The VABS Board
Jaci is the Chief Executive of Care and Learning Alliance – the largest third sector early learning and childcare organisation in Highlands.
Jaci lived abroad in the USA and Scandinavia for many years. She has a wide-ranging background in both community development and local food campaigning and tirelessly champions issues around children and young people, community resilience and wellbeing.
Jaci currently sits on the Board of Inverness College UHI, Grantown Grammar School Parent Council and the steering group for B & S Foodbank and sings in local community choir Bella Voce. She is married, has 4 daughters and lives in Grantown on Spey.
Rachel has a background in ecology, outdoor learning and community-led woodland management.
Rachel has a background in ecology, outdoor learning and community-led woodland management. She has been personally and professionally involved in a wide variety of third sector organisations working on conservation, sustainability and youth development issues. She has lived in the strath since 2011, finally moving to Kingussie in 2015 where she hopes to stay for a very long time.
Having been involved in many community groups over the years James has hung up many hats and enjoys being a tour guide of Scotland now.
James’ involvement in the voluntary sector goes back to a time very shortly after he returned to his home in Strathspey back in the mid 1980s. Within a few months he became Secretary of the Boat of Garten Tourist Association and then its Treasurer as well. Thereafter he was elected onto the Boat of Garten Community Council, subsequently becoming its Chairman for a number of years. James was also a founding director of the Boat of Garten Community Company and having retired from that became a director of the Boat of Garten Community Hall and subsequently its Chairman. All of these of course meant being involved in many other bodies – not least the Cairngorms Communities Group under the aegis of the Cairngorms Partnership and after the creation of the National Park. Nowadays there is a little less on his plate – VABS and eldership in the Presbytery of Abernethy. In his day job, he is a tour guide throughout Scotland and at the local brewery.
A community councillor in Newtonmore since 2009, Graham enjoys the outdoors and being involved in the community and local heritage.
John is a native of Perth but has lived in Aviemore for over 25 years and is currently chair of the Aviemore and Vicinity Community Council.
John Nethercott has lived in Badenoch and Strathspey since 1990 and been a director of VABS since 2007.
For John, the development growth of a sound Third Sector is essential and he believes very much in the important role of VABS in the community development of this area. His main interest in his spare time is sailing.
Mary was raised in the Inverness area, and after working and living in various parts of Scotland, came to live in Aviemore in 2008.
With a background of working in Health and Social Care, Mary maintains an active involvement as a volunteer with local groups which support older people and those with disabilities.
Mary was instrumental in setting up St. Vincent’s Therapy Garden, a social and therapeutic horticultural charity – now known as Badenoch and Strathspey Therapy Gardens and continues as a trustee after being the Project Manager for several years. She continues to promote the benefits of gardening and of green space, whenever possible.
Mary became a director of VABS in 2017.
Highland Third Sector Interface
VABS is part of the Highland Third Sector Interface (HTSI) funded by the Scottish Government to support Badenoch and Strathspey communities in the following four areas:
- Organisational support
- Social Economy/Enterprise
- Community Engagement & Planning