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Our Trustees

Our trustees are a group of volunteers who take overall responsibility for everything Urban Uprising does. 

They are responsible for ensuring the mission and long-term aims of Urban Uprising are met. Trustees have a legal responsibility to ensure Urban Uprising is complying with current legislation and governance best practice.


Our trustees bring a wide range of knowledge, expertise and experience to the organisation and approve our Strategic and Business Plans, Annual Budget and Annual Report and Accounts.



It all began back in 2013 when Stuart was visiting Rio De Janeiro and got involved with a grass routes climbing school working in the Rocinha Favela. Stuart started to ship donated climbing gear from the UK to the school. That set him thinking about the possibility of starting a registered UK-based charity and led to him forming a small team to start Urban Uprising. The charity has been exclusively UK focussed since 2017 and has gradually grown in size year on year. 

Stuart got into climbing while studying at Dundee University and it’s been a constant theme in his life.

“Climbing is the hook that enables young people to engage in something which is constructive, both mentally and physically challenging, fun and, above all, empowering. Many of the young people we work with wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to develop through this great sport.”


Tom was a co-founder of Urban Uprising with Stuart in 2014. He loves the great outdoors and the positive influence it’s had in his life. 

Tom is a keen climber and brings a wealth of technology and business experience to Urban Uprising. 

“Challenging yourself, pushing what you think is possible, is an invaluable life skill. We hope the young people will take this and new friendships from the Urban Uprising programs offered.



Sarah joined Urban Uprising as a Trustee in 2014. She was working for the Duke of Edinburgh Award and is now part of the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, so brings with her a wealth of experience with charities, youth development and health. 

Her hobbies include walking, climbing and foraging in the Scottish countryside.

"I believe that all young people, regardless of background, should be given the chance to push their own boundaries and achieve something they didn't realise they were capable of. Through Urban Uprising we are giving people life changing experiences in a fun and safe environment and we're seeing young people grow in confidence, develop friendships and improve their self-esteem."



Having worked for many years as an accountant and IT consultant in both the public and private sectors, Julia brings a wealth of financial knowledge to the charity and covers all things accounting for Urban Uprising. 


A keen climber but also hill walker and sea kayaker, Julia is often seen at her local walls in Cumbria.

"I’ve seen how climbing changes people's lives and gives them purpose, self-confidence and self-esteem. I believe that Urban Uprising can help young people, through climbing, to find these essential elements of a 'good life'.”



Rob has a long association with the charity, being one of the initial team members responsible for starting Urban Uprising. He has years of climbing experience and is a manager at The Climbing Academy, Glasgow.



Emma has a background in quality assurance, improvement and governance and currently works for a social care non-profit organisation. 

Emma first started climbing in 2018 and spends most of her spare time climbing, hiking and cooking/eating.

“I got into climbing a bit later on than most people I know but it quickly became a big part of my life. For me, climbing is more than just physical exercise, it's mental exercise too - problem solving routes, thinking creatively and learning from failure. I know it has been really beneficial for my well being and I'm excited to make this sport more accessible to young people with Urban Uprising.”

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Alastair has spent his whole career in higher education and now holds an executive position at Glasgow Caledonian University. He brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to Urban Uprising. 

Alastair has been climbing for over 35 years and is still as passionate about the sport now as when he first started.

“I started climbing in my late teens and it literally changed my life. I was never really into team sports that much at school whereas climbing provided an incredible combination of physical and mental challenges including adventure, resilience, problem-solving and a terrific sense of achievement that no other sport I have tried has done, which is probably why I am still so keen even after all these years! Urban Uprising is providing young people with unique opportunities to try such rich experiences that they would probably never get otherwise. It is really exciting and has certainly inspired me to get involved and share my passion for the sport and what it can offer young people."



James has over a decade of experience in leadership roles in the third sector, specialising in sports for development, having delivered projects and events throughout the UK, Europe and Americas. 

He is a keen mountain runner and climber and relishes the challenges to be found in big mountains and remote places.

“Climbing can be such a powerful tool for developing confidence, self-belief, resilience, problem-solving, trust and much more. Urban Uprising helps young people not just to learn new skills, but to expand their horizons and begin to explore their potential."

Our Staff



Ben brings a lot of experience from working with not-for-profits in various parts of the world. He has a particular focus on growing the charity, developing our programmes and reaching more young people to maximise our impact. He loves to climb and is passionate about the benefits climbing can bring. In his spare time, when he is not climbing, he can probably be found practising parkour or spending time in nature with his family. 

“Climbing can teach you so many valuable life skills and we see this in our programmes with young people growing in confidence and resilience. When you're climbing you often spend more time failing than you do succeeding. Dealing with failure, learning from it and adapting over and over again, can be very powerful in creating a great mindset to take to any aspect of your life.”

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Phyllis has been raising money for youth, arts and community projects for 15 years, working with groups of all sizes across Scotland. Climbing got her through some tough times as a kid and she knows what a difference it can make. Phyllis has strong ties to the circus and loves to work on projects that reconnect people to their bodies and their capabilities. Circus and climbing communities share an encouraging, compassionate approach that Phyllis is excited to help Urban Uprising bring to young people across the country.

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With eight years of experience working for employability, substance use, and mental health services, Ruth's knowledge of working with vulnerable people, volunteers, and partner organisations is extensive. She was an Urban Uprising volunteer for a year prior to starting this role and when she's not climbing, she's either doing something active in the outdoors or relaxing with a cup of tea and a book.

“I first tried climbing when I was 12 years old and I found a space where I could be myself and develop my confidence. Now, I love introducing people to climbing and seeing them light up when they get a move or route that they have been working on. I started volunteering for Urban Uprising in 2021 and I saw first hand how beneficial the programme is for young people's self-esteem and resilience. I am delighted to be taking on the role of Programme Coordinator and I look forward to working with our partners and volunteers to develop the charity." 

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