Who we are

Development and delivery of services to meet the highest quality.

Bachlaw Projects is led by a Senior Management Team and Board of Directors that meet regularly with our Board of Advisors to oversee the smooth running, development and delivery of services to meet the highest quality. The Directors are; Hamish McLeay, Sarah Davis, John McLeay and James McLeay.

The staff team consists of qualified, dedicated members who are trained in all aspects of residential childcare and education support within Bachlaw Projects.  We strive for high standards and consistently meet them.

Hamish McLeay

Diploma in Social Work
Child Protection (Recognition and Response)
Practice Teachers Training
Certificate in Local Authority Management
SVQ Workplace Assessor

Hamish is a qualified social worker who has been practicing for nearly thirty years. During this time he has worked for local authorities, voluntary agencies and private companies. He has worked in a variety of settings both community based projects and residential schools, assessments centres and childrens homes.

Sarah Davis

BA Applied Social Studies
Diploma in Social Work
PG Cert in Child Care and Protection Studies
PDA Managing and Supervising the Personal Social Services
Registered Manager
L and D 11 – (SVQ verifier)

Sarah has nearly 20 years post qualifying experience with 15 years in management positions within social services. Working with adults with severe and long standing mental illness, through care and after care, residential childcare, residential school, specialist fostering and early learning and childcare. Sarah is involved in the training team at Bachlaw Projects.


John McLeay

BEd (Hons) in Physical Education
MSc Advanced Residential Child Care

From leaving school and throughout his university years, John worked through holidays with young people ranging from 4-11 years in out of school clubs and at a local gym.
John then studied to become a PE teacher. He initially worked in a mainstream school during his probationary year at Banff Academy. John left to join another residential school, full time, where he was already working as a relief member of care staff.

Whilst teaching at a residential school, he continued working in the care side, moving into managerial responsibilities for a period. John left after 3 years to join Bachlaw, starting as a Relief Worker and then Team Leader. From here he became manager for both units and is currently Depute Project Manager as well as a Director of Bachlaw Projects.


James McLeay

MA (Hons) Management
Post Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary)
Therapeutic Crisis Intervention trainer
L & D 11 (SVQ Verifier)
First Aid Instructor
Food Hygiene Trainer

James is an experienced teacher having worked in both Local Authority Primary and Secondary schools. He has experience of teaching in Independent Residential Schools with young people with behavioural, emotional and other needs. James oversees the education and learning aspects within Bachlaw Projects. He is a fully qualified internal trainer for our staff and for external agencies.

  • “I think the young people have made fantastic progress and this can be seen on a daily basis”
  • “There is a noticeable difference in the behaviour of the young people”
  • “The behaviour and needs of the young people are carefully monitored and responded to”
  • “I have visited several projects in and around Aberdeen in my previous employment and can say Bachlaw is easily the best service provider”
  • “I have been involved in several ‘new ventures’ in education/care over 30+ years and believe that the setting up of Upper Seaview has been very well managed”

Board of Advisors

The wealth of experience that our board of advisors bring with them encompasses social work and children’s and families services, teaching and residential childcare, in both primary and secondary schools, along with special needs education and counselling.

We are also fortunate to be able to access guidance from professionals who have expertise in sales and marketing, accountancy, production management, hospitality, architecture, legal services, university lecturing, sports science and medicine.

Elaine Allan

Elaine is continuing the work of her late husband Jim. Elaine is a retired primary school teacher whose experience and knowledge are invaluable to Bachlaw Projects.

John Brewer

Retired social work manager with a wealth of experience managing residential schools and children’s services for local authorities.

Margaret Nash

Solicitor within a local law firm.

John Cox

John’s current roles include Chairman of Moray Firth & North Coast Inshore Fisheries Group, CEO Scottish Seafood Association, Councillor Aberdeenshire Council – Banff & District Ward, Banff & Buchan Area Committee Chairman.

John has a background in sales, marketing, product development, production, management and the hospitality industry.

Jonathan Christie

Jonathan Christie is the YPI Scotland Programme Manager responsible for the oversight, management and development of YPI across Scotland. Jonathan has led YPI Scotland with the Wood Family Trust since 2011. He has a mixed professional background within the third sector, social work and sports development. Jonathan has a postgraduate Certificate in Residential Childcare Management, BA Honours in Sports Science and is a Prince 2 Practitioner.

Jonathon West

Jonathon is an academic foundation doctor at the University of Cambridge working in NHS East Anglia. Jonathon worked as a relief child support worker at Bachlaw Projects for six years during his time at university. Jonathon is keen to continue supporting young people in residential care through his contributions to the Board of Advisors at Bachlaw Projects.

Kate Birch

Kate Birch retired in June 2012 after forty years as a social worker and manager in children & families services. Kate has a postgraduate diploma in Advanced Residential Childcare. Kate strongly believes that good quality residential care should be highly valued and is looking forward to continuing to contribute as an Advisor for Bachlaw Projects.

Sue Holden