Aberlour Chief Executive SallyAnn Kelly recognised for an OBE


SallyAnn Kelly, Chief Executive of Aberlour Child Care Trust has been recognised for an OBE in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her services to children and families.

sallyann kelly aberlour ceo

SallyAnn, joined Aberlour as Chief Executive in 2014 and has made a significant contribution to the wellbeing and happiness of thousands of children and families in Scotland.

Throughout her career, SallyAnn has concentrated her efforts on helping children and families and those faced with significant disadvantage and adversity. From directly supporting struggling families as a Social Worker, to leading a national children’s charity, she has always challenged herself and others with the question ‘what would you want for your children, your family?’

She has never shied away from speaking truth to power and has worked tirelessly with local and national governments to improve support for Scotland’s families. SallyAnn is recognised by peers and politicians for her persistence and will to work alongside families to support them to thrive.

Brought up in the West Lothian ex-mining village of Breich, SallyAnn is one of six children. She credits her parents, who worked in the public and charitable sectors, for her lifelong values of social justice, fairness, and equality.

The poverty and inequality in communities she witnessed whilst growing up made an indelible impression, driving her to seek a profession that would make a difference to people’s lives.

After leaving West Calder High School she attended Glasgow University to study Social Sciences – SallyAnn was the first ever person from her family to attend University. Upon completing a Master of Arts degree SallyAnn went back to Glasgow University to undertake a Social Work postgraduate qualification and graduated in 1990.

For the next 18 years, SallyAnn worked in the public sector progressing from Social Worker and Senior Social Worker in Glasgow to Senior Social Work Manager posts in South Lanarkshire, and East Ayrshire. In 2008, she took up the role of Director of Children Services Operations at Barnardo’s, and then moved on to her current position as Chief Executive of Aberlour Child Care Trust in 2014.

The greatest validation SallyAnn gets from her 30-year career is hearing stories of families who have been helped by colleagues whom she has led and supported.

David Robb, Chair of Aberlour Board says: “On behalf of everyone at Aberlour, I would like to warmly congratulate SallyAnn on her very well-deserved award. Her drive to improve the lives of children and families, and her leadership through the hugely challenging Covid pandemic, is an inspiration and a source of pride to all of us in the Aberlour community. It is fitting that this has been recognised by her peers who nominated her for this prestigious honour.”

SallyAnn Kelly, Chief Executive of Aberlour says: “I am delighted and grateful to be recognised with an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours. I would like to thank my peers who believed I was worthy of nomination. It was a real surprise to receive the letter and I accept the honour with gratitude and humility. It is a privilege to do what I do. Leading Aberlour Child Care Trust is an absolute honour – it is a truly outstanding charity with many talented, committed and dedicated people who strive to improve the lives of children and families across Scotland.”