One of GDA’s founder members, Tressa has been CEO since 2006, steering GDA from its fledgling vision of supporting disabled people’s voices and tackling social isolation in 2001, to the multi-award-winning community of 5000 it is today. For over 25 years, Tressa has held senior leadership roles in third and public sector organisations developing people led programmes which build on disabled people’s strengths and increase capacity to participate and contribute to their own lives, communities and wider society. During COVID, Tressa has led GDA’s Resilience and Recovery response to COVID, adapting all GDA supports and programmes and establishing new services including GDA’s Lifeline- delivery of essential food and medication, GDA Wellbeing and GDA Digital supports.
A disabled person herself, Tressa has expertise around equalities issues, particularly disability equality as well as the cumulative impact of multiple discrimination and intersectional impacts e.g. disabled women and disabled LGBT people.
Through GDA, Tressa acts as strategic collaborator with and advisor to both Glasgow City Government and Scottish Government across a range of areas including participative democracy. She is currently a member of the First Minister’s National Advisory Council for Women and Girls, the National Group working on Participatory Budgeting and is Deputy Chair of the Disability and Carers’ Benefits Expert Advisory Group. Tressa is also a member of the Scottish Government Social Renewal Advisory Board and Glasgow City Council’s Social Recovery Task Force, responding to the impact of COVID.