Our Staff

Based at Thorn House in Edinburgh, the IVS staff team are supported by the work of many interns and
volunteers from overseas who work throughout the year.

Amy Blake


Amy has spent over 18 years working in the non-profit sector and joined IVS in April 2016 having spent 7 years as a charity consultant working with a range of small, medium and large charities in the UK and overseas to support their income generation activities and strategic planning. Prior to that she was Head of Fundraising at Capability Scotland and has held senior fundraising roles both at the British Red Cross and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Amy holds a BA (Hons) in Political Studies from the University of Stirling and is a board member of Scotland’s International Development Alliance.

Chiara Ginestra

Programmes Manager

Chiara joined IVS in 2016, having previously worked for a Scottish social enterprise in various roles of progressive responsibility. Chiara first came to Scotland 10 years ago as a full-time volunteer thanks to an EU-funded programme, after graduating in Organisational Psychology.

Chiara has previously worked and studied in Italy and Spain and has travelled extensively around Europe. She is now responsible for the IVS volunteer programmes and partnership work in the UK and abroad.

Chris Pettigrew

Fundraising & Marketing Manager

Chris joined IVS in 2016, having previously worked for a broad range of civil society organisations. As a fundraiser, he has worked on campaigns for Save the Children, Oxfam and the British Red Cross. Prior to joining the third sector, Chris worked for several years as a qualified Google Partner, advising an array of global clients on digital best practice.

In his spare time, Chris is a keen mountaineer and feels most at home in the Scottish wilderness.

Alice Hancock

Marketing & Programmes Officer

Born and bred in Edinburgh, Alice joined IVS in 2016 after graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with a BA (Hons) in International Fashion Branding. Alice is responsible for designing content for the website, social media and events. She also administers the charity’s finances.

In her spare time, Alice enjoys exploring the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and has recently taken up the piano.

Laura-Marisa Ngangom

Placement Officer

Laura-Marisa Ngangom started as a Placement Officer at IVS in September 2018, through the European Voluntary Service, an Erasmus+/European Commission funded programme to promote mobility, solidarity, tolerance, active citizenship and mutual understanding amongst the young people of Europe. Laura-Marisa joins us from Strasbourg, France and will spend 12 months at IVS.

Lauren Bishopp

Marketing, Events & Social Media Officer

Lauren joined IVS in September 2018, after having worked on International Programmes at Edinburgh Napier University for two years. Prior to that, Lauren spent two years working overseas in a small town in Hokkaido, Japan facilitating internationalisation and cultural exchange activities as an Assistant Language Teacher on the JET Programme. Lauren has a BSc (Hons) in Business Studies with specialisms in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Lancaster University. Her degree experience includes a year studying abroad at La Trobe University, Australia.

Lauren is responsible for supporting our marketing and communications activities, including social media and the website. Lauren also facilitates outreach events at universities, colleges and conferences to promote our volunteering opportunities and related projects.

Lauren has a passion for travelling and also a great interest in the outdoors. In her spare time, she likes to enjoy nature by hiking and camping.

Rosalie Short

Programmes Administrator

Rosalie joined IVS in February, after working in Digital Communications at Edinburgh homelessness charity Cyrenians. Prior to moving to Edinburgh in 2012, Rosalie lived in Cumbria where she coordinated and lead art workshops and events. She has a first class MA in English Language and Theatre Studies from the University of Glasgow.

Rosalie is passionate about the benefits that volunteering can bring, having volunteered on a range of projects in 10 different countries. As well as travel, she loves spending time outdoors, singing, arts and crafts, theatre and music festivals.