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Our board

Jim Sweeney


Jim began his career in the Youth and Community Service of Lanark County in 1972 and qualified from Jordanhill in

1976 where he worked as a Community Education Officer. He became a Principal CE Officer in Ayr and Lanark Division’s of Strathclyde transferring to North Lanarkshire 1996. In 2006 he became the Chief Executive of YouthLink Scotland the National Agency for Youth Work where he remained until his retiral at the end of 2018.

His achievements and involvement in national policy development and in creating an agency which was central to supporting both young people and the organisation’s who worked for them is well known and well documented. He was a key player in the development of a National Youth Work Strategy which is now in its third iteration and which enjoys cross party support.

In 2001 he completed a Master’s Degree at Strathclyde University. He is a graduate of the Pacific Institute’s Investors in Excellence Programme, a recipient of a Certificate of Merit from the IoD in 2015 and is a Life Fellow of YouthLink Scotland having received their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. He received an MBE for services to Youth Work in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours List in 2016.

His other commitments include being Chair of Motherwell FC Community Trust, Vice Chair of Young Scot and Scotland’s Learning Partnership and fund raising for Mary’s Meals.


Cath Denholm


Cath joined the Equality and Human Rights Commission as Executive Director of Corporate Services in June 2020. Prior to that she worked for 20 years in the NHS in primary care, general practice management and health improvement and, latterly, with Scotland’s national public health agency, Public Health Scotland. Cath’s interests are fairness, human rights, public service leadership and a nature rich future. She was part of the Scottish National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP) collaboration since its inception in 2010 until 2020. She is also Deputy Chair of Scottish Nature Scot.


Colin Sharkey

Colin is a degree-qualified Chartered Accountant with more than twenty years' experience in UK and international contracting, ten of which have been as head of Finance for medium sized businesses.

Colin is skilled in strategic and tactical planning, operational management, corporate governance, contract review and management, system implementation, mergers and acquisitions, risk management, HR and IT. An effective, enthusiastic people manager, he uses collaborative style leadership to achieve tangible results and builds strong stakeholder relationships. This and his previous Trustee experience with HomeStart brings further senior level finance experience to the Impact Arts Board.


Dr Marion Allison

Marion is Head of the Community Learning and Development (CLD) Standards Council for Scotland, the professional body for people working and volunteering in youth work, adult learning and community development. She leads the organisation in all business area, working with a wide range of professionals from the public, voluntary and private sectors with partnership programmes across the UK and beyond.

Marion brings to Impact Arts over 20 years’ experience of working within CLD and Education, is a member of the Institute of Directors and a Trustee at Glasgow Kelvin College. She was worked all over Glasgow in various youth work roles before moving to South Lanarkshire Council where she managed two large youth centres. Most recently Marion completed her doctoral study into young people, enterprise and social capital at the University of Stirling.

Marion’s professional experience and expertise is invaluable to Impact Arts as we seek the reach the highest possible standards when harnessing the power of art and creativity for community education and development.


Dr Paola Pasino

Paola works for Glasgow City Council across a series of urban and economic regeneration projects, with a particular focus on sustainable communities, connectivity and active travel solutions, well-being and quality of life, resilience and mitigation, the low carbon transition and circular economy. Her interest has evolved from Architecture to new areas of service design, inclusive growth and digital transformation.

Paola’s academic research focuses on the relationship between urban form and quality of life, with a particular interest in health data analysis in relation to the built environment and social outcomes.



Gillian Gilmour

Gillian is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a BA(Hons) in Accounting from Strathclyde University. Gillian is currently a senior manager within the assurance practice at Ernst & Young, working with a variety of clients. Gillian’s skillsets lie within her technical accounting abilities and focus on audit quality. In addition to being a trustee, Gillian is also a member of the finance committee. This is Gillian’s first trustee appointment.




Joanne Hadwin

Joanne is a skilled HR practitioner, with over 20 years of post-qualification experience. She has held senior HR roles across a variety of UK business & sectors. She has an Honours degree in Law and a Masters in Employment Law. Her key skills include employee relations, performance management, managing change and design / delivery of training solutions.

Joanne holds a part-time role as Head of HR for a local construction Company. She also runs a small HR consultancy business in Central Scotland. She is a trained mediator and prides herself on delivering practical HR solutions to small businesses struggling with employee issues. Joanne has previously held the position of Trustee for two Company pension schemes.



Stephen Wilson

Stephen is the Director of Finance at ENABLE Scotland having held the post since 2016. Stephen brings over 30 years of experience of working in finance across public, private and third sectors. A graduate of Heriot Watt University and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Stephen has held a number of senior finance positions throughout his career, and has been involved in both start-up and mature organisations. He has a record of accomplishment in making positive change to the organisations he has worked with, adding value to the services being delivered.


Nina Vaswani

Nina is a Research Fellow and Research Lead at the Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice, hosted by the University of Strathclyde. Nina oversees the centre’s research strategy and research programme. Her own research focuses on the loss, bereavement and trauma experiences of children in conflict with the law, as well as the development of young masculine identities and their relationship with help-seeking, mental health, wellbeing and other outcomes.

Nina brings 20 years of experience in social research, monitoring, evaluation, consultation, strategy and policy development to Impact Arts. Nina has an MA in Psychology, an MPA in Public Administration and is currently finishing her PhD in Social Work, exploring the experience and impact of disenfranchised grief among boys and young men in prison. Throughout her work, Nina recognises the huge value of the arts in engaging, inspiring, empowering and providing therapeutic benefit to some of the most marginalised and disadvantaged young people in society.


Sofia Akram

Born and raised in Glasgow, Sofia Akram is a founding member of Impact Arts' Sketchy Youths and has been a representative of Impact Arts since 2018, attending events at Scottish Parliament and Glasgow City Chambers. Previously a participant on Creative Pathways she then went on to volunteer with filmmaker John Macdougal on CashBack to the Future's summer project. She's now studying Film at Edinburgh Napier University following the completion of her HND in Film and TV. Prior to her joining the Glasgow Film Theatre Youth Board she volunteered as a Young Selector at the Glasgow Film Festival and spent time volunteering and reviewing books at Glasgow Women's Library. Sofia firmly believes in the power of collaboration and practical positive change.



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The team at Impact Arts work hard to secure over £1.5m of funding per year to provide life changing creative experiences for more than 5000 people.

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