Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is elected at our Annual General Meeting each year. Board members are there to oversee our work, help us shape the direction of the service that we deliver and to represent the interests of the people of Fife – our clients.

We’re grateful for the support and direction provided by our Directors.


Lesley Backhouse

Originally from Glasgow but moved to Fife at the age of 16.  Worked for the UK Government for 26 years as a Forensic Accountant.  An active trade unionist and volunteer for the Breastfeeding Network for 20 years.  Lesley likes to be involved in local activities and runs her own business.

Beverley Harrow

Experienced in running my own companies and particular experience of legal matters, procurement, sales and marketing and media. I have a particular interest in disability rights and a proven track record of fund raising for children’s charities. I have done some volunteering work within CARF and have a good grounding and understanding of other people’s situations along with an empathy and strong desire to help. I have been a Director for over 4 years.

Susan Leslie

Details to follow.

Mhairi Lochhead

The values of CARF mirror my own, and I bring experience and understanding of developing and delivering services. My background is in support and advice, including welfare rights work, within the voluntary sector, where I have worked for 20 years. I am currently the Manager of the Fife Carers Centre.

Peter McTiernan

Peter brings broad commercial sector experience to the board following a career spent largely with the Mars Corporation and Sony Europe where he held a number of senior management posts with responsibility for business development. He retired early to care for his wife but remained a voluntary director of the Scottish Development Centre for Mental Health which he latterly chaired to facilitate its merger with the Mental Health Foundation.

Peter's support for CARF stems from a mutual desire to empower those facing adversity, especially as a result of ill health, to exercise their rights.

Norma Philpott

I have been part of the advice sector for over 25 years and CEO of CARF since 2002. I see my director role as supporting the strategic roles and responsibilities of the organisation whilst my day job is very much about taking day to day responsibility for the running of a large advice agency. I have served on various third sector boards, committees and fora over the years both locally and nationally and continue to do this. I want to see CARF flourish and meet the needs of all its stakeholders, and to ensure that clients are at the heart of our service.

Tom Vrolijk

Tom retired a few years ago, after a long career in the Oil & Gas industry, working and living in many countries across the world.  He was appointed CARF Director in March 2009 and became Chairman of CARF later that year, serving until May 2014.  Tom enjoys his volunteer work in Scotland. He also serves as a Justice of the Peace in the Sheriffdom of Tayside, Central and Fife.

Sandra Wilson

Sandra Wilson joined the board in 2011 on retiring from Fife Council after a career in employment related and information roles. Her experience includes all age careers guidance, writing and editing careers information and managing a network of disability agencies. She is currently chair of RNIB Scotland.