Who We are:

The Heart of Newhaven constitution was agreed by public meetings and a Steering Group with a minimum of nine members set up to take the project forward. 

That group of willing helpers has been growing ever since, so here are a few details about each of the current members so that you can get an idea of their backgrounds and why they’re part of the project.

If you meet one in the street, please feel free to stop and have a chat.

As part of the process, the new charity Heart of Newhaven Community SCIO has now been registered with OSCR and its constitution calls for a maximum of 12 Trustees.

The Steering Group is in the process of setting all this up and will publish the results as soon as possible.

Rodney Matthews  Vision Facilitator (Chair)

Rodney is a retired minister with long experience of encouraging co-operation between churches.  A former quantity surveyor, he is currently chairman of the owners’ association in the waterfront development where he has lived since 2013, watching as Newhaven develops. 

Vision Facilitator of the Heart of Newhaven, he draws together its diversity. A Londoner, Rodney is a widower with family in various parts of the world. He lived in Wales for 20 years before coming to Scotland in 1996.  He enjoys pioneering projects, hill walking including Munros and trekking, especially in Finland and continues church ministry and social entertaining.

Contact: Chair@heartofnewhaven.co.uk

Mhairi Scott - Project Administrator (Secretary)  

Mhairi is in her final year of study as an Interpretation Designer and researcher, learning ways to help people enjoy and be inspired by things they see and visit. She has worked for Changeworks for environmental projects in North Edinburgh, and previously as a shop manager for gallery shops, and care work. 

Mhairi was born and grew up in Edinburgh, and takes great pleasure in shared memories about Edinburgh tenement life, for natives and newcomers alike. After enjoying being in Turkey, England and Italy, she now has a family with two noisy children. She loves urban history, nature and stravaiging, plus the joy of the Scots language. 

Contact: admin@heartofnewhaven.co.uk


Steve Rooney - Funding Enabler (Treasurer)

Steve was the CEO of software companies for over 30 years He was also a Business Mentor working with startup companies. He has been the Treasurer and Trustee of both History of Education Centre and the Scottish Chamber Choir

Contact: finance@heartofnewhaven.co.uk

Judith Crabb - Task Co-ordinator  

Judy is a town Planner by profession has worked in the Voluntary and Community sector for around 30 years. Roles have included CEO, Business Development Manager and Funding Officer with experience of working on projects in England, Wales and Scotland.

Judy also volunteers with a number of local charities and serves on the Community Council.

Archie Mills

Archie has lived on three continents working as a sales and marketing professional for multi-national and global companies. An associate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, he has a flair for project management and marketing strategy.

Although born in Edinburgh, Archie grew up in Helensburgh so has a real appreciation of seaside communities and activities. Now back in his city of birth and living in Broughton, Archie has recently founded his own marketing consultancy and looks forward to assisting Heart of Newhaven with developing strong community engagement.

Andrew Waldie – Fundraising

Andrew is a retired civil servant, management consultant and chartered accountant.  He has wide experience of assisting private and public sector organisations achieve change and deliver improved performance and has volunteered as a part-time adviser with the Citizens Advice Bureau. He has also been a Trustee and Treasurer of two small charities.

Andrew originally hails from Broughty Ferry, Dundee, a coastal community that has much in common with Newhaven.  He and his wife Denise now live in Leith near the Shore.  A keen student of history, Andrew is also an enthusiastic walker who never tires of exploring Scotland’s hills and heritage.

Grant Laing 

Grant is a Business Consultant working with several businesses across the UK. He worked in London for a number of years before returning back to Scotland and has now lived in the local area for over thirty years. He is also Team Secretary with Spartans F.C. U17s and is actively involved with the boys’ technical and social development.

Although originally from Dundee, he can trace his family back to the whaling industry in Leith & Newhaven, which might have had something to do with him moving to Leith and studying at Napier University. He obviously liked it here, because he returned! Grant has two children, one of whom still attends Trinity High School and plays for Spartans F.C..

Colin Mackneill  - Religious and Cultural Link

Colin is a member of Newhaven Church, where he has worshipped with his wife (and children, as they came along) for nearly thirty years. He is a corporate lawyer in a busy practice in Edinburgh and also a Trustee of the National Piping Centre in Glasgow.

