2014 Lunch


The 2014 Lunch was held on 9 May 2014 at the Radisson Blu, Argyll Street. A great time was had by all! Our theme was Independent Women and all of our speakers spoke eloquently about their own paths to being the successful women that they are. The audience was particularly moved by Elaine Boyd (on the right of the photo above), a service user of Bobath who began attending therapy as a 44 year-old with cerebral palsy. As a fully qualified accountant with NHS Scotland and mother of Jenna who was in the audience, Elaine is a high achiever, but admitted that the therapy Bobath offer her has helped avoid painful (and expensive as she pointed out!) surgery.


The Moderator the Rt Rev Lorna Hood
Author Val McDermid on the right clearly not quite believing what The Moderator is telling her!
Our 2014 Chair Ann Garvie in the centre with author Val McDermid on the left and Alison Johnstone MSP on the right

The committee decided to support Bobath Scotland in 2014. This is a charity which helps children and families with cerebral palsy by offering them therapy to improve their lives. Bobath is now able to offer therapy to adults too, aiming to help them on their way to a better quality of life with specialist therapy.

Bobath is now 18 years old and all proceeds from the Women of Scotland Luncheon are to be used helping the charity change lives for the next 18 years.

Our guests at the lunch included:-

Viv Lumsden Honorary Chair

Viv was born and educated in Edinburgh. At 17, she undertook a cultural upheaval and moved to Glasgow where she studied speech and drama at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. After a year at Jordanhill Teacher Training College, she decided to reject a career in teaching and joined the newly-established Radio Clyde as a relief presenter.

For the next few years, she opted out of a career to become a full-time wife and mother, picking up the broadcasting threads again in the early eighties as the radio voice of the AA morning traffic reports and afternoon Flightwatch information.

An invitation followed to join BBC Scotland as the early morning news presenter on Breakfast Time, then a year later, Viv moved on to the flagship evening news programme, Reporting Scotland. Until 1989, she continued to front the nightly news, interspersed with other programmes, including Children In Need. In 1988, she presented the daily live Garden Party programme from the Glasgow Garden Festival for BBC Network.

She then crossed channels to anchor Scottish Television’s flagship news, Scotland Today. For that channel, she hosted the BAFTA Scotland Awards, Telethon, her own chat show, and The Business Game, a televised competition for entrepreneurs.

She is married to broadcaster and media training specialist Alan Douglas with whom she presented, for six years, the highly successful BAFTA-winning Home Show on Scottish Television, a series of half hour programmes looking at property, style and design around Scotland.  She has also presented programmes on Radio 2 and BBC Radio Scotland.

Viv spent many years on the board of The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice which she still wholeheartedly supports and is currently helping to raise awareness and funds for Cancer Support Scotland, formerly known as TakTent.

Now retired from broadcasting, Viv still pops up on radio from time to time and occasionally works in the corporate world, hosting business conferences where she is well known for her lively handling of an audience. She also keeps her hand in with voice-overs and commentaries.

Viv has two children – son, Chris, runs SMOAK, a street-food business and daughter, Victoria, who, in a neat twist of fate, broadcasts travel reports on BBC Radio Scotland. Victoria and her husband, Lewis Macleod – an actor, impressionist and comedian – have two daughters, Tilly, 6, and Maisie, 3. Between them, Viv and Alan have seven grandchildren under six!


Author Val McDermid

Award-winning crime writer Val McDermid, who is a Number One bestselling writer, and whose novels have been translated into more than 30 languages.  She has written 28 bestselling novels, the first in 1987, her 29th, The Skeleton Road . Earlier this year, she published a retelling of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey.

Val’s five-part Woman’s Hour drama Village SOS was broadcast on BBC Radio 4,  where she also presented  the serial The Chalet School (2011).  She regularly presents Pick of the Week  and has fronted features for BBC Two’s The Culture Show. In March, she was a guest on BBC ONE’s Question Time.

The  2011 recipient of the Pioneer Award at the 23rd Annual Lambda Literary Awards, she was awarded the prestigious CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger (2010), following her induction into the Hall of Fame at the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards in 2009,  Winner of many awards internationally;  including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. In 2007, she won The Stonewall Writer of the Year Award. In December 2012, Val became a Celebrity Mastermind champion (!) and her winnings were donated to women’s charity, Eaves

The popular ITV series Wire in the Blood, based on McDermid’s books and starring Robson Green as Tony Hill, ran for an impressive six series.  A 3-part ITV drama of Val’s A Place of Execution was broadcast in the autumn of 2007 to great critical acclaim and won the 2010 Edgar Award for Best Screenplay.

Born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Val graduated in English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford  ( where she is now an Honorary Fellow). She is a lifelong Raith Rovers Football Club supporter and  was appointed as a Director on the board in 2011. Val’s other loves in life include walking on the beach, cars and music. She writes full time and divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.

Alison Johnstone MSP

alison-johnstone-msp-e1386013422658Alison is the Scottish Green Party MSP for Lothian region, which includes Edinburgh, West Lothian, most of Midlothian and the Musselburgh area of East Lothian. She is the Scottish Greens’ spokesperson at Holyrood on sport, rural affairs, environment, culture and education; also a member of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Alison is involved in many informal Cross Party Groups, including Men’s Violence Against Women, Cycling, Sport, Children and Young People, Human Rights and Animal Welfare. From 1999 Alison worked as an assistant to Robin Harper MSP, a position she held until he stood down in 2011 and she was elected. She also served as a councillor for Morningside and the Meadows in Edinburgh between 2007 and May 2012.

