Board of Trustees

Meet the Board

The Board of Trustees is collectively responsible for the governance and strategic direction of Garvald. It is responsible for receiving money from local authorities and donors, safeguarding it and ensuring that it is used for meeting Garvald objectives as stated in its articles of association.  The Trustee Board must always act in the best interests of Garvald. The Trustees must act as a group and not as individuals.  Although the role is unpaid, Trustees have the opportunity to significantly contribute towards an important and well-regarded service for people with learning disabilities.

Vincent D'Agostino

Steven Whalley, Chair of the Board

Steven Whalley has been on the Board of Garvald since August 2021.

Steven worked in Financial Services for over 40 years, mainly for large life, pensions and investments companies like AEGON, Prudential and Standards Life. In these companies he has worked in Marketing and Risk roles.

Steven is a volunteer Board member of another charity, Equal Futures, and is the the Vice Chairperson of the Scottish Police Pension Board, which is part of the Scottish Public Pension Agency.

Steven lives in West Linton, in the Scottish Borders. He is married to Kate and has three children. Steven is involved with his local Church being an Elder and leading services. His interests include watching football (he is an Oldham Athletic fan being originally from Oldham), learning to play bridge, playing backgammon and reading.

Vincent D'Agostino

Vincent D’Agostino

Vincent D’Agostino has been on the Board of Garvald since November 2019.  Vincent lived and worked at Camphill School Aberdeen for over 45 years as a career volunteer in a progression of roles: as a carer, house manager, craft instructor, teacher, staff educator and mainly as an SSSC Registered Manager and member of the school’s management team and Board of Management.  From 2009 -2014 he was the Camphill Director for the BA programme in Curative Education and Social Therapy run in partnership with The University of Aberdeen and from 2013 -2017 the Deputy Executive Director Responsible for Operational Support.

Since retiring in 2019 and moving to Penicuik he and his wife Anni enjoy being close to their two daughters’ families and active as grandparents. Having always enjoyed outdoor activity he currently volunteers weekly at Leadburn Community Woodland Trust and assists a friend’s self-build extension work.  He and Anni have recently joined the U3A in Penicuik and are members of The Penicuik Community Development Trust and the Anthroposophical society in Edinburgh and enjoy meeting friends old and new.

Vincent D'Agostino

Mike Casey

Mike has been a member of the Garvald Board since 2018 and has three grown up children.

After leaving school Mike completed an apprenticeship as a Mechanical and Electronic Engineer and subsequently spent 15 years as an Engineer in Ferranti in Edinburgh before leaving to train and qualify as a nurse. After two years of Nursing, he moved to work with Barony Housing Association in Fife setting up and managing a House supporting adults with a learning disability and enduring mental health challenges who were moving from long term institutional care.

In 1998 he took up a post as Day service Manager with Garvald Edinburgh. He later took over running of the Garvald Accommodation and Supported Living services. In 2008 Mike took up the role of CEO with Garvald which he remained in until his retirement in December 2023.  He also is a founding member and volunteer Board member with Get2gether, a charity that support capacity building and social opportunities for adults with a range of disabilities.

Mike is also involved in regular pilgrimages supporting groups to travel to and spend time in Lourdes. Mike also volunteers supporting education projects in Malawi, volunteering with classrooms for Malawi.

Vincent D'Agostino

Rennie Gardner

Rennie has been a member of the Garvald Board since February 2023.  He qualified as an accountant with Ernst & Young and spent the bulk of his career in Financial Services, mostly in Risk, restructuring distressed debts.  Born in Glasgow, he moved east because his wife Susan told him to and has lived locally for approximately 24 years, enjoying mountain biking, gym classes, clay shooting and trying to golf better.

Vincent D'Agostino

Syd Smith

Syd Smith joined Garvald West Linton’s Board in July 2019.  He is a retired solicitor who was senior partner in a Scotland wide litigation firm.

His first contact with Garvald goes back some years to the 1980’s when he was a leader in the Edinburgh Handicapped Scouts and some of his scouts attended day activities there.

He is married to Andrea.  They have three adult children and live in Edinburgh.

Syd’s main hobby is flying.  He has held a pilot’s licence for almost twenty years and is Secretary to the Scottish Aero Club.

Vincent D'Agostino

Gillian Learmonth

Gillian Learmonth joined the Garvald West Linton Board of Trustees in August 2010.

Gillian is a passionate and committed tourism professional who has worked at VisitScotland since 2006. Gillian’s current role builds strong relationships with industry and key public sector agencies, to support a collaborative approach to responsible and inclusive growth in the sector, across Scotland. Previous roles within VisitScotland have allowed her to develop strong mix of experience and skills across a number disciplines, including marketing and digital, partnership development and management of funding programmes.

Gillian lives just along the road, in Dolphinton, in the same beautiful valley as GLW. She is married to Andrew and has two young children. When free time allows, she loves exploring the outdoors and travelling, has been learning to play golf, and loves cooking and baking for family and friends.