Trustees

Mike Findlay

Chair of Trustees

Mike is a senior communications professional and freelance writer based in Scotland. His interests include mental health, equality and social justice. He has worked for over 18 years in various communications roles within health, higher education, social justice and the arts in both London and Glasgow. He has a postgraduate in journalism from Birkbeck, University of London and a COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills from the University of Strathclyde. Mike is passionate about communicating and writing about issues related to social justice and mental health and well-being. You can follow him on Twitter @MikeFindMedia

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.

Anila Arshad-Mehmood

Anila is a senior leader in further education with a background in mental health, welfare and pastoral services. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and writes poetry, is a mental health first aid trainer and has a background in safeguarding. Anila is passionate about social issues and seeks to empower marginalised voices with specific focus on inclusion, race, sexuality and mental health. 

Jim Dempsey

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 WriterUnboxed.com 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.

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.

Mick Craig

Mick is a Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience, studying dementia and schizophrenia. After studying in his home city at the University of Glasgow, he received his DPhil from the University of Oxford, then held research positions in Cambridge, Washington DC and the University of Exeter,  before returning home to Glasgow in 2021. The ethos of Arkbound aligns strongly with Mick’s own life experiences, and he wants to use his background in academic publishing and grant writing to help Arkbound expand their capabilities.

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.