasgow in the 1950’s, her education was limited due to cultural barriers she left school at the age of 13. She married and moved to Edinburgh in 1974. She re-entered the world of Education in 2004 and in 2007, at the age of 54, successfully obtained a Degree in Community Learning & Development from Glasgow University.

She founded Sikh Sanjog in 1989 and has almost 30 years’ experience in the community and voluntary sector delivering outreach services, securing funding, providing training, supporting personal development and managing the organisation. In 2007 she was involved in successfully setting up the first Sikh Women’s Social Enterprise in Scotland (probably the UK) – Punjabi Junction, our Social Enterprise Community Cafe.

Her aim is to continue to break down barriers to learning, reducing the obstacles that get in the way of people receiving a service and improving communication between professions about the needs of the Sikh and other BME women. Having studied Community Learning and Development, Trishna is passionate about the ability of the voluntary sector to engage with communities in helping the people and the environment around them; and firmly believes that the flexibility, creativity and tenacity of the voluntary sector will be crucial in tackling the problems emerging as a result of tough economic times.

Her wealth of experience together with her knowledge of ethnic communities and their needs has resulted in her being asked to represent the Sikh Community in a variety of arenas both statutory and voluntary. She has recently been appointed as Sikh Chaplain to Edinburgh University. This year she was awarded the OBE for her services to the Community.

Michelle Porter – Trustee

Michelle began her career as an English Teacher in a large multi cultural school in Bradford. After many years of teaching, a year spent in Africa, project managing a youth development project, encouraged her to pursue a career in International Development. She began work with Save the Children in 1999 working predominantly around children’s rights and eventually led the Education Strategy as Assistant Programme Director.

Michelle re-located to Scotland when her husband took over the family business and now runs her own small business.  She has continued to work as a Director and Trustee within the charitable sector both locally and internationally and recently founded ABC Africa, a charity that supports orphaned and vulnerable children living in absolute poverty. A keen advocate for children and women’s rights, she believes strongly that charities must be transparent, accountable and above all have sound governance if they are to have significant impact on those they serve.

The realisation that the same issues raised 25 years ago in Bradford continue to impact the lives of women and children within the Sikh Sanjog community encouraged Michelle to accept the invite onto the Board of Trustees. She’s looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead and hopes that her knowledge and expertise will be of some support during the next exciting phase of Sikh Sanjog

Sheena Ramsay – Trustee

Sheena worked for over 30 years in Human Resources for Edinburgh based drinks company Scottish & Newcastle (now part of Heineken). She was the HR Business Partner for a range of Senior Management teams before moving into the specialist area of Remuneration. She has experience in many HR disciplines including recruitment, training, development, HR systems, Organisational Design and Reward.

Following a call from Hilary to provide HR advice she first became involved in Sikh Sanjog in late 2011. A three month project to look at some of the HR practices led to an invite to join the Board and she was voted onto the Board at the 2012 AGM. She provides advice and guidance to the Board and the organisation on a wide variety of HR issues and is a member of the Board’s Cafe Sub-group.

Hilary Jones – Trustee

A graduate from University of Edinburgh with a BSc in Microbiology. Hilary was in Senior Management with Edinburgh-based drinks company Scottish & Newcastle (now part of Heineken) for 27 years .She brings a breadth of experience to the Board including business and financial skills, regulatory and risk control including Health, Safety and Environment, and operations/people management.

Hilary first became involved with Sikh Sanjog in late 2008, helping to manage some organisational change, and to obtain funding to acquire and fit out premises for the Social Enterprise café. She was subsequently invited to join the Board. She also contributes to the running of the Board’s Café sub-group through an in depth knowledge of food hygiene and its regulations. She works closely with Trishna on fundraising for Sikh Sanjog through application for grants and the processes involved with reporting back to funders Hilary became a full Board member in early 2010.

Helen Campbell – Social Enterprise Business Development Advisor

Having gained a BA Hons in Hospitality and Food Management and an HND in Professional Culinary Arts, Helen has pursued a broad and varied career within the food and drink sector for 17years. This has included product and food development, marketing, procurement, operational management and work within the third sector.  Subsequently Helen completed a Post Graduate degree in Food Technology Education and has delivered food and business education up to FE and advanced level in England and Scotland.

Helen is currently studying an MSc in Gastronomy at Queen Margret University which examines food systems, culture, politics and communications. She also teaches as well as delivering consultancy projects in the food and drink sector. It is during the MSc that Helen became involved with Sikh Sanjog having met Trishna during a visit looking a migrant food culture and local and traditional food systems. Trishna initially contacted Helen to discuss Punjabi Junction and the development of the offer and the operation. Having met Trishna and heard her talk of the achievements and ongoing aspirations for Sikh Sanjog, Helen was delighted when she was subsequently invited to be the Business Development Advisor for the Punjabi Junction