Who we are

Child having a mask fitted by an adult.

Volunteers and trustees are the beating heart of Covid Aid, allowing us to provide support right away.

Our volunteers

The skills and experience brought to covid:aid by our wonderful group of volunteers has allowed us to launch and immediately start working with those affected by Covid-19. 

These trusted partners are part of our story and we are immensely grateful to them for joining us on our mission to help as many people as possible. 

As our community continues to grow, we’re always on the lookout for more volunteers. If you have a commitment to helping others and feel covid:aid could benefit from your skills and experience, we’d love to hear from you

Our founder

  • Michael MacLennan (Founder and Chief Executive) has been a trustee for the international water charity, Just a Drop and was a founding member of young people’s cancer charity, CLIC Sargent’s Innovations Forum. A Director for global critical issues firm Brunswick, he was previously Global Digital Editorial Manager for Red Bull and has also worked for the BBC, Barclaycard, and ITN.

Our trustees

From reviewing our performance to ensuring operations are run to the highest standard, our board of trustees keep everything on track. (In alphabetical order.)

  • Tamsin Anastasi-Pace specialises in digital and behavioural transformation, with a focus on sustainable change. Currently Head of Client Solutions at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, she has previously worked at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and The Economist Group, where she ran complex, global programmes focused on the implementation and adoption of new processes and technologies. Tamsin is a member of the Chartered Management Institute with a qualification in Professional Coaching and Mentoring.

  • Madina Bazarova is an audit, risk management and finance professional with over 20 years of experience in the development sector. She is the Head, Internal Audit Function at the CGIAR System, an international agricultural research partnership for a food secure future. Madina has been previously based in Malaysia, the UK and Uzbekistan leading internal audit or finance teams within among others CGIAR and Save the Children. Madina is a chartered management accountant (ACMA), chartered internal auditor (CMIIA), a certified fraud examiner (CFE) and has certification in risk management assurance (CRMA)

  • Fergus Bruce is Director of Education Partnerships for Edify, the immersive learning platform developed in partnership with The University of Glasgow. With over 15 years of diverse commercial experience across the design, creative, and visualisation sectors, he is also a co-founder of After the Pandemic, an innovative accelerator enabling communities to collaborate on creative projects that impact societies, cities and the climate for the better.

  • Rashida Din has been a Science Teacher for over 25 years. She is currently an Assistant Headteacher working with vulnerable students with Social Emotional Mental and Health (SEMH) needs. Her experience includes being a lay member of a Local Children’s Safeguarding Board, President of her teacher’s Local Association and Co-Chair of a Regional Equality Committee. Rashida was also part of an innovative E-learning project which won the National Leadership Alliance Award for Innovation, and gave evidence to a Parliamentary Committee investigating the effect of Covid-19 on schools.

  • Peter Gardiner was formerly Senior Advisor (Programmes) to the CGIAR, an organisation conducting international agricultural research for development. Substantial parts of his career were spent in conducting or managing scientific research (based in Kenya, Philippines and Malaysia) or working with the technical oversight body of CGIAR, formerly the Science Council (based at the FAO in Italy) in strategic assessment, programme planning and review.

  • Maria Grigore is Director of Research at Oxford HR, finding the leaders willing to make the world a better place. She has experience with UNDP IICPSD in Turkey, and Amnesty International Spain. With an LLM in International Law, Globalisation and Development, and currently pursuing an MLitt in Philosophy, she is Romanian by origin, Spanish by adoption, and has found her home in Oxford and Edinburgh.

  • Raman Kaur is a Psychologist specialising in business and HR. With a background in scientific research and a Masters in statistics Raman is a published academic author. She helps organisations improve their effectiveness through redefining strategy, leadership development and change management. Raman is primarily interested in self-development and learning so that she can be better equipped to help people. The work that covid:aid is doing resonated with Raman following her own personal experience with Covid-19. Her aim is to change perceptions and increase education and knowledge around Long Covid.

  • Dominic Minghella is a screenwriter, producer and campaigner. He has authored and produced numerous filmed dramas, including creating the smash-hit ITV series, Doc Martin. He is a partner at story-based consultants Lucas/Minghella and has advised and supported key individuals, organisations and charities in the UK and internationally on strategy and communications, as well as making numerous campaign films. He was among the very first wave of Covid-19 patients in the UK to be hospitalised, and has written influential articles on that experience.

  • Isabelle Risso-Gill is a public health and international development professional. She recently joined the Public Health team in a London Local Authority, focusing on Covid programming with vulnerable populations. Prior to this, Isabelle worked in the international development sector for over 12 years, working on humanitarian crises around the world. With a background in the charity sector, she has expertise in quality programming and community engagement. She holds a Masters in Public Health, is a published academic researcher, and a gender and child rights champion. During the pandemic, she has also become a volunteer Covid-19 vaccinator with St John Ambulance.

(Note: We welcome new applications to join the board. Please get in contact if interested.)

