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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Aberdeen Cyrenians strengthens board with appointment

This news post is 8 months old

Aberdein Considine CFO Julie Thomson will join the charity.

North-east social inclusion charity Aberdeen Cyrenians has extended the strength in depth of professional expertise on its board with the appointment of finance specialist Julie Thomson. 

Julie, Chief Financial Officer of city legal firm Aberdein Considine, lends three decades of knowledge to the voluntary post.

As one of seven board members, she will support Aberdeen Cyrenians’ leadership team at a strategic level, providing support and guidance to ensure the charity’s resources are used effectively and efficiently in achieving its goals.

Julie is a chartered accountant who started her finance career with KPMG. She then spent 22 years with US energy services giant Weatherford International, rising through the ranks to the position of senior finance director for Europe and Africa. 

She then was appointed CFO of Proserv in 2020, after which she took up her current role at Aberdein Considine in 2023.

Julie said: “I wanted to do something for a charity that I felt passionate about; a local one that helps to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable people. When I heard that Aberdeen Cyrenians was looking for board members, I saw it as an opportunity to make a difference at a strategic level.

“It’s a charity that has been around for over 50 years, doing fantastic work to support people experiencing multiple and complex needs due to homelessness, abuse, violence and social exclusion. It’s been an eye opener for me to learn the full extent of the services it provides - it has come a long way from its beginnings as a soup kitchen, which many people still perceive it to be.

“Like so many other charities, Aberdeen Cyrenians is impacted by the current cost of living crisis. This makes fundraising a greater challenge while demand for services increases. My role on the board will help set, review and monitor the overall fundraising strategy.”

Julie’s appointment is announced during Trustees Week – a national initiative to recognise the achievements of nearly one million trustees across the UK who give up their time in support of charities and their leadership teams by providing expert advice and insights.

Donna Hutchison, head of corporate and business services at Aberdeen Cyrenians, said that volunteer board members have a critical role to play in the organisation. 

The current board represents a wide range of professional services, but people from all walks of life – particularly those with lived experience– are encouraged to apply.

She added: “It’s very fitting that we are able to announce Julie’s appointment during Trustees Week, as our board members are a fundamental part of our volunteer network. A trustee acts as a good friend, not there to run the organisation day-to-day but to challenge and support the executive leadership team to be the best they can be.

“There are benefits for both sides. We are fortunate enough to gain insight from a cross section of professionals, while trustees are able to give something back, enhancing their own development, learning new things and expanding their professional network. Many use it as a way to build a non-executive director portfolio.

“We believe a diverse board representing a wide range of backgrounds and skills is fundamental to the success of Aberdeen Cyrenians, and we are always keen to hear from people who would be interested in supporting the organisation at this level.”