Colin's connection with Newhaven stems from having met and married Lynn, who was born and brought up in the area. They have three children, each at school or in further education. Colin is a keen piper and has enjoyed piping in the Gala Queen and Fisher King at the Newhaven Gala in recent years.


Joan Davidson Community 

Joan is the Head of Learning for Edinburgh Science (one of Europe’s largest science festivals), member of Festival Edinburgh’s Community and Education Working Group and of the external advisory group for the Scottish Government’s STEM strategy.

She currently sits on the board of the Scottish Outdoor Education Centres

Iwona Nabialek-Digital Engagement Officer

Iwona works as Development Officer at the Edinburgh International Festival. She has a broad experience in events and project management and is currently exploring her new interests in digital engagement and community development.

Originally from Poland, Iwona graduated in Festival And Event Management from Napier University. She then made her forever home in Scotland and has been living in Edinburgh for over a decade now. She enjoys attending dance and theatre performances and has a great passion for hill-walking and the Highlands.

Christine McDerment - Historical Interpreter

Christine is a retired journalist who lived and worked in several countries before retiring home to Scotland in 2010. She currently works with two other local charities, being a Trustee with the History of Education Centre (as well as a volunteer role-play teacher in their Victorian Schoolroom) and a reader with Lothian Sound, Edinburgh’s Talking Newspaper for the Blind. 

Originally from the West Coast, she studied at St Andrews University, where she met and married her husband. They have two grown-up children, born in Chile and Portugal. She enjoys family history research and can happily spend hours poring over dusty 18th century documents in the Scottish National Records office, often with very little to show for it!

David Scott - Communications Strategist 

David is a practising architect who has lived and worked in the local area for over twenty years.  He has worked with community groups and housing associations and has over thirty years experience in helping preserve and enhance historic buildings.  

After graduating, David worked in London for a number of years before returning to his home town of Edinburgh to set up his own architectural practice with his wife, Lesley Dell.  They have two children, one of whom attended Victoria Primary and so have many happy memories of school galas and discos.  Especially the discos.

Jennifer Malborough  - Liaison Officer 

Jennifer was Head of Learning and Development for Alzheimer Scotland before she retired but is currently Secretary for the Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council as well as being involved with various interest groups and charities: Leith Heritage group, the Cockburn Association, Leith Civic Trust and Friends of Water of Leith Basins.

She was brought up in Peebles and moved to Edinburgh to take up a career in nursing and nurse education. She has now lived in Leith for over ten years and has developed a particular interest in the heritage and history of the area.

Norma Johnston - Well-being Coordinator

Norma is a Solution-Focused counsellor whose main interest is in health, particularly mental health and well-being. Her working life started in Craighall Road and she passed Victoria Primary School every day. Now she has come full circle, living in the area and being involved in the new future of Victoria.

She joined Heart of Newhaven because she’s positive that the organisation will bring huge benefits to the whole community. Her aim is for Heart of Newhaven to start a movement towards a healthier community.

Alan Hartley - Business Adviser 

Alan is a chartered accountant by profession who worked for KPMG for over 30 years and is currently Chairman of Mactaggart & Mickel, the Scottish building company.  He married a girl from Hawthornvale who attended Victoria Primary School and became the local pharmacist.

At university he was a professional speedway rider, holds UK and US pilots licences and featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine as one of the eight most eligible bachelors in Scotland. Interestingly, his photo was the only one of the eight not published! These days he gets his kicks from being a director of a number of companies and a trustee of seven charities.

Roger Walpole  -Website

Roger works as the Production Manager for Edinburgh University Student Association, making student events happen as well as supporting various partners, including Jazz, Science and Fringe Festivals. He is the treasurer of Victoria Primary School’s PTA and parent council as well as a trustee for the school trust.

He has worked in many roles in theatres across London and Norfolk, from Stage Manager to acting to painting the stage and serving drinks in the interval. He lives in Newhaven with three beautiful ladies (two daughters and a wife) He went to St Andrews University and met his wife while she was working on a children’s play about animal poo.

The duties of the Steering Group members are as follows:

To engage with the current owners of Victoria Primary School; meet with key stakeholders and conduct consultations; engage consultants and other professional experts as required; liaise with other voluntary sector bodies, local authorities, local businesses, UK and Scottish government departments and agencies and other bodies, all with a view to furthering the association’s objects; to take such steps as may be deemed appropriate for the purpose of raising funds for the association’s activities.

© Copyright TheHeart of Newhaven 2020