Our expert panel

We are also building a diverse expert panel of those with experience of Covid-19 who can help inform our activities and provide oversight. If you are interested and would like more information please get in contact. Current members (in alphabetical order) include:

  • Dr Alexandra Burton is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Behavioural Science and Health at University College London. She currently manages the qualitative component of the COVID-19 Social Study which is investigating the psychological and social impact of the pandemic and related social distancing measures. Her broader work includes exploring the relationship between social support and health outcomes and the development and testing of psychosocial interventions to improve physical and mental health outcomes for people with mental health problems.

  • Sandra Edwards is a founding member of LongCovidSOS, a UK Campaign group that advocates for people living with Long Covid especially in the areas of recognition, research, and rehab. She started the conversation back in June 2020 and attracted the attention of other people living with Long Covid, who helped set up the campaign (watch Message in a Bottle here). She plays an active role in recruiting people living with Long Covid to appear in the media, has helped assemble patient reps from all World Health Organisation [WHO] regions to take part in meetings, webinars and surveys for the WHO, was a member of the ‘Long Covid in Non Hospitalised Individuals’ selection committee for the NIHR in June 2021, and has also been working with UCL & Partners on a digital rehabilitation programme for Long Covid Patients.

  • Alec Finlay is an artist and poet based in Edinburgh. He has made work on place-awareness and creative approaches to disability access, arguing for the need to develop new cultures of recuperation. Alec has had ME since he was 21 and currently has Long Covid. He was recently commissioned to create Scotland’s Covid Memorial in Pollok Country Park. During the pandemic he has produced free audio walks for those isolating, and a creative tool-kit for lockdown.

  • Yasmin Khan is the CEO of Staying Put, a domestic abuse and sexual violence charity which provides support services to victims and survivors across Yorkshire. She has over 20 years’ experience of leading on women’s rights/gender-based violence, education services to young people raising aspiration and widening opportunities, supported housing and working around mental health and wellbeing. She is passionate about equality of opportunity and human right issues and regularly campaigns for change. Yasmin has previously worked for the Government, Women’s Aid, Housing Association and NGO’s.  In 2015 she set up International Intervention, Rehabilitation and Protection (I-RAP) a charitable secular agency working with children and young people at risk of child sexual exploitation.

  • Dr Nathalie MacDermott is a clinical doctor and academic researcher at King's College London, sub-specialising in paediatric infectious diseases in the NHS. She also has significant experience in medical response to disaster and epidemic situations in Africa and Asia. She has been living with Long Covid and has spoken publicly about the long-term effects.

  • Dr David Putrino is a physical therapist with a PhD in Neuroscience. He studied computational neuroscience at Harvard Medical School, MIT and NYU. He has served as a faculty member at Weill-Cornell Medicine and Burke Medical Research Institute as the Director of Telemedicine and Virtual Rehabilitation. He is currently the Director of Rehabilitation Innovation for the Mount Sinai Health System, and an Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Human Performance at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He develops innovative solutions for individuals in need of better healthcare accessibility. He also works with high performance partners such as Red Bull, the Brooklyn Nets NBA team and the US Olympic team to use evidence-based technologies to improve athletic performance. He is the author of Hacking Health: How to make money and save lives in the HealthTech world. In 2019, he was named "Global Australian of the Year" for his contributions to healthcare.

Our Ambassadors

Our Ambassadors advocate for their wider communities as well as for covid:aid. They have an amazing and varied mixture of experience and achievements. For that reason they are also part of our expert panel, guiding the charity as well as helping us support those in need. Ambassadors include:

  • Jasmine Hayer is a Long Covid advocate, blogger, and writer, who’s still recovering, since contracting Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic. She was one of the first long haulers to publicly share her story in the media to create awareness about the hidden and severe damage caused in non-hospitalised Covid sufferers. Jasmine, whilst sofa bound, created the nationwide project ‘The Hidden Voices of Long Covid’ (stories from over 200 long covid sufferers), which she presented to the NIHR. As a trusted voice in the Long Covid community, she became a patient advisor on the largest Long Covid trial to date, co-funded by the NIHR and the Government, where she leads on stigma and inequalities research with Dr Nisreen Alwan. Currently, she’s at the forefront of experimental treatment, fighting to get into studies and shares her knowledge and holistic therapies to help Long Covid sufferers, via her blog and Instagram.

  • Dr Kerry Smith has been a GP prior to becoming a Long Covid advocate, blogger, and writer. She caught Covid-19 in March 2020 whilst at work, before PPE and the first lockdown. Kerry started Rose Cottage Doc, a blog on Instagram, to share how she was helping herself, to share any relevant research she discovered but mainly to advocate for other Long Covid Sufferers. Beginning with the odd image or link, it has since shifted to more in-depth research into all things Long Covid – becoming a source of helpful information for the Long Covid community.

Charity details

You can find details of our registration at OSCR. We are registered in Scotland to operate across the UK including in England, Wales, Northern Ireland (where we have also applied for registration), and Jersey. Our address is:

covid:aid
3/1 430 St Vincent Street
Glasgow G38EU

You can reach us through our contact page.

Want to help? covid:aid is solely reliant on your donations to provide the best possible support to all those across the UK significantly affected by Covid-19.

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