Jim Dempsey

Chair of Trustees

Jim Dempsey is a professional member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading. He has a master’s degree in creative writing and works as a fiction editor through his company, Novel Gazing. He writes a monthly column for with advice for writers. Throughout his career, Jim has worked to promote marginalised voices in his home country of Scotland, and in Namibia, Angola and the Netherlands.

Waltraud Pospischill

Vice-Chair of Trustees

Val was born in Austria and came to the UK in 1982. She trained under R. D. Laing and lived as a research student in a Philadelphia Association therapeutic community, combining being near to her partner with doing a practical for her MA. Since that time Val has taken up numerous voluntary posts, which she hopes will improve social provisions, mainly for the most disadvantaged people. She is a keen artist, poet and writer – with experience working alongside the Koestler Trust in their initiatives. Val is also a South West ambassador for Outside In

Dr Lena Grey

Lena has extensive experience as a senior leader in assessment organisations, mainly in policy and research roles, and has also been a teacher in secondary and higher education.  Lena’s first degree is in English Studies, and she has a Ph.D. in feminist literary theory. Throughout her career, she has been committed to and championed work that seeks to highlight and address inequalities and increase diversity and inclusion.  With first-hand experience of the transformative power of creative and professional writing, Lena would like to use her knowledge of policy and academic writing to support Arkbound’s work.

Dr Renuka Thakore

Renuka is Founder of the Global Sustainable Futures: Progress through Partnerships and received the Global Sustainability Award in 2022. Recognised  as a global leader who has engaged and connected with academics, businesses, and individuals, she loves to dig into real-world problems and solve them by applying systems thinking and trans-disciplinarity. Her personal and professional journey over the last 35 years has taught her the key lies within every individual and organisation and how they are empowered through their external and internal support system. 

Amanda Thomas

Amanda has had a successful career as a freelance writer for 20 years. In that time she has taught in prisons and written for TV as well as for the big screen.  Her writing has taken her to many places including the USA and Bahrain and Italy. 

She started her career writing short stories for women’s magazines although nowadays she is more involved in writing scripts both for business and for the entertainment industry and writing biographies for many different clients.  She also gives talks about the opportunities offered in freelance writing.

Dr Rula Al Abdulrazak

Rula is a speaker, consultant, coach, researcher and educator. She has extensive experience supporting organisational development and growth through a culture of learning, inclusion and well-being. Over the last 28 years, Rula enabled executive board development, cultural change, and organisational growth, advised on brand strategies, and developed bespoke and creative training programmes. She has worked across four continents with a wide range of organisations, from the European Commission to the University of London.

Beth Cowen

Beth is currently working towards her PhD at the University of Glasgow. Beth is also involved in various local community groups in Glasgow, including Living Rent Govanhill, and works for the University’s outreach programme. She has been with Arkbound since 2019 and has been involved in various publication projects during this time, with a keen interest in editing and publishing.

Matthew Azoulay

Matthew Azoulay is a creative writer, blogger, essayist, actor, musician and activist. His education has covered psychology, sociology, political science, revolutionary movements, permaculture and practical gardening. He has also focused work on the worsening global crises in climate, ecology, and Western civilisation. Matthew became a trustee in order to help raise up marginalised voices in the arts, journalism and publishing. He relates this work to his broader understanding of the intersectional oppressions inherent to the capitalist-colonialist paradigm which still dominates globally. Two of Matthew's favourite writers are the scifi and fantasy novelist Ursula Le Guin and the anarchist Peter Gelderloos. Matthew's current main project is his activist YouTube channel Epic Tomorrows.

Claire Harris

Claire is an investigative journalist based in Glasgow. She works hard promoting inclusion, and is a specialist disability inclusion trainer for the Creative Diversity Network and the BBC. She also mentors young people starting out in the creative arts. She is an inclusion champion, chairing the disabled staff network at the BBC, and the NUJ’s Scottish Executive Council. Claire spent many years in Japan working for the Ministry of Education and in London working for the Japanese Ministry of the Interior, before deciding to focus on finding and listening to people and helping them tell their story.