Scotland, Northern Ireland & Wales

We have a number of Ambassadors based around Scotland, Northern Ireland & Wales.

Find out more about the role or register your interest in becoming an ambassador .

Current Ambassadors:

  • - Architectural Technologist, Northern Ireland
  • - Architectural Technologist, Wales
  •  - Architect, Northern Ireland
  • - Architect, Scotland
  • - Architectural Technologist, Wales
  • - Architect, Scotland
  • - Architectural Technologist, Wales
  •  - Architectural Technologist, Scotland 
  • - Architect Assistant,Scotland 
  • - Landscape Architect, Scotland
  •  - Architectural Technologist, Northern Ireland
  •  - Architect, Scotland

Rori Millar, Architectural Technologist - Northern Ireland Ambassador

"It is an absolute privilege to be associated with the Architects Benevolent Society family and an immense honour to be able to call myself an ambassador. I am the current overarching chair for CIAT's aspirATion group and sit on CIAT Northern Ireland's regional committee.

CIAT's aspirATion group is an initiative that is aimed at recently graduated Architectural Technology professionals as well as current students and encourage engagement within the institute while in their formative years of the discipline. I am immensely proud that ABS offer support to students and can assure that aspirATion will do our part to raise awareness and educate.

I first became aware of ABS and their wonderful work when our regional committee decided to raise awareness for a charitable cause by running the Belfast marathon, I was asked if I would like to take part and after learning a bit more about ABS I could not say no! In our industry the demands on individuals can seem endless and overbearing, the old motto of "keep calm and carry on" seems to be a given. It's important that people realise that are groups like ABS out there that can maybe give a helping hand which can unfortunately seem so out of reach when people are at their lowest."

Aled Reeds, Architectural Technologist - Wales Ambassador

"I am a Chartered Architectural Technologist and currently the Chair of CIAT Wales Region and Associated Director of Pentan Architects in Cardiff.

Having recently being promoted to the position of Associated Director and having responsibility over teams with a wide range of colleagues and experience, I felt having the understanding and knowledge to enable me to provide support during challenging periods, from balancing work and home life. Sometimes deadlines are unfortunately prioritised ahead of the wellbeing of the person. After meeting with ABS and discussing the #AnxietyArch campaign I felt I needed to learn more and being an Ambassador would aid me in providing the support to my colleagues and afar. I look forward to the challenges ahead and working with my fellow Ambassadors in raising ABS’ awareness."

Alina Holyst, ABS Ambassador

Alina Holyst, Architect – Northern Ireland Ambassador

"I am honoured to join the Society as a Northern Ireland Ambassador. I have a deep understanding of difficulties that the architectural profession can face as I was one of the beneficiaries. 

I faced a number of challenges during the recession. My struggle was compounded by a very unfortunate family events and long term illness. With continued help from the Society I finally resolved my issues. 

Currently I am a RIBA Chartered Architect and Urban Planner. I am accomplished in working with international stakeholders and I lecture at the Queen’s University Belfast. I am a board member of a number of architectural organisations in Northern Ireland and work as a project architect on exciting schemes in County Down. 

My involvement with the Society is not only reciprocal, it is a friendship."

Andy McLeish, Architect – Scotland Ambassador

I had been aware of the Architects Benevolent Society but it was not until I suffered an accident in 2014 that the true value of what the ABS offer to the profession became apparent to me. They were of great moral and financial support to myself but more importantly to my family immediately following my accident and during my recovery. It is a privilege to now be an ambassador for this fabulous society and be able to share my experience from my families time of need and what the ABS can offer us all.

I am an Architect running my own small practice in Scotland. As an ambassador I want to both promote and support the ABS locally and nationally by raising awareness of the ABS, promoting and engaging with their activities and participating in fundraising initiatives. The ABS offer fabulous support to us all in the profession. They are there when we need them when we or our families fall on hard times, be that financial or be it physical or mental ailment. Alongside my fellow Ambassadors in Scotland, I look forward to many years as an ambassador as part of the ABS family.

Karyn Williams, Architectural Technologist - Wales Ambassador

Being involved with the Architects Benevolent Society was a given for me and had already helped some of those people around me.  I am delighted to help by contributing my free time to support the ABS as an Ambassador and continue to promote the extensive range of support they offer whilst also raising awareness of mental health issues.  Their aspirations align perfectly with my keen focus on promoting a positive and supportive work culture.  It was only when I talked to the great team at ABS did I fully understand how far this support extends and is available to so many within the design industry.  Mental health is such an important aspect within our complex and often high pressured industry.  I am happy and proud to be a part of it’s fantastic story and passionate about extending the reach of its benefits to the Wales region.

Rick McCluggage, Architect – Scotland Ambassador

"I am delighted to be helping the Architects Benevolent Society in my new role as an Ambassador. Alongside my fellow Ambassadors in Scotland we promote the support ABS can offer to people working in the architectural profession and their families in times of difficulty.

