Gillian McDonald, Hawkhead Centre Manager

Gillian manages the Hawkhead Centre – Scottish War Blinded’s activity hub based in Paisley. The centre offers daily activities and support to our veterans with sight loss.

 

She has been with the Hawkhead Centre since it first opened its doors back in 2017, then as Deputy Manager, and has been instrumental in the service’s development and growth.

 

Gillian brings an array of experience to her role with Scottish War Blinded. She has worked in social care for the past 14 years in a variety of services, including Older People, Learning Disabilities, Dementia and Mental Health. Gillian McDonald, Hawkhead Centre Manager

 

Gillian said: “It has been such a hugely satisfying experience to be part of the growth of this new Scottish War Blinded service in the West of Scotland – from seeing it for the first time as an empty shell to now being a hub of activity and comradeship for our members.

 

“I love the variety that working with Scottish War Blinded within the Hawkhead Centre brings. No two days are the same here. On a typical day we have over 40 of our regularly attending Hawkhead members arrive to take part in our activities here at the centre including archery, cooking and IT. The next day we can be hosting a huge Reunion lunch of over 100 people for Scottish War Blinded members from a variety of areas.

 

“We are very fortunate to have wonderful facilities within the centre, which means we can also host many of our partners from other VI organisations, veterans services and other community partners including our local schools. It is very important to me that the centre and our members are involved within, and seen as an important part of our local community.

 

“The most rewarding part of my role is supporting our members to achieve the wishes and goals that they have - not only within their own lives, but for the centre and what we do within Scottish War Blinded as a whole.

 

“It is refreshing to be part of an organisation who take these things into account and a pleasure to work so closely with our members, who have all had such interesting and varied lives and have such a forward thinking and determined outlook despite some of their own personal experiences.”