Positive Destination Mentors

We have 8 mentors with a vast array of experience to support people on the Positive Destinations programme. Please find below information on each mentor. 

Brian Grout – Project Coordinator & Mentor

Brian is a retired academic, consultant and project manager with extensive experience in designing and delivering specialist courses in Personal Development and Learning Needs. He has worked with a wide range of young people from diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences. Currently a volunteer with a foodbank in Argyll & Bute and has previously been a volunteer in organisations dealing with mental health and environmental issues.

Maggie Clunie

Maggie has a long background in education including pastoral care with young people from varied family backgrounds. She demonstrates compassion and empathy but with the experience to introduce structure and support to a young person.  Previously she has been a Listening volunteer and recruiter for the Samaritans.  Recently she has undertaken the responsibility of becoming a foster carer. 

Ronnie Gourley

Ronnie has held a variety of posts within education and children’s services and, more recently, in the third sector.  He worked as a Guidance teacher in one of the most deprived areas of Scotland for a number of years.  Most recently he has worked with MCR Pathways, a Scottish based charitable organisation that seeks to support young people who are care experienced – either currently or in the past – or who are on the edges of the care system.  He has had a life long interest in sport and its benefits for people and society particularly rugby, athletics, and golf, the last of which he still participates in, despite ever declining returns. He has enjoyed watching his two sons grow up and embrace the challenges, sporting and otherwise, that life has set for them.

Russell Humphreys

Russell has a background in working with young people in care, families were siblings needed extra support and has set up Family Therapy Centre for abused children.  He demonstrates experience of safeguarding practice and provided day care for young children, many on Child Protection Register, and has undertaken specialist work with families.

Lisa Carr

After leaving a career in Fashion Buying Lisa moved into the 3rd sector and has worked with a number of charities and community arts organisations. Her work has been mainly centered around supporting young people facing barriers to employment by developing various creative projects and social enterprises. The young people that she has supported over the years have had the opportunity to experience real employability skills, whilst exploring creativity and ultimately moving on to positive destinations. She believes that everyone has a talent and that creativity is a strong tool to pull on an individual’s strengths. She is currently setting up her own charity Face – FulfilAchieveCreateEmploy where she will be supporting adults with additional support needs – and currently delivers such a project in partnership with Centre 81 Garelochhead

Gayle Barrett

Gayle has many years experience working with people, starting as a hairdresser in her  community later becoming a tutor at the local college and having her own business.
Gayle is a qualified Master Practitioner of NLP, Master NLP Coach, Master in Time line Therapy and Master in Hypnotherapy as well as holding other professional qualifications.
Gayle particularly enjoys  the coaching side of her business where she can help people to unlock their own potential and achieve personal goals, overcome barriers and help them with their personal development

Katie Mackay

From her teenage years Katie was an active volunteer, working particularly in sport-related areas, and especially where young people had special needs. She also found time to study and qualified with a degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics. These interests were maintained when she was working, in Glasgow, as a sports coach, and with an emphasis on after-school activities for those with special needs. Latterly, inevitable changes in her life due to the arrival of children, and the less-welcome onset of the covid pandemic, meant a change of direction and Katie took on some volunteering at Centre 81, the very active Community Hub in Garelochhead. The commitment ,somehow, just grew and she is now the fully-involved Projects Co-ordinator at the Centre, still very much focused on supporting users with special needs and helping them to move forward in their lives.

Michelle MacDonald

Michelle has worked with young people for over 35 years, developing a wide array of skills and experiences. While working as a Travel Agent in her teens and early twenties, she was also a volunteer with various youth groups before, unexpectedly, having to become an unpaid carer. These circumstances provided the challenges, experiences and insight that prompted her, latterly, to expand her abilities and skills and become a qualified youth worker. She is now also an experienced project co-ordinator. Following her interests in the subject Michelle has started qualification to become a fully-trained counsellor. She believes in taking a holistic approach to her work and is a keen advocate for volunteering. She has experienced first-hand the positive impact that volunteering can have on life and wellbeing and during her career has continually seen the benefits to be gained by involvement in volunteering programmes.

Lyndsey Phillips

I work with people to support their journey of positive change on a range of issues including anxiety/stress, weight management, phobias, fears, negative self-talk and addictions. I have been trained in mindfulness and counselling skills and  have been a mentor with the Scottish, and Ayrshire,  Chambers of Commerce and have also developed a mentoring scheme for the Love Loch Lomond Project. In a very busy life I work hard to find time to spend with my family or enjoying reading, concerts, theatre and gardening. Cycling for fitness and health also gets slotted in where possible.

Paul Gent

As a self-employed artist, among other roles, I have 25 years of experience working with young people and, using a creative project approach, I have supported work on themes including community development and social behaviour. Working extensively with people with additional support needs, including recovery from traumatic episodes, I have used this same approach to construct enjoyable projects to suit individual skills and abilities. Being a good listener has been a key element in this work. . I like to work as part of a team, often as a public facing member, and a sense of community is important to me. Consequently, I am working with a  number of local organisations, looking to encourage public engagement.