< Our volunteers – Mamie Martin Fund

Our volunteers

We do not have any staff in Scotland so the work of running the Mamie Martin Fund falls to the Trustees, who are all volunteers. They are helped by a growing band of other volunteers, whose assistance is greatly appreciated.

Andrea Adden is a biologist at the Crick Institute in London. Her research area is the tsetse fly which is a major public health issue in sub-Saharan Africa.

She helps the Mamie Martin Fund in a range of ways, not least in the admin of cycling events and doing the graphic art for gift cards, posters and gorgeous certificates.

Helen Robbie is one of Mamie Martin’s great granddaughters. She is a music tutor and choir director, working less over lockdown. While being a busy Mum to Calum and Andrew, Helen is dusting off her graphic design skills from school Highers some time ago and creating wonderful graphics for us to use on this website and on social media. This started as part of #Pledge100 but we hope to persuade her to continue after she has created 100 graphics.

Jean Gordon is a social worker, researcher and educator and lives on the Black Isle near Inverness. Her interest in education, and especially girls’ education, dates back from two very formative years in her ’20s teaching at a secondary school on a small island in Fiji. 

As a social worker, and now university tutor and researcher, in the north of Scotland, Jean is particularly aware of the challenges of accessing education in rural areas. She’s been involved with the Mamie Martin Fund for about six years, first as a trustee, and now helping to look after the MMF website and support our MSc students on placement.

Kathleen Sargeant was part of the Falkirk High School visit to Malawi in 2008, when the group attended class at Bandawe Girls Secondary School for a week. The trip made a big impression on all the pupils and teachers, which included Mariot Dallas, currently co-convenor of MMF.

Kathleen works in a marketing role in London and has been enormously helpful in reviewing our website and suggesting improvements. Following a meeting in London recently, she was persuaded to extend her volunteering to managing a digital audit of MMF, which is part of our Action Plan following our recent Strategic Review.

Richard Robinson is our Video Volunteer and some of his work can be see in the two of the videos we’ve published – Benadeta and the Thompson Girls. Richard’s background is in rural development and the environment. Recently he has been involved in local Scottish community projects addressing climate change, which led him to learn basic video-editing skills.

Richard’s daughter’s school has a long established partnership with a school in Southern Malawi; she visited as a teenager and the family later hosted an exchange student. This led Richard to become very aware of the difficulties of education in Malawi, particularly for girls. We are hugely grateful for this help. As those of you who have done any video-editing will know, it is a very time-consuming task and can be very frustrating. But you’ll know that Richard has been on the case when you see our newer videos.

Sue Dumbleton helps us with our images, which proliferate faster than we can edit and file them. Sue’s own photos are great and you can check that out on her Blipfoto blog, where she posts photos and ‘blips’ as ‘Tweedy’. Images are so important in our work but finding the time to get them into a sensible filing system and tidy them up is a challenge to the Trustees.

Sue is committed to education, particularly to girls’ education and has been a supporter of the Mamie Martin Fund for some time. Sue has photographed 100 tulips as part of #Pledge100 and we used several in social media and web posts.