Our Team

Project Co-ordinator: Carolyn Kennedy

Carolyn has had a varied career, starting out in Administration often within the education sector in schools and at the University Campus in Dumfries.  She has experience of working for a Charity when she was Fund-raising Manager for the Crichton Foundation.  For 9 years Carolyn ran her own hair and beauty business in Castle Douglas. During this time she worked with local schools to recruit young people and support their SVQ training in partnership with the College.

“No two days are the same – the young people never disappoint – it is a real pleasure and privilege to be a part of this innovative project supporting our young people and their families to move onto their ‘next steps’”

Employability Team Officer: Catherine Phillips – 

After graduating from Sheffeild Hallam University with an honours degree in Applied Social Studies, Catherine has enjoyed 25 years working with young people in a variety of sectors.  Since moving to Scotland 12 years ago she has worked as a Community Development Worker for a local arts and community centre, for CAHMS, a local horticultural therapeutic community and with D&G Council Autism Outreach Support Service.  She is particularly interested in ASD and anxiety.

“I am passionate about supporting people, to develop their interest, connect with others and feel comfortable in themselves”.

Employability Support Assistant: Kristin Zillwood –

After completing her First-class honors degree at Stirling University where she qualified in Sports Studies, Kristin joined Better Lives Partnership in August 2018. “I have always been extremely passionate about working with people with autism and related disabilities and wanted to share my expertise with others. I have previously worked with children with disabilities through working at the Summer Scheme in D & G for three years, which I really enjoyed”.

“Better Lives Partnership is an exciting project where we work closely with the young people to develop their talents and skills. Working with the young people can be varied and very enjoyable”.

Employability Support Assistant: Claire Setz –

Claire has an HNC in Early Education and Childcare and previously worked at Castle Douglas Playgroup, where she was the Manager for 3 years.  She started working for Better Lives Partnership in January 2019.

“I have several experiences working with children who have autism and their families. I always felt that this was a very rewarding job”.

“Working at BLP brings me the same job satisfaction. Being able to offer help and support to young people on their next part of their journey”.

Bridge to Business Support Worker: Anne McEwan – 

Anne is self-employed as a coach and trainer in the baby industry.  She has worked with families for the past 14 years in a professional and voluntary capacity.

“It is very rewarding to see a young person’s business idea come to life with the support of BLP”.

Administrator: Amanda Ansbro  –

Amanda has a background of administrative roles mainly within the NHS Dumfries & Galloway.  She joined the BLP team in February 2018 to provide administrative support to the Bridge to Employment project.

“It’s great to be involved in this exciting new charity and to help the team provide support to the local young people and families involved”.

Administrative Support: Claire Starritt –

Claire joined our team through a volunteer placement in our main office in late 2019. She was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as a young adult; her ‘inside looking out’ view of the world, and ability to help vocalise any otherwise difficult-to-explain issues that arise as we work with the young people has proven invaluable.

“It’s great to help and support young people that are very like myself as they make steps towards achieving the confidence and independence needed to make their way in a world that is not always very accommodating.”