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Who We Are

Gda Group
3500
Members
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Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA) is a membership organisation run by and for disabled people.

We have 3500 members across Greater Glasgow - and counting!

Members stories

"GDA understands the barriers. They provide transport and personal assistance - that's what allows me to be part of society, part of Scotland". Idrees (26) GDA member

GDA Purple Poncho Players: Telling it Like it is!

GDA supports members to speak out about disability issues every chance we get! Our Purple Poncho Players take it to the next level, using music, comedy and drama to depict their own real life experiences on stage, for audiences of policy makers, service managers, and government officials. 

Their sketches show powerful personal stories of the barriers disabled people face - they show disabled people's experiences of welfare reform, isolation, hate crime and prejudice, as well as the difference it can make having the right support, social connections, choice and control in our lives.

Staff Team

Tressa Burke

Tressa Burke

Chief Executive

One of GDA’s 7 founder members, Tressa has been our CEO since 2006, steering GDA from its fledgling vision of supporting disabled people’s voices, confidence, choice and control in 2001, to the multi-award-winning community of 3500+ we are today.

Passionate about equality and human rights, Tressa has dedicated her working life to supporting community voices and participation. She led a specialist Independent Living service within Glasgow Social Services – paving the way for self-directed support - then was manager of Gorbals Community Forum.

Tressa co-Chairs Glasgow Independent Living Strategy Board and represents GDA on Glasgow and Scotland wide working groups.

Marianne Scobie

Marianne Scobie

Senior Development Manager, Depute CEO

As depute CEO, Marianne's role involves strategic, policy and partnership work as well as direct delivery of programmes. She leads on our work with young disabled people and has particular expertise in training and accessible information. 

Marianne has worked in the disability sector for over 25 years, and was a founder member of GDA before coming to work here in 2010. She is also on the board of Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living (GCIL). 

Marianne is passionate about social history and is currently researching the history of her street and local area. She loves Doc Martens, going to music gigs, Sci-fi and confesses to being a bit of an IT geek!

Linda Algie

Linda Algie

Finance Manager (part-time)

Linda has been keeping GDA's cogs turning since we first received funding in 2008. She has worked in the Third Sector for over 20 years: from a Recycling Project in Castlemilk to being a Manager of a Community Resource Centre with 17 staff. She first worked with Tressa Burke at the Gorbals Community Forum for 5 years before finally working at GDA.

Linda is a mother of 3 and a grandmother of 7 and loves Holidaying in Las Vegas, reading, knitting and dancing. She much prefers numbers to words - despite this she is currently learning to speak Italian!

Brian Scott

Brian Scott

Development Manager

Brian is GDA’s resident expert on employability: he has worked in this area in both the public and third sectors for over 30 years!  He is passionate about offering training and coaching to support disabled people to achieve their goals of accessing employment, training and volunteering.

Working with GDA partners on a range of issues - from adult protection, poverty and hate crime - Brian supports GDA members to make sure the views and voices of disabled people inform policy and practice.

Brian loves spending time with his daughters and grandchildren but also likes to escape to the great outdoors for cycling and fishing. 

Sandra Stuart

Sandra Stuart

Development Manager

Sandra joined team GDA in 2013, with around 30 years’ experience in the fields of social care, disability and mental health. She feels very much at home at GDA, with our focus on justice and equality using human rights based approaches.

Sandra leads on our work with older disabled people and those with long term conditions. She also works with many partner networks, making sure GDA members' voices are heard by decision makers at local and national levels, on key areas such as Human Rights, Self Directed Support, and the Equalities Act. In her spare time, Sandra likes running and going to Bootcamp, in all weathers, but especially when it snows!

Alison Hill

Alison Hill

Office Admin Manager / PA to Tressa Burke (p/t)

Alison joined GDA in 2011 having previously worked as Office Manager for an insurance broker and as school secretary for around 9 years. She became GDA's Office Manager in 2015, overseeing all admin duties. And with disabled people needing access and support to take part in programmes, there's a lot to be organised!

Alison particularly enjoys the challenge of working in such a diverse and ever changing environment.  Outside of work, Alison really enjoys travelling, the further the better!  She loves learning about new places, people, cultures, and foods.

Allan Barr

Allan Barr

Admin Officer

Allan joined the GDA team in July 2015 as office Administrator. He is the frontline for all your phone calls and enquiries - and helps pull together all our workshops and events. Allan is the friendly and helpful guy who answers the phone to GDA members and others.

Allan is a disabled person who has previously worked in social housing and who is passionate about breaking down barriers to equality and inclusion.

When not working, Allan loves listening to music, collecting records and going to gigs.   

Ruth Hart

Ruth Hart

Admin Officer / PA to Marianne Scobie

Ruth joined the GDA team part-time in 2015 as Marianne's PA.  She quickly became full-time when she joined Alison and Allan on the admin team two days a week. She deals with enquiries, assists with organising events and courses, and helps out with any other admin duties that come up in the GDA office.

Ruth previously worked in France teaching English in secondary schools, and is involved with a number of grassroots campaigns fighting to make Scotland a fairer society.

Outside of work Ruth loves travelling, watching films, cooking incredibly spicy food, and building up her collections of battered second hand books and vintage dresses.

Sylvia Pearson

Sylvia Pearson

Development Officer (part-time)

Sylvia started with GDA in 2014, supporting learners on our first 'Activate' Community Development course. As Development Officer Sylvia now works mainly with older people, supporting them to set up and run their own community groups, to break down barriers and tackle social isolation.

A full-time mum of 7 for many years, Sylvia joined an Activate course herself in 2010 and before long she had an HNC from college and completed her BA Degree in Community Development at Glasgow University just before turning 50. While studying she worked as a Youth Worker, and helped to set up a local food bank. Sylvia loves traveling, reading, films and music. Above all she cares about people and firmly believes in equality and social justice for all.

Isla McIntosh

Isla McIntosh

Community Development Coordinator

Joining the GDA team in July 2015, Isla supports our Drivers for Change network. She organises training and opportunities for GDA members to share their experiences and speak out to help tackle the barriers disabled people face. Isla's strategic focus is bringing lived experience into policy making and planning. 

Isla previously worked for a disabled people-led organisation in England, and researched disability and human rights while studying for an MA in Community Development.

Isla is passionate about sports and creativity, and how these help with mental health and wellbeing.

Noreen Patterson

Noreen Patterson

Development Officer (part/time)

Noreen joined GDA in 2014 as a Personal Assistant and tutor - Now she coordinates the Future Visions Project, giving one to one support and encouraging participants to build their confidence to achieve their hopes and aspirations.

Noreen previously lectured at the Nautical College working with ESOL students and learners with addictions. She also ran the Oatlands Community Resource Centre for five years, coordinating their Community Activities and Welfare Rights work.

Noreen enjoys travelling and spending quality time with family and friends. Noreen believes that everyone has the right to be supported to pursue their goals and dreams.