MEET THE TEAM
All Committee members are volunteers and give freely their time and effort.
We try to keep meetings informal and fun. If you'd like to get involved, please get in touch with any committee member or use the Contact Us page.
As a local Deaf Children's Society, we are affiliated to the National Deaf Children's Society and maintain close links with them. They offer support and training for our committee.
However, we are not the same organisation – we are all volunteers working from our own homes and the NDCS is a large national charity. We may sometimes point you towards them for help - they have many useful publications, a helpline, family officers and also provide events for young people, away from their parents.
Carrie Heddle - Chair
Hi, my name is Carrie. I have two deaf children (Caitlyn, born 2000 and Adam, born 2005, both with cochlear implants) and have been coming to GDCS events since Adam was born. I was voted in as chair – by default I think! – around 2010. I get roped into all sorts of other things under the guise of GDCS and represent parents interests at a number of other groups.
In my day job, I work in the NHS, currently as a Project Manager. I enjoy travelling, the theatre, and books - and am a bit of a closet geek! I am a huge control freak but am trying to get better at letting it go!
Claire Young - Vice Chair
My name is Claire and become involved in the committee around September 2013. I have two boys - Ross who was born 2006 and has a moderate hearing loss and Daniel his hearing sibling who was born 2010.
I am a fluent German speaker and my three favourite capital cities are Rekjavik, Prague and Berlin. As a family we enjoy travelling and generally being outdoors, although my fear of heights greatly impacts on the activities I can do!
Vanessa Ross - Treasurer
Hello, I am Vanessa and I am the current treasurer for Grampian Deaf Children's Society. I have two hearing impaired boys - Kieran, born 1990, and Nathan, born in 2005. I have been through the whole education system with Kieran from hearing impaired unit, primary, secondary, university and work, all have they challenges to overcome and now he is back at university sitting his final exam for his master. So looking forward to going through it all again with Nathan!
I joined GDCS as a committee member in 1997. The following year I took over as Treasurer and was handed a box full of papers and the precious red accounting book -20 years later I still have the box full of papers plus several boxes more!! Nowadays all the accounts are processed using an accounting software programme and all accounts are submitted online - no more red book to hand over. There have been many changes over the years but the goals of the committee have remained the same and hopefully it continues to for many more years to come.
Pam Smith - Trustee
Hi, my name is Pam, I am the secretary of GDCS, and I have been attending GDCS events for the past 20 years.
This has been since my eldest daughter was diagnosed with a Hearing Loss in her left ear, and wears a Hearing Aid.
She has been through Primary School, Academy, moving away from home, College, University, moving back home and working. She has now qualified and is working as a primary school teacher in Aberdeenshire.
I have been on the committee for over10 years. I have organised the Abernethy trip for the last 5 years, and am best remembered as the one that capsized the canoe!!
Lynne Henderson - Trustee
My name is Lynne. I joined GDCS in 2014 & have been a committee member since the start of 2015. I have twin boys Ross & Dylan who are both partially deaf.
We as a family have received huge support from everyone, made many new friends & enjoyed participating in many of the events organised throughout the year.
Sally King - Trustee
My name is Sally and I have two adult children, Stephen who is hearing and a daughter Nikki who is profoundly deaf and has a cochlear implant.
I have been involved with Grampian Deaf Children’s Society for over 20 years in various capacities. I have appreciated the support I have had over the years and by getting involved have tried to give something back. There have been many changes during the time I have been a member of GDCS and the group has evolved into one that not only offers emotional support and information but also provides opportunities for lots of fun activities for families with deaf children and their siblings.
My daughter is now an adult and I work full time as a counsellor so my involvement is less ‘hands on’ than in the past. However my husband and I have really appreciated GDCS for having provided Nikki with a deaf peer group, something which would have been absent otherwise because she attended a mainstream school since the age of five.
Vicki Maclachlan - Trustee
My name is Vicky, I have two children - Callum and Ellie. Callum (born 2009) is deaf and uses a cochlear implant. He attends Sunnybank School. I have been involved in the committee, both formally and informally for the last four years.
Kirsty Neish - Secretary/Youth Leader
My name is Kirsty. I am the youngest committee member, and officially joined the committee in 2014, however have been doing bits and bobs for the committee for a few years now. I help organise and run the youth events for our teenagers. I am 23 years old, and wear a hearing aid in my left ear.
I travelled to Peru when I was 16 years old with my school. I also moved away from home to study at the age of 17, and successfully gained my degree in Events Management. While I was in University, I gained my level 1 and level 2 in sign language. I then completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Education at Aberdeen University and am now working as a primary school teacher.
Robert Neish - Youth Leader
Hello, my name is Robert or Bob as some people call me. I am one of the committee members and I help organise and run the youth events for our teenagers. I am 27 years old and wear hearing aids in both ears, I communicate orally though I have gained my level 2 BSL qualification a few years ago.
If you ever have any questions or want to find out more about my past experiences, which include living independently in Glasgow and going to Pakistan, then come and say hi at any events you see me at.
In Grampian, we have strong links with the local professional community and are grateful to them for their support and encouragement.
Alison Buchan – Head of Sensory Support Service, Aberdeen City
Karen McKain – Hearing Support Teacher, Aberdeenshire