I am an Architect and Director of Smith Scott Mullan Associates based in Edinburgh. My Practice didn’t know anything about ABS so I attended the launch of the #AnxietyArch Mental Health Awareness campaign in Edinburgh and was really pleased to meet the team and learn more. After sharing the information gathered with my colleagues, I decided that I could help more by being an Ambassador and I am busy visiting other Practices in Scotland to help spread the word."

Oli Henshall, Architectural Technologist - Wales Ambassador

How could you say ‘no’ to being an ambassador for this amazing Charity? I am in awe of the work and support the ABS can provide to our diverse and exciting wider architectural ‘family’. I want to spread the word, and help ABS make a difference.

I am currently the Chair for CIAT AspirATion ‘Wales’ and a Technical Associate for Powell Dobson Architects in Cardiff.

The construction industry is a truly inspiring, challenging and rewarding sector to work within. However, it can also be very stressful, life encompassing and lonely when things aren’t working out as planned. We train, mentor and develop our people to be the best ‘designers’ they can be, but have been guilty in the past of neglecting the ‘person’ behind the pencil. A great building is nothing, if the hearts and minds behind the bricks and mortar are the cost. It doesn’t have to be this way, and I believe the ABS can be the difference.

Gary Mees, Architectural Technologist - Scotland Ambassador

"It’s an absolute pleasure and honour to be asked to be an ABS Ambassador.

As a Chartered Architectural Technologist working in the built environment for over four decades and being blessed with full employment over that period I would like to help those who for various reasons have not been so fortunate.

CIAT celebrates architecture in an inclusive manner, much like the work of ABS, and therefore I am fortunate be asked to take on this appointment to promote the work of ABS throughout the UK. As the Institutes President for 2017, I have the opportunity to deliver the message to all the Regions of our institute and will endeavour to work with our fellow professional bodies to raise awareness and funds for ABS, I am looking forward to the challenge."

Scott McAulay, Architect Assistant  - Scotland Ambassador

It was an honour to be asked to come aboard as an ambassador for the ABS after writing a piece for the Architect’s Journal on architecture student mental well-being - the stigmas surrounding mental health issues and the normalisation of suffering in architecture - in response to the results of their 2018 Student Survey. As a final year Masters student, I have experienced these ongoing issues first-hand, and I am unashamedly one of the one-in-three students of architecture who are currently receiving or have received support for their mental well-being in the past.

These experiences have given me both insight and motivation to embrace this role with the intention to destigmatise the conversation surrounding mental health in our schools of architecture and beyond. Knowing that working cultures picked up in the design studio in university can be carried onward into practise it is critical to make healthy ones a norm and to open a dialogue between staff and students regarding this.

I hope to leave architectural education in a more compassionate state than I found it; to hopefully inspire students to follow me to normalise positive studio cultures so that talking about mental health and asking for help can cease to be a taboo.

Sam Shaw, Landscape Architect - Scotland Ambassador

"My contribution as an ambassador is to bring change amongst my profession and let my contemporaries know that there’s a great support network available through the ABS. Even within my office, my colleagues were unaware of the ABS’s role and how they can help Landscape Professionals in times of need.

I’m a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute, working in private practice at Ian White Associates Landscape Architects in Stirling, Scotland. It’s essential that Landscape Architects work collectively with Architects and Architectural Technologists to help support struggling colleagues during challenging periods of their lives. My role as an ABS ambassador will be to raise awareness and increase the reach of the ABS amongst Landscape Professionals."

Eddie Weir, ABS AmbassadorEddie Weir, Architectural Technologist – Northern Ireland Ambassador

“It is a pleasure and an honour to be an ABS Ambassador.

I am a Chartered Architectural Technologist and a Practice Principal and currently hold the positions of CIAT Vice-President Practice and Chairman of the Northern Ireland Region.   

Those who know me know I am passionate and proud of my Institute and my profession. This passion is a huge motivator and is the reason why I give my time so freely to the issues that are close to me.

We are forward thinking modern professionals, we’re ambitious, we’re driven and we must be adaptable to keep up to date with the future trends while we practice - in which most times can be a demanding environment. For some these demands can take their toll and can detrimentally manifest themselves in many forms. It is absolutely incredible to know that the Society is here to offer help and support to those in our profession who may be experiencing difficult times. For this, I shall continue as always to promote the incredible support that ABS offers to our architectural professions.”

Michael Dougall, ABS AmbassadorMichael Dougall, Architect – Scotland Ambassador

“I am an architect living and working in Glasgow, Scotland. I served as the President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects between 2014 - 2016 and it was during discussions at a GIA Awards Dinner that a decision was made to increase the ABS fundraising effort from Scotland. A challenge was set down and after months of planning and training I coaxed a team of 11 architects into cycling the 550 miles between the RIAS, Edinburgh and the RIBA, London in just four days. 

The highlight of the trip was the warm welcome we received from the ABS team as we pedalled into Portland Place on a sunny September evening. Since completing the RIAS - RIBA challenge I have also ran the 2016 Edinburgh marathon with a team of architects from across Scotland. I hoped that through participating in and completing these fundraising challenges I have raised the profile of the ABS in Scotland. I have the utmost respect for the staff who work tirelessly to support our fellow professionals and I am now very proud to be part of the team in my role as Ambassador.”  

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