Carer Benefits Advisory Group


The Carer Benefits Advisory Group was set up in November 2015 to advise Scottish Ministers on developing policy for social security benefits for carers.

The group advises on:

  • the evidence base to support policy decisions
  • carer user and stakeholder engagement
  • fit with the emerging policy landscape
  • interaction with wider Scottish and UK social security benefits

The group meets around every six months, with workshops in between as needed to support policy making.


  • Ellen Searle, Scottish Government (Chair)
  • Jane Sterry, Scottish Government Scottish Carer’s Assistance Policy Lead
  • Sohel Ahmed, Scottish Government Live Carer Benefits Policy Lead
  • Victoria Boal, Scottish Government (Secretariat)
  • Sharon McGuire, Scottish Government Carers Policy lead
  • Joanne Pierce, Scottish Government Carers Policy
  • David Leslie, Scottish Government Carers Policy
  • Michelle Gallacher, Social Security Scotland lead
  • Gail Wilson, Social Security Scotland
  • Wendy Rizza, Social Security Scotland
  • Fiona Collie, Carers Scotland
  • Paul Traynor, Carers Trust
  • Margaret Chiwanza, MECOPP
  • Mike Brown, Social Work Scotland
  • Jennifer Rezendes, Social Work Scotland
  • Shirley Morris, VOCAL
  • Roisin Connolly, Connecting Carers
  • Anne Baldock, One Parent Families Scotland
  • Angela Toal, Child Poverty Action Group
  • Jill Wood, Engender
  • Stephanie Millar, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Aoife Deery, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Nina Ballantyne, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • David Scott, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • John Cunningham, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Fran Holligan, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Catherine Henry, Scottish Government, Social Security Social Research
  • Evelyn Bowes, Scottish Government, Social Security Analysis, Forecasting and Evaluation


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