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SHA welcomes Deputy Principal of St Andrew’s University and volunteer fundraiser and advocate as Trustees

Scottish Huntington’s Association, the only charity in Scotland exclusively dedicated to supporting people whose lives are impacted by Huntington’s disease, has appointed two new members to its Board of Trustees.

Professor Lorna Milne, Master of the United College and Deputy Principal at the University of St Andrews, and Gillian McNab, a palliative care nurse at Strathcarron Hospice and volunteer SHA fundraiser and advocate, bring extensive professional and personal insights to the Board.

Scottish Huntington’s Association was founded in 1989 by families for families with Huntington’s disease to deliver and advocate for improved services for the HD community. The charity provides lifeline services through a nationwide network of HD Specialists, Youth Advisors and a Financial Wellbeing Team. It also led the development of the world’s first National Care Framework for Huntington’s Disease, backed by the Scottish Government, to help drive up the standard of care for families regardless of where in Scotland they live.

In her role at University of St Andrews, Professor Milne is line manager to the Heads of Schools and Faculty Deans, and oversees forward planning in relation to the University’s intellectual portfolio, academic appointments, space management and resource allocation. She sits on the University Senate – the supreme body at St Andrews concerned with academic governance, learning and teaching, research and student experience – and on the Court, which is the University’s governing body.

Professor Milne said:

“Since its foundation, SHA has made a real and increasing improvement to the lives of Huntington‘s patients and their families – but we know there’s still more we can do. It’s a privilege to join such a committed group of people in this important work and I look forward to contributing in whatever way I can.”

Gillian tested positive for the gene that leads to Huntington’s disease shortly after her 40th birthday. Ten years on, she remains symptom free but knows her health will deteriorate as the disease progresses.

A committed advocate to raising awareness about Huntington’s disease amongst health and social care practitioners, and the wider public, Gillian has given numerous talks and presentations in addition to sharing her story and experiences through the media. The mum of three has also raised more than £20,000 for Scottish Huntington’s Association to help fund the lifeline services relied upon by families.

In September, Gillian was named Scotland’s Caring Champion 2021 at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail’s annual awards.

Gillian said:

“Scottish Huntington’s Association is the charity closest to my heart. It’s a lifeline for families and so joining the Board seems like the natural next step for me. I really want to make a difference if I can and create change for HD families, and for as long as my health allows, I will continue to support SHA and the HD community in whatever way possible.”

Chair of SHA’s Board of Trustees, Cat Martin, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Lorna and Gillian to SHA. They bring additional professional skills to the Board from the fields of academia and palliative care, a shared understanding of our work and, crucially, a deep respect for the families who lie at the heart of all that we do.

“With the collective expertise of our Trustees and staff, input from the HD community, growth in strategic partnerships, and a strengthened leadership team, SHA is now in a stronger position than ever before to increase its influence and advocacy for the improved care and support of anyone and everyone whose life is impacted by this devastating and incurable disease.”

The appointments of the new trustees follow on from the appointment of Alistair Haw as the charity’s new CEO in April 2021.

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