UK board

Charles McGhee – Board Director and Chairperson

Charles McGhee is a former editor of The Herald and Evening Times with 40 years’ experience in the UK media industry. Now an independent communications consultant, Charles is also a visiting professor in Media and Journalism at Glasgow Caledonian University and a founding board member of the new UK press regulatory body, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).

He has previously held senior editorial executive roles on national newspapers in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow and spent his early journalism career with the BBC.

Charles first became associated with Mary’s Meals through media projects with The Herald. His interest in international development began as a VSO volunteer in Papua New Guinea, where he managed a media and literacy project for two years. Alongside supporting Mary’s Meals, Charles has also worked on media development projects in China and Nigeria with the Thomson Foundation.

His enthusiasm for the charity’s work and understanding of the UK media landscape are invaluable to Mary’s Meals as the movement grows.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow – Board Director

Magnus has lived in Argyll, Scotland, since the age of nine and began his career as a fish farmer. However, when the Bosnian conflict was making headlines in the early 1990s, Magnus and his brother Fergus were moved to help.

He was named one of 2010's ‘Top 10 Heroes’ by broadcaster CNN and received an OBE in the 2011 New Year’s Honours list. Magnus has also been awarded Honorary Degrees by the University of Stirling, Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Hull.

Before Mary’s Meals, Magnus played shinty for Glenorchy Camanachd Club and was capped four times by Scotland at senior international level.

Magnus is married to Julie, a trained nurse from Inverness. She became his co-driver on some of the first deliveries of aid to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1993, and has been devoted to the charity ever since. They live in Dalmally with their seven children.

Mary Anne MacFarlane-Barrow – Board Director

Mary Anne was born in Cyprus but has spent most of her life in Scotland. She trained and worked as a physiotherapist in London before marrying her husband Calum in 1962.

She and Calum have five children, of which our founder and chief executive Magnus is the fourth. She was deeply involved in Mary’s Meals during the first 10 years and remains passionately interested in the impact of our work.

Mary Anne helps run Craig Lodge Family House of Prayer and retreat centre, working with young volunteers who live in the lodge for a year and help with running the retreats.

A grandmother of 18, she adores gardening and can often be found tending to the plants at Craig Lodge. She feels blessed to be surrounded by a loving, growing family.

Shelagh Fogarty – Board Director

Shelagh Fogarty is journalist and broadcaster, on air daily for LBC Radio.

Previously, she presented the Lunchtime Show for BBC 5Live and also co-presented 5Live’s Breakfast show alongside Nicky Campbell, winning multiple Sony Radio Awards.

Some supporters may recognise Shelagh as the host of our recent Mary’s Meals Day events in Scotland. As well as sitting on the board, Shelagh remains active in promoting the charity’s work through her network and says: “The simplicity of the Mary’s Meals mission and ambition appeals to me directly. It's easy to feel we can do nothing about hunger and injustice, but we can always do something.”

She knows how to enjoy life and had great fun covering not only Madonna's wedding to Guy Ritchie, but also exclusively breaking the story for 5Live that an intruder had hidden himself in the cathedral organ for days to film Rocco Ritchie's christening. Not opposed to roughing it in the name of broadcasting either, Shelagh camped overnight in an Essex field with over 40,000 scouts for the World Scout Jamboree.

Ishbel Smith – Board Director and Company Secretary 

Ishbel worked as a commercial lawyer for nearly 20 years, but left the profession to look for a way of using the skills she’d developed in a more personally rewarding and enriching way. 

During her legal career, she advised organisations in a wide range of disputes on anything from tobacco litigation to a court action about a forest eaten by rabbits! Ishbel now enjoys volunteering within the operations team at Mary’s Meals, helping with legal queries across the global organisation. 

Since leaving law, Ishbel has completed a second degree in theology at Edinburgh University and is active in the life and work of the Church of Scotland. Passionate about the power and importance of communication, she has established her own business as a presentation skills trainer, working with a huge variety people from the voluntary and faith sectors. In her spare time, she enjoys running and has an excellent pacemaker in her cockapoo, Skye. 

As company secretary for Mary’s Meals UK, Ishbel finds it satisfying to know that the time she dedicates to the charity is making an impact on the lives of so many children and their families.

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