Waverley Care’s Patrons act as ambassadors, voluntarily supporting the the charity and helping to raise the profile of our work.


Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith is internationally known as an author of fiction and is perhaps most renowned as the creator of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. His other works include the 44 Scotland Street, Isabel Dalhousie, Von Igelfeld and Corduroy Mansions series, as well as a number of stand alone novels. His books are translated into 46 languages throughout the world. Before his writing career Alexander served on British and international committees concerned with medical law and bioethics. He is a respected expert on these issues and now holds the post of Emeritus Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh. He has collaborated with musicians and has written several libretti for operas.

When asked why he became a patron of Waverley Care Alexander said “Waverley Care is a very personal charity. It answers human need with friendship as well as practical support. That is what I particularly like about it.”


Anthony Alderson

Anthony Alderson is Director of Pleasance Theatre Trust, taking on the role in 2005. The Pleasance run the largest venue at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Anthony also holds the position of Vice Chairman of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.

Anthony studied Stage Management at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he was awarded a Cripplegate Scholarship and a medal from the Guild of Painters and Stainers. He worked for a number of years as a production manager and scenery builder for a variety of organisations which includes productions at The National Theatre and The Royal Opera House.

Anthony worked as Associate Producer for Glynis Henderson Productions for six years managing several world tours including Stomp, which was presented in over 47 different countries.

When asked what his most memorable moment about working with Waverley Care was, Anthony said “A wet weekend at the Pleasance courtyard with Tom Robinson singing ‘sing if you’re glad to be gay’ to raise money for Waverley Care.”


Bob Chilcott

Bob Chilcott is a British choral conductor and composer. Described by The Observer as “a contemporary hero of British Choral Music”, he is one of the most performed composers of choral music in the world.

His anthem The King Shall Rejoice was commissioned for and sung at the Westminster Abbey service celebrating the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.

Bob was the conductor of the chorus at the Royal College of Music in London for seven years, and is Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers. Over the last ten years he has conducted many choirs in over 35 countries.

When asked about his favourite event he’s been involved in with Waverley Care Bob said “I’ve loved everything I’ve done. The carol competition ‘Sing a New Song’ in 2010 was fantastic though. It was great to see so many people involved. The singing events are such a great outreach idea to involve many people with the charity who wouldn’t normally have got involved.”


Christopher Bell

Christopher Bell is an esteemed conductor along with being the founder and Artistic Director of the National Youth Choir of Scotland. He has twice been named Scotsman of the Year for Creative Talent.

In 2009 the Open University awarded him an honorary Master of the University for his services to music and the arts. He also holds an honorary doctorate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Christopher is well respected for his extensive work with young people such as the TOTAL Aberdeen Youth Choir and his work with Children’s Classic Concerts, where he conducted and presented concerts all over Scotland.

When asked what the most enjoyable Waverley Care event was that he’d conducted, Christopher said “My friend Michael Richardson and I did the 24 hour Gilbert and Sullivan performances in the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh and those were great fun to do. More recently I LOVED the Armed Man in the Queens Hall, Edinburgh. Quite honestly, I have a good time at all these events if I know that all the efforts are going to raise money.”


Christopher Richardson

Christopher Richardson held the post of Pleasance Director for twenty-one years before passing the reigns to Anthony Alderson in 2005.

He founded and ran the Edinburgh venue and established a permanent venue in Islington for ten years, before retiring at the age of sixty-six. Christopher established the long running relationship with Waverley Care and the Pleasance that has raised thousands of pounds for our work.

Before founding the Pleasance, Christopher worked as a teacher for twenty years and taught protégé Anthony Alderson during that time. He claims that he quit teaching when, waking up in one of his own lessons, he realised that the person boring the class was him and it was time to move on. He left in 1985 to set up the Pleasance.

When asked what his most memorable moment about working with Waverley Care was, he said “Each year the sight of Waverley Care collecting buckets at every theatre exit and coins and notes tumbling into them – the enthusiasm of the collectors and the smiling willingness of the contributors.”


Sir Tom Farmer

Sir Tom Farmer is a Scottish Entrepreneur who founded the Kwik-Fit chain of Automotive Repair Centres in 1971. He was named Scottish Business Man of the Year in 1989 and is also the first Scot to be awarded The Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.

Sir Tom was awarded a CBE in 1990 and Knighted in 1997, and in 2009 he was awarded a CVO.

The Doctorates he has been awarded are Honorary Degree of Doctor, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration, Napier University, Edinburgh, Honorary Degree of Doctor of Technology, Glasgow Caledonian University, Degree of Doctor honoris causa, University of Edinburgh, Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws, University of St. Andrews, and Honorary Fellowship from Stevenson College, Edinburgh.

When asked what his fondest memory is of his years of charitable work, Tom said “I am always impressed by the work of the countless number of unsung heroes. I get great satisfaction from working with charities who are active in the community and in particular those which support young people who are in danger of losing their way.”


Sheena McDonald

Sheena McDonald is a journalist and broadcaster originally from Dunfermline. She is the co-founder of Edinburgh Festival Fringe newspaper Festival Times.

Sheena graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1976 before gaining a Postgraduate Certificate in Radio, Film and Television Studies from the University of Bristol. She began her broadcasting career at BBC Radio Scotland as a producer and presenter, before becoming a newsreader and presenter at STV. She eventually joined Channel 4 and for six years presented its flagship programme on international affairs, The World this Week. She has also presented other current affairs radio programmes and has written for The Guardian and the New Statesman.

In 1995 Sheena received the first ever ‘Women in Film and Television’ award.

When asked why she became a patron of Waverley Care, Sheena said “It is because from the organisation’s earliest days, I understood the need for its work. I was so flattered and pleased to be asked to become a patron.”