About UsOur StaffLeadership Team

Senior Management

Paul McColgan Chief Executive

In 1991, Paul completed a degree in Economics from the University of Paisley and went to live in Barcelona where  he spent three years volunteering in the soup kitchens in the mornings whilst teaching in the prestigious EADA business school in the evenings.

He returned to Scotland in 1994 and began working for SCIAF, Scotland’s Aid Agency and later trained as a consultant to social enterprises at CEIS.

From 1996-2000 Paul completed a Masters degree where he deepened his understanding of poverty and marginalisation among disabled people and those living in areas of deprivation. This laid the foundations for his development of the Community Renewal methodologies, all of which are based on a Critical Reflection Process with compassionate listening at the core.

2003 was a very important year in Paul’s life,  his first child was born, he authored Disability Equality in Scottish Schools  – ( a training programme to support the inclusion of disabled children in mainstream schools), and he co-founded Community Renewal.

Paul is passionate about supporting people and communities to lift themselves out of poverty and is working to influence policy and decision makers at Scottish, UK and international level. Paul served on the board of NHS Health Scotland from 2016 to 2020.

In November 2019, he was named Social Enterprise Champion at the Social Enterprise Scotland Awards.

To contact Paul email:  paul@communityrenewal.org.uk



John Halliday Director of Development

John joined Community Renewal in 2016, after finding that his passion for improving local services, listening to community needs and always working with partners reflected in the day-to-day approach of Community Renewal.


He was previously Policy & Development Manager at the Wise Group, another key Scottish social enterprise. Before that he worked as a social research and public policy consultant at Rocket Science. This included supporting social enterprises, managing grant funds, assessing social return on investment, and community consultation. His work has always spanned across criminal justice, employability, welfare, health and education.


John volunteers with Citizens Advice one day each week. He holds both an MA and MSci from University of Cambridge.


To contact John about new ideas, partnership working, communications or opportunities: john.halliday@communityrenewal.org.uk

Sheila Thomson Service Manager and FInance/HR Manager

Sheila has a dual role – she is the Service Manager for our Grampian projects and the Finance/HR Manager.

Sheila who is originally from Aberdeen set up an IT consultancy business while living in the south of England. After returning to Aberdeen she became a business adviser and trainer,  supporting new small businesses including social enterprises.

Sheila returned to education gaining an MA Hons in Politics and Women’s Studies prior to being elected as a councillor for Portlethen North, Aberdeenshire where she served as Vice-Chair of the Social Work and Housing Committee. from 2007 to 2015 Sheila managed the office of Sir Robert Smith, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine.

Over the years Sheila has held a number of voluntary roles including past chair of K&D Voice, vice-chair of Community Transport Association UK, chair of Community Transport Scotland, director of Aberdeen Foyer, director of Aberdeenshire Housing Partnership and a founder member of Aberdeen Council of Voluntary Organisations.

Sheila joined Community Renewal in June 2015.

To contact Sheila email Sheila.thomson@communityrenewal.org.uk

Jon Mennie Service Manager Edinburgh

Jon’s first experience of Community Renewal was a knock at his front door by a Community Animator where he was asked if he would like to complete a listening survey. As a long time member of a disadvantaged community he was surprised and delighted to be asked his opinion on the local area and the improvements he would like to see take place. Interested in getting more involved, he then volunteered with Community Renewal whilst he completed his Master of Arts in History. After several months volunteering he accepted a sessional post which quickly turned into a full-time position. Jons previous employment experience was in the construction industry which accumulated in a job helping to complete the new Scottish Parliament building.

Jon’s natural empathy helps him engage with the less well off neighbourhoods in North Edinburgh and he works with individuals to support their move into employment and develop self-sustaining grass roots community groups and services.

Jon now manages all Community Renewal’s delivery in Edinburgh including our youth project (Employment Safety Net), the Integrated Employability Service, and the People’s Health Trust funded Local Conversations in Bingham & Magdalene and Muirhouse.

He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and Chartered Management.

Email Jon Mennie


Suzanne Bell Service Manager

Suzanne is the Service Manager covering projects in the West of Scotland. This includes project management of our Community Health Improvement South Glasgow project for Glasgow HSCP, our Community Canteen, and the Big Lottery Funded Our Place Ardrossan project. She has expertise in project management, asset based community development and training of allied health professionals.

Previous roles have included a stint in in facilities management, customer care, and working in the early years sector where she was a trainer and assessor in childcare and play-work.

Suzanne’s love of travel was inspired by an early career in the travel industry and she lived in Greece for some years.

To contact Suzanne email Suzanne@communityrenewal.org.uk

People don’t resist change. They resist being changed!