CCF Grant Panel

When you apply for a Climate Challenge Fund grant, your application is assessed and summarised by the team at Keep Scotland Beautiful and sent to an independent grant panel for deliberation and decision.

The Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) Grant Panel meets to consider the applications and makes recommendations of which projects should receive funding to Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.


Members of the CCF Grant Panel:

Elizabeth Leighton - Chair, (Environmental Consultant)

Elizabeth Leighton is an independent consultant, providing research, policy and strategy advice on climate change, community engagement and sustainability issues. She is the chair of the CCF Grant Panel, which reviews project assessments and provides independent recommendations to Ministers.

Previously, she worked for WWF Scotland as Senior Policy Officer where she advocated policies and programmes to make Scotland’s homes low carbon and managed the education team.  Prior to joining WWF, Elizabeth served with the US Foreign Service, with postings in Moscow, Sofia, Edinburgh and Alaska.

Elizabeth lives in Highland Perthshire with her husband and two sons where she is an active member of the school parent council, and a member of the newly formed Heartland Community Wind Co-operative.

Tom Ballantine, (Stop Climate Chaos Scotland) 

Tom Ballantine has been on the board of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (a coalition of Scottish organisations campaigning together on climate change) since 2007.  He has been chair of their board since June 2010. Before taking on his current role Tom worked as a lawyer and mediator in Edinburgh where he set up and headed a multiple award winning family law team. He has co-written two books on family law.

Tom left his legal partnership in 2010 to concentrate on campaigning on climate change. His interest in the environment has been maintained throughout his adult life starting at university and continuing on to membership of the board of Friends of the Earth Scotland from 1988 to 2008 and 2013 to date including a period as chair from 1990 to 1992. Tom is on the board of the, UK wide, Climate Coalition, and a member of the Public Sector Climate Leaders Forum, the Business 2020 Public Engagement group. He is a member of PEDAL (a Portobello community group working on sustainability) and keeps bees with others from that group as well as being an allotment holder and keeper of urban chickens!

Ian Cooke, (Development Trusts Association Scotland)

Ian is the Director of the Development Trusts Association Scotland, the national organisation for encouraging, supporting and representing development trusts within Scotland.

Prior to taking up the post with DTAS, Ian managed both North Edinburgh Trust and the Pilton Partnership, and has over 20 years of experience in community based development work, mainly within an urban regeneration context. Ian has previously worked for local authorities, as well as a number of community-led voluntary organisations. 

Stuart Hay, (Living Streets Scotland)      

Stuart is the Scottish Director of National Walking Charity Living Streets. He has worked in policy and development roles for charities and social enterprises since 2002: including Changeworks, Help the Aged, Friends of the Earth Scotland and Scottish Wildlife Trust. His work has ranged from policy and influencing, developing new projects in partnership with a wide range of UK and EU major funding organisations.

He currently oversees a team delivering a programme of community street audits and a schools walking project which will reach 50,000 pupils across Scotland.  He is also a Director and vice chair of sustainable transport charity Transform Scotland.

Pauline Hinchion, (Scottish Community Reinvestment Trust)  

Pauline is Director of the Scottish Community Re: Investment Trust (SCRT).  Prior to that she was a Consultant and Interim Manager within the third sector, where she has worked since the mid 1990’s managing a number of environmental social enterprises as well as being a Trustee of two others.

Pauline was also CEO of the Community Recycling Network Scotland. She is a member of the Scottish Social Enterprise Reference Group, the Social Enterprise Code Working Group and an OSCR Social Investment Reference Group. She is also a past panel member of the Social Investment Fund and the INCREASE funding programme.

Roger Kelly, (The Royal Town Planning Institute)   

Roger spent his career in the development of communities and regions, mostly with the Scottish Government, and led his chosen profession as past convener of the Royal Town Planning Institute in Scotland. 

As a former chair for many years of Penicuik Community Arts, he helped set up and now chairs Penicuik Community Development Trust Ltd through a period of self-generated income and ambitious projects like The Lost Garden. He started the new Penicuik Community Alliance Storehouse project and sees community shares as a sustainable long-term basis for local organisations.  Roger has been a member of the CCF Grant Panel since the Fund began in 2008. 

Louise Macdonald, OBE (Young Scot) 

CEO of award-winning charity Young Scot, Louise began her career as a professional journalist on daily print titles across the UK, before moving to the voluntary sector, with a focus on youth engagement and communications. In March 2016 Louise was named as the winner of the Institute of Directors (IoD) Scotland Director of the Year Awards Female Director of the Year and went on to be awarded IoD UK Third Sector Director of the Year. She was awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours List 2015. In June 2017 she was elected President of the European Youth Card Association (EYCA).

Louise was a Vice Chair of Scotland's 2020 Climate Group, leading on Public Engagement and Behaviour Change issues, and a founder of the highly successful 2050 Young Climate Leaders Group. In March 2014 she was appointed to the Board of the Scottish Parliamentary body Scotland's Futures Forum.

Daisy Narayanan, (Sustrans Scotland)

Daisy Narayanan is the Deputy Director for Built Environment at Sustrans Scotland and is responsible for the design and delivery of Sustrans Scotland infrastructure programmes in partnership with statutory agencies in Scotland. Her role involves interweaving planning policy, public realm design and a broader integration of key Scottish Government performance objectives within the remit of the Sustrans vision and mission.

Lynne Ross, (2020 Climate Group)   

Lynne has worked in senior roles at both Scottish and Southern Energy and Scottish Power and has extensive knowledge of the energy sector and climate change. She is currently chair of Global Surface Intelligence.

Lynne offers support to the academic and voluntary community, including Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation.

Ruchir Shah, (SCVO)  

Ruchir has been the head of the SCVO's policy team since 2008 and maintains an overview of third sector policy interests in Scotland. He leads on SCVO’s policy work on the economy, charity tax, digital and international agendas.  


Young people joining the Panel in 2018:

We have been pleased to work with Young Scot who trained four young people to sit on the Grant Panel after running an application and selection process in the summer of 2017. Young people have been involved with the CCF Grants Panel for a number of years and we thank all those that have contributed their time and experience including Ian Ramsay, Ruraidh Stewart and Ryan Thomson, the most recent youth representatives

We are delighted to welcome the four new CCF Grant Panel members:

Clara Boeker, (25, Edinburgh)

Clara Boeker is originally from South Germany and has a longstanding passion for sustainability. Since moving to Scotland she has completed an Msc at Queen Margaret University and worked for the EAUC Scotland as well as the Social Responsibility and Sustainability Department at the University of Edinburgh. Clara is currently volunteering with Edinburgh Lothian Regional Equality Council, and taking part in the 2050 Climate Group’s Young Leaders Development Programme.

Mena Kirmani, (22, Edinburgh)

Mena graduated with a first-class degree in Environmental Science and Geography from the University of Dundee. She has previous experience as an intern at the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, and as part of a two-year commissioned project with Young Scot and the National Trust for Scotland.

Greg Shand, (24, Inverness)

Greg is a graduate, currently working as a Junior Contract Manager at Scottish and Southern Energy in Inverness. His work is based primarily on the latest wave of Transmission infrastructure construction projects which are required to move Scotland’s energy production to a sustainable low carbon system.

Lara Williams, (20, Fife)

Originally from Los Angeles, Lara is in her third year of studying Geography at St Andrews. Lara is a member of the 2050 Young Leaders Development Programme as well as an intern for the International Energy Justice Council. 


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