Meet the Board

Amy Wright


Amy Wright is a disabled young person who was a young carer and who in 2018 completed an Honours Degree with the Open University. She is currently a Research Intern through Inclusion Scotland’s Internship programme for Jeremy Balfour, MSP. Amy has been part of the Development of TUP from the earliest days engaging young people in all the development. Amy regularly represents TUP at local and national engagement events.

Karen Priestley

Company Secretary

Karen is the parent of an adult son with additional support needs. Karen was also manager of PIN (Parents Inclusion Network) before her retirement. Karen has experience advocating for families and young people particularly around education and transitions. Karen now represents The Usual Place on the Scottish Governments Autism Panel.

Alex Barnwell


Alex Banwell is an accountant working at a local housing provider giving him insight into the challenges of poverty and housing issues in particular for young people with additional support needs. Alex has also trained as a primary school teacher with a sound understanding of the exclusion of disabled children experience from an early stage in their educational career and what this means to them in terms of low levels of expectation and aspiration. Alex has been a director with us since 2013

Marjorie Irving


Marjorie Irving is a retired senior nurse and social care practitioner who was on Enable’s Scottish Council for 6 years and still volunteers for Enable in Dumfries & Galloway. Marjorie worked for The Richmond Fellowship Scotland’s Engage service, delivering ‘without walls’ services for individual young people with a learning disability. Marjorie now co -represents The Usual Place on the Cross-Party Group for Learning Disabilities for the Scottish Government.


Maureen Johnstone


Maureen is an HR specialist who supported us during our start up and has remained a trusted adviser ever since. She joined the Board in 2018 and has a wealth of experience in HR across multiple sectors. She has an understanding of the challenges faced in employment for those who have additional support needs and their employers. Maureen believes passionately in equality of opportunity for all.

Sue Thomson


Sue comes to us with a background of social work in which he has a qualification in this field. Sue is also a social entrepreneur who was one of the first people in Scotland to develop and deliver a Self-Directed Support Brokerage which enabled people to access this service at it’s launch and further on.

Tadashi Maki


Tadashi is a retired HR professional. He worked globally in the field of HR Management consulting and business development before his retirement. After working in Asia for nearly 15 years, he moved to Dumfries and Galloway in 2018. Tadashi has been working as a volunteer at The Usual Place since 2019 and is passionate about helping young people with additional support needs. He believes in equal opportunities for all. He joined the Board in 2021.