It is with sadness that we mark the passing of Liz Burns, former Chairperson of the Scottish Pre-school Play Association (SPPA) now Early Years Scotland. Moira Ferguson, SPPA’s first Executive Officer, has reflected the views of many - ‘Liz played an outstanding part in the development of the Association in its early days and she is remembered very warmly by all those who worked with her.’
Liz’s first experience of SPPA was at the national conference in Edinburgh. She’d gone to the local playgroup and did not know what an AGM was! As an ex-teacher Liz was ‘utterly thrown’ by how the training worked, she’d arrived in nice clothes with a notebook and was expected to paint. She sat panic stricken then ended up finger painting and with her shoes off! She learnt how important the scribble stage is for a child and how it would turn to more. She said, ‘To everything we need a scribble stage even as adults.’ She experienced a range of learning herself-dealing with politicians, local authority officials and Scottish Office senior officials.
Liz’s experiences were tailor made for the roles that she subsequently undertook which included Director of the then newly formed Volunteer Development Scotland (now Volunteering Scotland), as the Chair of the Child Psychotherapy Trust, the Chair of the Historic Environment Advisory Council for Scotland and for six years as the President of the International Association for Volunteer Effort. She told people that ‘the experience in SPPA was formative experience’ in her life. ‘SPPA opened doors in my mind and in my experience that opened other doors, and in turn has been able to open doors for these organisations.’
The President of the International Association for Volunteer Effort has written a tribute to Liz
which reflects the regard in which she was held by so many for her commitment and contribution to voluntary work not only in Scotland but worldwide.
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