The Team at Fathers Network Scotland

Fathers Network Scotland is a small but dynamic organisation. We have a mixed-gender board and specialised leadership team, trying to lead by example with the kind of flexible, family-friendly working arrangements we hope will one day become the national norm.

Sam Pringle – Director & Head of Research

Sam is a mother of two and a leadership coach specialising in the area of work-family balance. Her interests and skills are working with parents to reduce work-family conflict, build emotional intelligence, and support carers in the workplace. Her particular passion for building the evidence base around the importance of fathers has led to fruitful collaborations with the University of Edinburgh and produced a number of published and forthcoming academic papers. She is on the steering group of Family Friendly Working Scotland, which is a partnership between Fathers Network Scotland, Parenting across Scotland and Working Families. As well as leading our research work and supporting the organisation’s expansion, Sam also heads up our interest in working with employers and is co-chair of the board. In October 2015 she stepped up to become interim CEO during David Drysdale's absence, and is now director.

Nick Thorpe - Head of Communications

An award-winning journalist, author and speaker, Nick has written thousands of stories for a wide range of print and broadcast media in Scotland and beyond. For several years a travel writer with three highly-acclaimed books to his name, he has voyaged to Easter Island on a raft of reeds and boat-hitched 2500 miles around Scotland’s waters. But he says he started the biggest adventure of the lot in 2008 when he adopted his three-year-old son. In recent years, he has collaborated with a number of third sector organisations, gaining a reputation as an inspiring speaker following his TEDx talk in Bucharest in 2012. He is also a life coach, with a particular interest in fatherhood and mid-life transition. A passionate advocate for involved dads, he is enjoying the challenge of taking the FNS message to a digital world through text, speech and video.

Cathy Sexton – Project Manager

With a background in the visual arts Cathy has a passion for the creative process and the mastery of communicating ideas. A seasoned project manager, she has worked with Nike, BBC, Warner Cinemas, Fat Face and the National Museums Scotland, where for nine years she delivered award-winning exhibitions, relishing the challenge of bringing creative ideas to life for a wider audience. Since then she has worked within the Third Sector developing and delivering many exhibitions, events and campaigns including the internationally-acclaimed environmental campaign 'The Great Nurdle Hunt'. Her great work with Fathers Network to realise the Year of the Dad, coincided with becoming a step mum to two boys, and ignited a passion to help dads’ voices be heard.

Dave Devenney - Head of Programmes (Forces, Prisons and Faith) 

David Devenney served as a police officer in Glasgow for four years before joining the Royal Marine Commandos in 1981. He saw combat service during the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982, later working in a staff position in the Ministry of Defence and NATO headquarters. After a brief stint studying theology and serving as a parish minister in the Church of Scotland, he became a Commando-trained Padre on the staff of the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines and later Chaplain to the Special Boat Service (SBS), serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. After leaving the service in 2009, he worked as team leader in a prison project for a UK charity, teaching life skills and personal development to inmates in three High Security prisons. He is a dad to two grown-up children and a hands-on grandad.

Chris Miezitis - Understanding Dad Programme Lead

A dad to young twins, Chris is coy about his previous life as a bandmember signed to Creation Records! Unlike Oasis, Chris left the university of rock & roll to work on equalities and inclusion in a wide variety of settings including community learning & development, adult mental health, NHS health improvement, training development and funding management. Having spent time with the Early Years Team in Fife Council as part of the Family Nurture Approach, he initiated and led Fife’s Improving Father’s Engagement Partnership, bringing together colleagues from Fife Health & Social Care Partnership, Fife Council and the Third Sector. Together they developed the “Where’s Dad?” training workshop, now evolved into the new “Understanding Dad” workforce development programme which Chris delivers for FNS. He is a passionate advocate of the ability and potential for individuals at all levels to change the culture of organisations and wider society.

IN MEMORIAM: David Drysdale - Founder

David was the founder of Fathers Network Scotland, who nurtured it from inception. He died on 4th July 2016 from a rare form of cancer. For more on his remarkable life and achievements, read his obituary.