Board of Trustees

To find out more information on our Board of Trustees, please click the links below.

PRESIDENT - Rear Admiral (rtd) Mark Beverstock BSc(Eng) CEng FIEE CCMI CMgr

Mark Beverstock joined the Royal Navy in 1981 and served on HMS Ambuscade during the Falklands campaign.  Specialising as a Submarine Weapons Engineer, his seagoing appointments included HMS Repulse, and HMS Vanguard.  The majority of his career has been spent within equipment acquisition and he has worked extensively in the Ministry of Defence.  He has been the Commanding Officer of HMS NEPTUNE (HM Naval Base Clyde), attended the Royal College of Defence Studies (2004) and is a graduate of the Major Projects Leadership Academy (2014).

On promotion to Rear Admiral in 2012, he was appointed as the Chief Strategic Systems Executive in the Defence Equipment and Support Organisation, responsible for nuclear submarine support and procurement. His final appointment in the Royal Navy was as Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, responsible for assessing and reducing global strategic risks.

Rear Admiral Beverstock retired from from the Royal Navy in 2016 and took up a roles as a Principal Consultant for Frazer Nash Consultancy Ltd, before setting up his own Consultancy business in 2019. In 2020 he joined the Civil Service, leading the Naval Ships Delivery Group, responsible for the Type 26 and Type 31 build programmes.  He took over as the President of Poppyscotland and Royal British Legion Scotland in 2022.

CHAIR - Helen Owen

Helen Owen

Helen Owen was appointed as Chair of Poppyscotland in May 2022.  She was elected to the Board of Trustees of Poppyscotland’s parent charity, the Royal British Legion, in May 2020 and was appointed Chair of the Governance Committee in the same year.

Helen is the Director of Transformation at the charity GambleAware. Her previous executive Board positions have included Group Managing Director of Lambie Nairn, a brand, digital and commercials agency and Managing Partner of Oystercatchers, a management consultancy.


Helen has served as a Governor at the University of Westminster, and as a Justice of the Peace in the City of London.

Antony Baines

Antony Baines

Antony Baines is Director of Operations for the Royal British Legion and joined the Poppyscotland Board in 2020. He began working for RBL in 2013 as Assistant Director of Operations for the Midlands region, before being appointed as the Director of Operations in February 2016. Antony is responsible for the delivery of welfare and support services across the UK and overseas.

After ten years in the architectural glazing and construction industry, he has spent over 20 years in the Charity sector working to support people in poverty and at their most vulnerable. He has held a number of senior management roles in social finance, housing and community regeneration organisations, including Chief Executive of a group of community owned social enterprises working to improve the lives of the residents in some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the UK.

Educated at Southwell Minster and Naropa University, Colorado, Antony’s qualifications include International micro-finance, project and programme management, business improvement and quality, he is a Master Black belt in Lean Six Sigma.

Brigadier Dr John R Thomson QVRM TD PhD DL

Brigadier Dr John Thomson

As well as being a trustee of Poppyscotland, Dr Thomson has also served as the Chairman of Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory since 2020 and has been a Factory trustee since 2018. He recently retired as a senior academic and consultant from Edinburgh Napier University after 30 years but remains a Research Fellow. He is a marketing specialist; in particular, strategy and international marketing where in recent years has led to him to focus on globalisation and inter-cultural relationships and partnerships. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the City of Edinburgh in 2008 to represent H M Queen.

John attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in 1972 and was commissioned into the Royal Regiment of Artillery in 1973. He read History at the University of Southampton where he gained a BA (Honours) in 1979 followed by a  MBA in 1987 from the Strathclyde Graduate Business School in Glasgow and a Doctor of Philosophy in 2010 from the Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University. He attended the Ecole Militaire in Paris and the NATO Defence College in Rome. He also attended The Defence Strategic Leader’s Programme at the Defence Academy.

Professionally, he is a Fellow and past director and tutor of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Member of the Institute of Direct Marketing. John is a senior External Examiner for Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh and chairs the Advisory Board for a number of research projects at Edinburgh Napier University. His interests include equestrian, swimming, tennis, gardening, reading and is a great fan of rugby having played it at school in Ayrshire, Sandhurst and at university in Southampton.  

Allan Colin Campbell Lapsley QVRM TD DL

Allan Lapsley has been on the Board (and it’s predecessor the Scottish Advisory Committee) since 2012, and was Chairman of the Poppyscotland Board of Trustees from December 2016 - June 2019. He joined the Torridon Group as a Director in 1976 after qualifying in Business Studies. In 2004 he was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of the City of Glasgow. He is a member of the Merchant House of the City of Glasgow and is a 10th generation member of the Trades House of Glasgow. In 2007 he became the Deputy Chairman and a Vice Chairman (Military) of Lowland Reserve Forces and Cadets Association.

Allan joined the Territorial Army in 1973, was a Staff Officer at both 52 (Lowland) Brigade and HQ Scotland. He commanded 32 (Scottish) Signal Regiment (Volunteers) from 1996 to 1999 and then moved to HQ Scotland / 2nd Division as SO1 G1. In 2001 he was promoted becoming Colonel TA, TA & Reserves MCM Division, at the APC and was involved in organizing the first of the compulsory mobilizations of the Reserves for OP TELICs 1 to 4. He is a qualified adjudication officer for determining appeals and has made a number of operational visits. From 2004 -07 he was the Deputy Commander of 51 (Scottish) Brigade and from 2007 – 09 he worked for GOC 2nd Division as a projects officer. In September 2009 he assumed the post as the Regimental Colonel TA for the Royal Corps of Signals. He was awarded the Queen’s Volunteer Reserves Medal in the 1999 New Year Honours List. In June 2008 he was appointed as Honorary Colonel of 32 (Scottish) Signal Regiment (Volunteers) and in March 2010 he was appointed as Honorary Colonel of Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities Officer Training Corps.

Patrick O’Meara QAM

Pat is semi-retired from the Scottish Ambulance Service. He worked in a number of clinical, operational and managerial roles in London and Scotland in a career of over 40 years. He held multiple roles including incident command of major incidents such as the Clutha Bar helicopter disaster and the George Square bin lorry tragedy. He is still a registered paramedic and now practices his trade part-time. He was decorated with the Queen’s Ambulance Medal for meritorious conduct in 2022.

A colonel with the Army Cadet Force, Pat is currently the national health and wellbeing adviser to the Army. He is a board member of the Lowland Reserve Forces and Cadets Association and is the chair of the Army Cadet Charitable Trust Scotland.

Pat joined the Poppyscotland board in December 2017.

Paul Harris

Paul Harris

Paul Harris joined the Poppyscotland Board in May 2022.  He was co-opted as a RBL Trustee in February 2018 and elected in May 2019. Prior to that Paul served in the Army for 32 years, retiring as Lieutenant Colonel in 2006. He was a Director of an international company, then owned a management consultancy from which he has retired. He is a member of the RBL Audit & Risk and Property committees and Paul has also been Mayor of Gillingham, Dorset, since May 2021.

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