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Sandra Stuart

Head of Wellbeing

Headshot of Sandra Stuart who has dark, short hair, earrings and a tartan scarf.

With almost 40 years’ experience in the fields of social care, disability and mental health, Sandra leads on GDAs work on Wellbeing, Mental Health, Social isolation and Loneliness, Older People and Human Rights. Sandra previously ran a mental health user led organisation and a Healthy Living Initiative – both with emphasis on mental health and wellbeing.

In her time with GDA Sandra has led on programmes of peer support and capacity building specialising in working with older people using community development methods and approaches. “Community” and belonging are important drivers for Sandra as is her commitment to GDA’s focus on justice and equality using human rights based approaches.

During COVID, Sandra has led GDA’s response to the impacts of the pandemic on disabled people’s mental health and wellbeing. Over 62% of the thousands GDA contacted through Wellbeing Checks and who responded to surveys, reported a concern about declining mental health; over 90% were concerned about both mental health and physical health. Thousands were in crisis with access to services halted or reduced and Sandra worked with GDA colleagues, leading the establishment of GDA’s Wellbeing Service.

Sandra provides support to individual disabled people and to the team of Wellbeing advisors who support hundreds of disabled people to cope, feel heard and develop strategies to boost their health and wellbeing as well as access to online peer support groups for disabled people.

Sandra works with many partner networks, making sure GDA members’ voices are heard by decision makers at local and national levels. A member of Glasgow HSCP’s ‘Maximising Wellbeing for Independent Living Meeting’, she is working to ensure that the experiences of GDA members inform efforts to reduce health inequalities; an issue which disproportionately affects disabled people.

Sandra represents GDA on ‘Scotland’s Action Group on Isolation and Loneliness’ and the ‘Older People’s Strategic Action Forum’ chaired by Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for Equalities and Older People.

She also represents GDA on the board of Human Rights Consortium Scotland.

Sandra currently works part-time; usually Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.