MOOL is made up of a great Board of Trustees and a wonderful team of volunteers. We’re a friendly bunch, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Here’s who we are and what we look like: [work in progress]

Role Bearers:

ChairDavid Formstone

David discovered MOOL soon after moving to the area from Glasgow. The timing was good as he had recently retired from a career in social work and was keen to get involved in community activities. A trip with his wife to volunteer in Calais had prompted a further opportunity to support refugees.

David has been the lead for MOOL in  co-ordinating volunteers in the preparation of houses allocated to Syrian families arriving in the region via the UK resettlement scheme. He took over the chair in September 2020

Secretary – Mel Carruthers

Mel and her family relocated to her husband’s home county of Dumfriesshire after 12 years living and working in the Middle East. Following a career in heritage management, marketing and business development, Mel set up her own professional organising business on arrival in Dumfries, and discovered MOOL whilst looking for a volunteering opportunity in her new community. Mel instantly fell in love with the wonderful people and community spirit of the MOOL crew, and following a period of volunteering was delighted to become a Trustee. Mel’s role as Secretary puts her organisational skills to use doing something practical to help refugees and get involved in the local community.

07748 840535

Vice Chair – Alison Donnelly

Alison has recently returned home to Dumfries & Galloway after spending 18 years in the US. She has worked as a children’s librarian and in school finance and brings a big heart for refugees, asylum seekers and marginalised communities. She is excited to get to work with MOOL and do her best to help the organisation extend its reach.


Jay Rubinstein

Jay has worked in publishing, furniture making, teaching, and IT. None of these exactly constituted a career. In between whiles he’s been involved, with varying degrees of usefulness, with a number of community projects.

His move to Dumfries and Galloway more or less coincided with the refugee crisis,  and he was knocked out by the generosity and open-heartedness of people here.

“It has been a privilege to get to know so many inspiring people.”

Julie Smith

Julie has worked in drama education for over 30 years. She now works freelance for the Scottish Qualifications Authority, and as a drama consultant. She retrained 7 years ago as a Swedish massage therapist and reflexologist, specialising in oncology massage. 

Julie has been actively involved with charities over many years, including MUMs and Smalls For All. She found ‘the joy that is MOOL’ when it was just starting up. She has been to Calais twice, working with refugees, and works as a depot volunteer and on the MOOL Education Programme.

John Crosby

Although trained in ceramics, John’s working life consisted of furniture and public art design, make and installation.

One of a number of travel interludes resulted in a 3-year stint in the mid-1980s as part of an international presence in Colomoncagua, a Salvadorian refugee camp In Honduras. The Gringo became slightly less green when confronted with 8,500 unskilled and illiterate people from a political and socio-economic system directed by the United States, specifically designed to frustrate justice and opportunities for change.

Two children later, the best career move was retirement and discovering the immense pleasure of volunteering. This has been with migrants in Northern France, with the fab folk at MOOL, and currently little environmental projects within range of home.


Richard Arkless,


Richard has been an amazing supporter of MOOL from day one, and continues to fight for the rights of refugees, displaced persons. He lives in the region with his wife and children.

Our Volunteers

We have a wonderful motley crew of volunteers who all bring something unique and valued to the MOOL family. There are too many to mention right now, but you’ll find their friendly faces all over the site!