Our Staff

Gail Porter

Gail Porter

I joined SDS Forth Valley in 2003 as an Information Officer, when the service was first started. Later in 2003 I went on to gain the post I am in now. I have seen the service develop from a desk with a phone, supporting clients in the Falkirk council area, to what it is now, a fully furnished office with 3 staff members who provide comprehensive support to clients throughout Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannan Council areas.

My principle role is working with clients, ensuring they know enough about Self Directed Support and how it relates to them, so they can make informed choices about their independent living.

Violet Keenan

Violet is the current Manager of  SDS Forth Valley.

More details to follow soon.

Thank you.

Alan Ryan

Alan joined the team in August. More details will follow.

Thank you.

Paul Barrowman

Paul joined the team in July 2019 and will work with supported individuals providing information and guidance on Self-Directed Support. This allows people to make informed choices as to how they can make self-directed support work for them.

Paul has over 12 years experience informing, supporting and empowering people. The experience has been gained from previous roles as a result of working as a benefit advice officer with RNIB Scotland, working at Stirling Carers Centre and with Local Authorities.

Rose Penny, Chair

Rose Penny, Director

My name is Rose Penny. I was born in Glasgow and educated there. I moved to Banknock in 1977 and still live there. I have two adult children who both live away from home.

I joined the ILA almost at inception and very much enjoy my time there. It is a very lively and interesting group. Although I am disabled the group is open to anyone who has an interest in disability issues so come and join us. You will be made very welcome.


Elma Farquar, Company Secretary

I joined the Independent Living Association Forth Valley several years ago as someone who, although not disabled myself, had an interest in disability.

I soon became involved – first as someone to take Minutes – and very soon was appointed Company Secretary.

My duties are many and varied from helping serve teas and coffees at the ILA Café to doing the OSCR and Companies` House Returns.

When I retired as a teacher, I never thought that my `next life` would be so fulfilling. Being a Volunteer is so worthwhile – I can certainly recommend it.


Diane Macintyre, Chair

I went to Carron Coop, for my weekly shop, and was speaking to a Board Member . A few weeks later I was co-opted member of the Board. That was about Five years ago.

I do have a health problem but, Im not alone in that, but continue as a member because I am convinced of the value of their service. My family set me an example through their example of care through the generations but times have changed and many people do not have an extended family who can help.

Our service offers independent support and expertise to allow folks to live independently. I may be approaching my three score years and ten and be wobbly on my legs, but, my brain is still active and I am still committed to such a positive group.

Emma Bowen, Vice Chair

Nan Laird, Director