Liv Cockburn


Chair – Community Links Practitioner – Integration for Health & Social Care – SAMH

Liv started her career as a Social Worker in 1975 first with Edinburgh City and then in senior posts in Lothian Region and Strathclyde.

After a career break to bring up her two daughters, during which time she moved to Aberdeen, Liv became involved in lecturing, training and provided consultancy to several private and third sector organisations .For the last 30 plus years Liv has held a number of Senior Posts within the 3rd sector and understands the pressures, particularly resources, that third sector organisations are working under. She also understands that Scotland has a long and proud history of third sector organisations rising to meet the challenges facing civic society delivering excellent innovative and relevant services to meet the ever increasing demand made by people requiring support and this is so very true of the many organisations working in Aberdeen city.

Liv is a strong advocate of Lifelong Learning and has been heavily involved in the development and review of vocational qualifications, providing opportunities for people to attain qualifications at any time in their lives.

During her spare time, Liv enjoys reading, listening to music, gardening and being a Grandma to her two wonderful grandsons.

Liv hopes that at the end of her time on the ACVO board that the third sector will be viewed as a “partner” not as a plaster” by all relevant bodies in the public and private sector.

Helen Gauld

Vice Chair

Langstane Housing

Helen has worked in social housing for over 25 years, firstly working for Aberdeenshire and Moray Council then coming to work in Aberdeen for Grampian Housing before taking up the helm at Langstane in early 2015.

Providing a safe and secure place to live has never been far from Helen’s main aims but she recognised early in her career that bricks and mortar do not mean much without the right support for those who need it, whether that be on a permanent or occasional basis.

Dave Black


Dave Black is General Manager of Grampian Regional Equality Council (GREC), an Aberdeen-based organisation working to advance equality and tackle discrimination. Dave started volunteering with GREC in 2007 on a range of research projects before taking up the post of Gypsy/Traveller Liaison Worker in 2010. Since then he has delivered a range of projects and roles, mostly relating to community engagement and research, before starting his current role in 2015. Dave also spent a year based at Langstane Housing Association, as the project worker for the Minority Ethnic Housing Project.

Dave brings the following experience to the board: overseeing finances, developing strategy, governance, and managing teams. He has previously sat on the boards of the Disabled Persons Housing Service (Aberdeen) and Aberdeen For a Fairer World.

Angela Forbes

Advocacy Service Aberdeen

Paul O’Connor MBE

Inchgarth Community Centre

Born in Glasgow and living in Aberdeen since 1984, I been involved in Aberdeen’s third sector since 1992, at the age of 16, and passionately believe that the voluntary sector represents all that is good about local communities and the city as a whole. I have managed Inchgarth community centre in Garthdee from 1996 to present day, chair Garthdee community council, chair the Garthdee liaison group, and have been involved in numerous other city wide organisations over the period. As a director of ACVO for 6 years I have been fortunate to see the tremendous impact, support and difference ACVO makes to the lives and organisations of the city.

I am a Burgess of the city of Aberdeen, where the Burgesses have a civic role in the city, while my proudest moment was to see the entire team at Inchgarth receive the Queen’s award for voluntary service, which is the highest award an organisation can receive in the UK, and testimony of the power of volunteering by our citizens.

In my spare time I enjoy attending Celtic Park, volunteering, playing golf, theatre and concerts, enjoying life with my fox red Labrador Brooke, and activism.

Dr Amudha Poobalan

University Of Aberdeen

Amudha Poobalan is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health based at the University of Aberdeen and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). She has a medical background and is now a full time academic leading the Masters in Public Health (MPH) at the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition at UoA. Her research expertise is in Obesity epidemiology mainly in Transition Periods (Young adults between 18 -25 years); and Transition Countries (with economic and demographic shifts). Her current field of research is behavioural modification and lifestyle interventions for obesity prevention focussing on young adults and addressing the challenge of ‘double burden’ of obesity and under nutrition in low and middle income settings. She has methodological expertise in Systematic Reviewing to inform evidence based medicine; and Mixed method study designs. She has authored several publications in this topic area and has national and international research collaborations. She works with The Leprosy Mission (TLM) Scotland and Friends of Vellore (FOV) charities.

Kenneth Simpson


Dr Kenneth Simpson is an Aberdonian and was educated at Robert Gordons College in Aberdeen, is a qualified Rehabilitation Worker and Chartered Manager and is a graduate of the Robert Gordon University. Kenneth joined VSA as Chief Executive in 2004. And has 30 years’ experience in the voluntary sector and has served on a number of Voluntary Sector Committees and Boards. Kenneth is a Board member of the Integrated Joint Board for ACH&SCP. Previously he worked in both Health and Social Services before joining Guide Dogs serving in a number of senior roles. He has served on the ACVO Board for a number of years, previously being Vice Chair and Chair.