Senior Management Team

Gail Burden, CEO Capella

Gail Burden

Chief Executive Officer

Gail is responsible for all aspects of Sleep Action and Teens+ including strategy, governance, finance and staffing.

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Gail has over 10 years’ experience as a CEO and has worked in the charity sector for nearly 20 years. Gail has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with specialism in strategic planning, and is a Director of the Association of Chief Officers for Scottish Voluntary Organisations (ACOSVO). She has been a panel member for Children’s Hearings Scotland for over 5 years and is a Fellow at the Royal Society of Arts. Gail is passionate about helping children and young people achieve their potential and is active in advocating for the rights of the child.


Alyson O'Brien

Head of Sleep Services

Alyson is the Head of Sleep Services at Sleep Action.

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Alyson joined Sleep Action (formerly Sleep Scotland) for a second time in August 2017. She has a background working in the voluntary and higher education sectors with children, young people, and adults with additional support needs. Alyson previously worked with the deaf community in Edinburgh, and as part of the Disability Resource team for students at the University of Cambridge.

Alyson is responsible for our Sleep Support and Training teams to ensure a high-quality service to both families and professionals. She develops and provides lecturing at many of our highly regarded and informative sleep courses. Alyson also supports our trained sleep counsellors to implement behavioural sleep programmes with children, young people, and their families. Alyson is the Designated Child Protection Lead for Sleep Action. 

Alyson is passionate about spreading the good word of sleep, and finding the right solution to a sleep issue at any age through training, education, and advice.

Christopher McShane Sleep Action

Christopher McShane

Head of Corporate Services

Christopher joined Capella, the non-profit that operates Sleep Action in 2023.

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Christopher previously worked as Managing Director for Marathon Kids UK, a charity dedicated to giving fully funded exercise opportunities to thousands of children across the UK. He has worked with young people for over a decade in roles such as a nursery teacher, a Youth Specialist for Royal Carribean and a Director for the YMCA. He has recently completed an Executive Masters of Business Administration and Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship at Aston University. Christopher has a passion for making a difference to others and supporting young people to achieve their greatest ambitions.


Alan Earsman

Finance Director

Alan is a Charted Accountant with over 30 years experience gained in the UK and internationally.

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The majority of Alan’s career was spent in Senior Finance roles in a number of sectors ( financial services, consultancy and tourism ) often with a focus on their Technology and Property Divisions.  In recent years focus has changed to supporting SMEs, charities and other social enterprises across Scotland with their Strategic and Commercial Planning.

Zuzana Beak

Zuzana Beak

HR Manager

Zuzana manages the HR function, including Recruitment, Employee Relations, Learning & Development, Health & Wellbeing, Payroll etc.

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Zuzana is a trained Mental Health First Aider and also a qualified Wellbeing Coach.

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Get in touch to find out more about the services, information and support we offer.