NHS Ayrshire & Arran Activity team


The NHS Ayrshire & Arran Activity team was formed in August 2013 and is comprised of Andrea Boyd, Occupational Therapist; Gillian Agnew, Occupational Therapist; Elaine Tizzard, Technical Instructor; Jean Knox, Technical Instructor; and Darrell Line, Technical Instructor. As a team, we are a very creative, passionate and enthusiastic group. Our project has reinforced the passion we all share to engage older people in meaningful activity. We all have varied experiences in the NHS, but as a team we have brought out thestrengths in each other, and what started as a small idea, has continued to grow. Most of all we believe in the project and its potential, and in each other. It's been a challenging and incredible experience seeing how our initial idea has developed, and after working on 'Pocket Ideas' for 2 years, we are finally seeing the end results.

The project would not have been possible without so many people supporting us from Board level and down to grass roots. Thanks to everyone who has been on this journey with us, and for sharing our passion for meaningful activity.


Henry Simmons, Chief Executive - Alzheimer Scotland

Henry Simmons joined Alzheimer Scotland as Chief Executive in August 2008, from  ENABLE Scotland, where he was an Executive Director. He is a registered social worker, registered mental nurse and has an MBA.

Henry has more than twenty years' experience in the health and social care sector and has spent the majority of his career in the voluntary sector, primarily involved in developing new community-based person-centred services.

Henry has worked in both the learning disability and mental health fields. He was a Board Member of Alzheimer Europe for several years and is a General Member of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland.  He is also chair of the NHS NES/SSSC Dementia Programme Board.


Valerie Crookston, Scotland Executive Officer - Contact the Elderly

Valerie has worked for Contact the Elderly for 14 years as Scotland Executive Officer.  She provides line-management, advice and support to the team in Scotland. She develops partnerships with other organisations at executive level, manages corporate relationships, and ensures appropriate monitoring and evaluation of the service.  Her role includes fundraising, and she is successful in securing essential income, both for Scotland, and England and Wales.

She has more than 35 years' experience in the voluntary sector, working in several different organisations providing services to disabled people and older people, including Quarriers, Scottish Association for Mental Health, and Visibility. She also ran her own business for 14 years, specialising in disability. She is inspired by Contact the Elderly's network of over 7,500 volunteers who's commitment relieves the isolation of over 4,700 lonely, older people.


Michelle Miller, National Improvement Lead for Dementia - Scottish Government

As National Improvement Lead for Dementia at Scottish Government (Focus on Dementia improvement programme), Michelle builds on her own family experience of dementia and her professional experience of leading improvement programmes, together with her academic qualifications, including MBA graduate and qualified Improvement Advisor through Institute of Healthcare Improvement, USA.

Michelle has recently been awarded the Winston Churchill Fellowship and this year travelled to Japan and will travel to USA later in the year to learn more about how these countries are supporting people with dementia to live well in their own homes and stay connected to their communities.


Marlene Harkis, Service Development Manager - Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare, Smartcare

Marlene began her career as an occupational therapist and worked in a variety of areas in the East and South of Glasgow. She has retained her interest in rehabilitation and is committed to user involvement in the design and delivery of services. Over recent years Marlene has worked as a senior manager in East and North Ayrshire Council. She completed a MBA in 2011 and has a keen interest in linking evidence based practice to service improvement. Throughout her career she has been involved in modernising home care services and actively raising standards of practice. Marlene retired from North Ayrshire Council in 2013, and moved to Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare where she utilises her significant experience in service development, innovation and co-production to make a difference to the lives of people who have fallen or are at risk of falling. 


Beth Murphy, Programme Manager - Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare, Living it up

Beth Murphy is Service Manager for Living it Up. She is working to shape a service model which delivers tailored self-management support for people across Scotland living with long term conditions. Beth's previous career was in the third sector, where she was most recently Head of Information for the mental health charity, Mind. With a background in librarianship and information management, Beth is passionate about supporting people to access the information they need to make positive choices about their health and care.


Billy McClean, AHP Associate Director - NHS Ayrshire& Arran

Billy is Associate Director for Allied Health Professions in NHS Ayrshire & Arran. He has lead responsibility for the design and delivery of acute and community services, involving more than 800 AHPs across Ayrshire. Billy began his career as a clinical physiotherapist in the NHS in Yorkshire, where he worked for nine years before moving to Ayrshire as Head of Physiotherapy in 2010.  He has also worked in professional sport, ran his own business and worked as a lecturer with a special interest in working with those with long term pain and mental health conditions.  A clinical leader with experience of working across sectors, he has a passion for working with communities and partners to deliver the best health and wellbeing outcomes possible for everyone, especially for those who need it most. A proud husband and dad of two young girls, he believes that change begins close to home and understands that we make a difference through our relationships with others.


Andrea Boyd, Occupational Therapist and Project Lead, NHS Ayrshire & Arran

Andrea is a senior occupational therapist who has had a varied career in the NHS. Following graduation at Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh she took up her first post working with young adults with mental health problems. After a year she moved to another junior post to work with older adults in a rehabilitation unit. After being qualified for two years, Andrea gained a senior position in a day hospital for older people with dementia and cognitive impairment. It was a clinical area she very much enjoyed working in for five years. Since then Andrea has worked with NHS Ayrshire& Arran, and mainly working with older people within the community with mental health problems. More recently she has been in a seconded role, which led to the beginning of the project 'Pocket Ideas...a moment in time'. Andrea is very passionate about keeping older people engaged in meaningful activity, and she has been involved in numerous projects related to meaningful activity. Andrea loves being a mum to her three children, and is happily married to her husband Gordon. Life is inspired by love, laughter, family and friends.

Andrea Boyd