"We will act to enhance the quality of lives of people by engaging with the issues that matter to the community and by supporting people, at a sustainable level, to help make things happen."
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Russell Bain
Russell started his working life as a Forester with the Forestry Commission before embarking on a varied career which eventually led to his greatest achievements with Johnson & Johnson’s Lifescan Factory in Inverness where the world’s highest volume of diabetes blood glucose test strips are made. With them Russell found his forte and was involved in designing and building anything from a single strip prototype to the contents of a whole factory. Russell has several patents in his name and was awarded the Warren Worldwide Award for Innovation. Russell lives in Whitebridge with his two boys and is very keen on any outdoor activities. Russell's part of the Foyers Bay and Broadband Teams.
Kirsty Balfour
Kirsty is the Chair of the Trust. Kirsty moved from Croachy to Whitebridge in 2016, with her partner and three young children. Kirsty loves the outdoors and worked for an outdoor company for many years while completing a degree in English at the University of Dundee. She then went on to complete a post graduate in Primary Teaching at Aberdeen and for the past 8 years Kirsty has been working as a Teacher in Inverness. Kirsty is part of the Energy/Renewables/Transport and Wildside Teams.
Jillian Barclay
Born and bred in Stratherrick, Jillian moved to Aberdeen to study Visual Communication (Advertising & Marketing). After moving home she worked in retail management before giving this up to work closer to home, latterly at Wildside Highland Lodges. Jillian and her husband welcomed their first daughter, Sophia, in January 2019, who is keeping them super busy and gives her a whole new outlook on life. As a new Director, Jillian hopes to help benefit all ages of the community. Jillian is part of the Communications, Events/PR and Brolly Group.
Martin Donnelly
Martin re-joined the Board in November 2020 after a previous spell as a director, including holding the position of Liaison Director, nominated by the Community Council. Martin served for a number of years as a Community Councillor and consequently has a very good idea of the importance of a close working relationship between the Trust and the Council. Martin lives and works in the area and is the owner of the Craigdarroch House Hotel in Foyers.
Frank Ellam
Finance Director
Frank is the Trust’s Finance Director. He manages the funds that have been paid to the Trust for the benefit of our residents including managing the investments in our Legacy Fund. He had been involved with the Trust since 2008 having lived at Easter Boleskine for fifteen years and now lives in the Central Belt. He has many years’ experience as a Chartered Accountant in private practice. Frank is an enthusiastic comic collector and a lover of old Hollywood black and white movies both sound and silent. Frank's the Lead Director on the Finance Team and is part of the Grants Team.
Chris Finlay
Chris grew up locally and has a big family history in Stratherrick. Chris moved away in his twenties and, after living in various Scottish cities and a few abroad, returned to Stratherrick with his wife where he has bought a croft to raise his family and continue his studies in renewable energy. Chris has fond memories of a childhood in the area and Is excited to see the community grow and flourish as it has since the Trust was founded. Chris is part of the Energy/Renewables/Transport, Broadband and Wildside Teams.
Catriona Fraser
Catriona joined the Trust Board in November 2020. She has lived in the area for 32 years with her husband Willie, where they have raised their family and been involved with many aspects of community life. Catriona set up South Loch Ness nursery, has been chair of both Stratherrick Primary Parent Council and the Community Council, as well as being a Trustee of The Knockie Trust. She has a deep understanding of the needs of the community in Stratherrick and Foyers and brings great skills, developed as a teacher and union representative.
Christopher Gehrke
Christopher joined the Trust Board in November 2020 and ensures that Inverfarigaig now has strong representation on the Trust. Chris works as a Regional Manager for a large health and social care charity, which provides him with a deep insight into the challenges faced by rural communities in the Highlands. He has vast experience in supporting the homeless, those with drug and alcohol addiction, vulnerable tenants and people with physical and learning disabilities. Chris will champion social housing and the development of a vibrant micro-economy, so helping with the offset of potential drift towards the area becoming a ‘dormitory village,’ hence ensuring Stratherrick and Foyers is in the vanguard of the move towards a new low carbon economy.
Gareth Jones
Vice Chair
Gareth Jones is Vice Chair of the Trust. He moved to Errogie six years ago. It was, as the crow flies, a short hop from his previous home in Drumnadrochit. Married to an Invernessian, Kay, they left behind jobs in London so that their children could enjoy a Scottish education. Gareth's early career was spent as a journalist and television editor before moving into corporate training and education. Currently he is a consultant specialising in the field of learning technology and analytics. When not distracted by his four children, Gareth's passions are gardening and real ale (but not in that order!)
Lorraine Lewis
Lorraine moved to Errogie six years ago and lives with her husband, her mum and five year old daughter. Lorraine has worked in housing for the past 18 years and has had various responsibilities during this time. She is part of the Trust's Foyers Bay Team, the project team for the former Errogie Free Church Building and the Boleskine Brolly Group. Lorraine enjoys the outdoors, in particular hill walking and bagging those Munros when she gets to escape from the daily responsibilities.

Our Directors

Current Trust Directors (December 2020) 

  1. Russell Bain  
  2. Kirsty Balfour, Chair
  3. Jillian Barclay 
  4. Martin Donnelly
  5. Frank Ellam, Finance Director
  6. Chris Finlay
  7. Catriona Fraser
  8. Christopher Gehrke
  9. Gareth Jones, Vice Chair
  10. Lorraine Lewis

Good Governance statement by the Board 

In this important statement the Trust Directors highlight the need for Good Governance to keep future grant funding decisions local.  

‘Doing things right – for all our benefit!’

Read the statement in full here  Good Governance  Statement 

SFCT is managed by a volunteer group of Directors. Directors are voted into position by all the members of the company and they are responsible, not only for directing the organisation’s activities, but also for ensuring that it is managed with best practice and that it upholds all its statutory responsibilities such as producing annual accounts etc.  Full details of exactly how Directors are voted on to the Board and what are their responsibilities are covered in detail in our Articles of Association.

All Directors of SFCT will act to support the organisation’s vision statement which is: 

“We will act to enhance the quality of lives of people by engaging with the issues that matter to the community and by supporting people, at a sustainable level (i.e. with finance, personal time, specific knowledge, to help people make things happen.”

Within our Trust activities, we will:

  • Act sometimes with integrity……..do what we say we are going to do
  • Focus on ‘outcomes’ not just ‘outputs’
  • Ensure rigorous financial control
  • Trust each other to work to the best of our abilities
  • Allow criticism but ensure it is constructive

Any member of the community can put themselves forward to become a Director and we have made it easy for new members to come on board by producing a detailed Directors’ Training Scheme, a summary of which you can see here  Directors’ Induction and Training Scheme .

The Trust and its Directors are administered and assisted by Steven Watson (Community Liaison Officer) and Laura Walker-Knowles (Administrator).

The Trust’s mail and registered address is The Wildside Centre, Whitebridge, Inverness. IV2 6UN

Page last updated 7 December 2020