About this Speaker
I am a Scottish singer, musician, writer, actor and medical doctor. Originally from Glasgow, I came to London to pursue my musical and creative professions. My interest in music as a cornerstone of social and academic education has been life-long and has lead me into philanthropic work. Having worked in A&E departments throughout the UK, I have seen the benefit of how seemingly small changes can make immense differences to people’s health and wellbeing. I was inspired to establish along with flautist Alyson Frazier, a foundation for children following a visit to the Children’s Orphanage of Erbil, Iraq in early 2014, which led to the development of Play for Progress.
I co-founded and am the current Head of Relationships for Play for Progress, a charity that delivers therapeutic and educational music and arts programmes as well as advocacy and well-being support for unaccompanied minor refugees. PFP is an official partner of the Refugee Council UK, having engaged with over 250 young refugees since 2016 and performed at the Southbank Centre, the V&A, and the Young Vic Theatre and worked with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Aurora Orchestra. PFP regularly contributes comprehensive case studies and research on the failings of the asylum system to partners in social justice (including UNHCR), and in its founding year PFP won the exclusive Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Enterprise.
The lack of a Scottish cultural hub in London was causing me to miss home . This led to the the founding of The Association of Exiled Scots along with Gaelic singer Ainsley Hamill. TAoES was formed to create a community away from home for exiled Scots the world over. Based in London our mission is to promote Scottish music, language, art and culture, as well as nurture Scottish talent by providing a platform for performances, exhibitions and bespoke in-conversation events.