My name is Alison Guthrie but sometimes friends and colleagues call me Ali G. I live in West Lothian with my husband and work as a Project Manager with Iriss (Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services) a charitable company that promotes positive outcomes for people who use Scotland’s social services. I am currently involved with the Technology Enabled Care (TEC) team, embedding the video conferencing tool, Near Me within the Social Service sector and enabling people to attend appointments from home or wherever is convenient.
My background is in early years, starting as a self-employed child minder, and I realised when my twins were in nursery that I really liked children. As a nursery/school parent helper, I had a lightbulb moment where I began to understand how important my role was and I had the potential to encourage children to learn, progress and develop. Following years of studying, I graduated with my BA Childhood Practice Degree from Edinburgh University in 2011 (a very proud family day).
In all my areas of work I have been very fortunate to work with a number of compassionate, kind and creative people from all life stages and many different organisations. I have a rights-based approach and I value everyone’s knowledge and contribution to my work. I am passionate and understand the importance of seeking out, developing and improving my own and other people’s learning and development experiences. Most recently I completed the Scottish Improvement Foundation Skills (SIFS) programme, delivered by my ex colleagues from the leadership team within the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). I completed my tenth Open Badge and the Matter of Focus ‘Research Impact School: Module 1’ about the impact of research.
I really value and am sensitive to the challenges across all sectors and through my work. I have worked in the voluntary sector, local authority, local college and most recently for the SSSC. Within the SSSC I had the opportunity to work with colleagues from both health and social services, The Care Inspectorate and Scottish Government.
I had the privilege to work in and lead on several projects, including: Self-directed Support; Integration of Health and Social Care; Neighbourhood Care (New Models of Care); Palliative and End of Life Care; Carers; Compassionate Care and Personal Assistants. I have also had a leading role in the Expansion of Early Learning and Childcare with Childminders, delivered Action Learning Sets and developed resources which help Health and Social Service staff embed their skills and knowledge within their qualifications, to continue their professional learning (CPL) and to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Outside of work I love walking (locally of course), watching films and reading horror and crime books (most recently I have read ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ by Richard Osman, which was really funny with a few ‘laugh out loud’ moments). I am also interested in furthering my skills of clay pottery and plan to undertake a fused glass course later this year (hopefully). I am really looking forward to joining the Community Brokerage Network family.