Her political life had its origins in the early 90’s when City of Edinburgh Council proposed development of luxury flats on a designated greenfield site, used as Education Department playing fields, and described by ‘presumption against development’ on the local plan.  Joining local residents to raise awareness of the issue, we formed ‘Keep Meggetland Green’, raised £12000 to fund QC representation and were covered on peak BBC national news slots.  Although ultimately unsuccessful our campaign ensured that an audit of all remaining green space in the city was undertaken and issues surrounding the protection of these increasingly threatened precious spaces received heightened attention.

Alison is originally from Edinburgh, where she was educated at St. Augustine’s High School and still lives in the south of the city with her husband and young daughter.

She says of her interest in sport: “My enthusiastic engagement with sport began at high school with Scottish Schools representative honours in cross country.  Former East of Scotland senior title holder at 800 metres and 1500 metres, and a national representative at both distances, I am passionate about the need to make activity part and parcel of everyday life in Scotland. Alison still runs for fitness and coaches young athletes at Meadowbank.  She is a UKA Licensed Coach in Endurance, Speed and Jumps.

Rev Lorna Hood Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

Reverend Lorna Hood, a Queen’s Chaplain originally from Kilmarnock is Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, serving for a year from 18 May 2013.

Mrs Hood was born in 1953, attended Kilmarnock Academy and then the University of Glasgow graduating with an MA in 1974 and Honours BD in 1977.

She began her church career as a probationer assistant at St Ninian’s Corstorphine Church in Edinburgh and was ordained there in April 1978.  In 1979 Mrs Hood was called to Renfrew North Parish Church where she has served for the last 33-years.

For 22-years she served as chaplain in the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley where she was responsible for the Women’s & Children’s Directorate and was part of a team which pioneered the care plan for those who had suffered loss during pregnancy or shortly after, instigating an annual memorial service.  For this work the team was awarded the Association of British Insurers Medical Community Award in 1992.  Mrs Hood has also been actively involved with the local ACCORD hospice speaking at fundraising events and dinners and supporting staff and patients.

Mrs Hood has served on various committees in the Church of Scotland.  In 2001 she was appointed a General Trustee and prior to the 2013 General Assembly has been Vice Convener of the Assembly Arrangements Committee and Vice Convener of the Business Committee.

In 2011 she completed her training for the Church of Scotland’s mediation project, ‘A Place for Hope’ and has served in various capacities, including at present a group set up to consider the theology of mediation and reconciliation.

Mrs Hood married her husband Peter in 1979 and the couple have two children, Laura and Michael.

Reverend Fiona Maxwell

Born and brought up in East Kilbride, Fiona, studied for a BA in Social Sciences at what is now Glasgow Caledonian University, having grown up in the Baptish Church she got involved in the Church of Scotland as a student.  After graduating she completed a PGCE (Secondary) and started her teaching career at  Williamwood High School, after three years she was promoted to Assistant Head of Department for Religious Education in Hamilton College School and also year head for Secondary 1 and 2.

Fiona left teaching after her call to Ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Church of Scotland she completed her BD (Batchelor of  Divinity) at Glasgow University and was Ordained and Inducted to her first Parish in Dec 2004 – Dalmuir Barclay in Clydebank.  She became Minister of linked charge of Dalmuir Barclay and Abbotsford Church of Scotland in May 2012.

Fiona has especially enjoyed helping the congregation to make meaningful links with the community locally and internationally.  Latterly they formed a link with two Christian projects in Oradea, Romania, with Fiona leading two teams from the church who travelled to work in Romania distributing food parcels. Study Leave in 2012 afforded the opportunity to travel to Israel and Palestine with Rev Clarence Musgrave (former minister at St Andrews, Jerusalem) and a group representing the Guild of the Church of Scotland.

Fiona, has loved working in both primary and secondary schools and making chaplaincy relevant; she believes  passionately that the church should  be recognised as part of the community and engaged with the world around. And that there is Good News for all people, within the walls of the church and beyond!

In February 2013 Fiona moved from Clydebank to become the minister at Neilston Parish Church in the Presbytery of Greenock and Paisley.

WOSL hope to raise a lot of money for this deserving cause, but it does not take much to provide their vital services.

Stephanie Fraser is Chief Executive, Bobath Scotland who joined the charity in January 2012. Training originally as a ballet dancer, she then read history at Trinity College, Cambridge, before taking up a career in advertising. She returned to the dance world as company choreologist for English National Ballet, spending her time on the administrative side in marketing latterly and then as Director of Development.

Before joining Bobath, Stephanie was Head of Development at Scottish Ballet for 7 years. She retains her interest in dance as board member of charity Dance House in Glasgow and lives just outside Glasgow with her husband and 4 children.

The WOSL committee were impressed by Stephanie’s presentation to them last year and agreed that Bobath would be the 2014 charity to benefit from our fundraising lunch.

Here are some photos provided by Bobath of the kind of work they do.




And here are some of our guests at the 2013 lunch held in the Grand Central Hotel Glasgow.

Women of Scotland

The 2013 Women of Scotland Luncheon (WOSL) was held at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow on Friday 26 April 2013 and the chosen charity was Spinal Injuries Scotland