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Children in the Garden

 Our Team 

 Our Childcare Team 

Childcare Manager

I am Cairndow Community Childcare's Manager, and have been with the childcare here for sixteen years, starting off as a student and working my way up to be Manager.

I hold an SVQ4 qualification.

I am enjoying the challenges of growing the centre and creating something special.

My passion lies in making a difference to children, families and staff.

I am fortunate enough at Cairndow to be able to make a difference and input new and creative strategies in learning.

I am available for children, staff and parents to talk to when needed, so please come and speak to me anytime.

My direct e-mail address is or press here for direct link - 


Lisa MacIntyre


Lead Practitioner

I have been at nursery since 2006 and in that time I have worked with all the different age groups within nursery and seen lots of boys and girls grow and graduate to Primary One and beyond!

I am a trained book bug leader and love to sing and tell stories and I also enjoy spending time outdoors playing and learning with the children. In 2018 I completed a Woodland Activity Leader Training Course.

Outside of nursery I have lived in Inveraray for 14 years with my husband and our son. I enjoy walking, reading, holidays and meeting up with friends and family.

Key Practitioner, SVQ3, with us since 2006

Jessica Smeaton


General Assistant

I am a local girl, born and bred in the village of Strachur on the shores of Loch Fyne,  and it never fails to astound and delight me on a daily basis.

I have worked in various local business's throughout my working life gaining a large amount of experience in the varied roles I have enjoyed.


I am excited to have joined the child-care team here at Little Learners at The Fyne Den and really relish the ever-changing needs and challenges I come across daily in helping the childcare setting run as smoothly as possible.  No two days are the same and the joy of watching the wee ones play, develop and grow is so rewarding.

I love volunteering at Strachur Youth drama in my spare time, encouraging the children to be creative and have fun in their performance activities. Its such a worthwhile pursuit for the young people in the local community, I still get a huge buzz when seeing them gain confidence and have the best fun, the same as I now get everyday at the Den.


Katie Wilson

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Jacqueline Downs


Tots Practioner and Floor Supervisor

I'm Jacqueline and I live in Cairndow with my husband and children Lexie and William.  I am originally from Central Scotland but moved to Cairndow for a more rural life.

I currently have a SVQ3 in Early Learning Childcare and Development and aim to work towards an SVQ4 in the near future.  I love spending time with children and watching them grow and learn, no two days are ever the same and every day is an adventure.

Any spare time I have is mostly taken up with family life enjoying spending time outdoors with our two dogs Sonny and Minnie. 

Ross Anderson


Toddler Practitioner

Joined Cairndow Childcare in 2019 and SVQ3 qualified

I have always had an interest in working with children and learning about their development and what makes them tick.  To be given the opportunity to work and train and learn from my colleagues at Cairndow Community Childcare has been an ambition fulfilled and I am working hard to take my education further.

I get as much from the children as they do from me. 

Orla Murphy


Baby Practitioner

Originally from Ireland, I have travelled and worked in various locations including New Zealand, settling in Cairndow a few years ago.

I have always worked in community settings with children and young people, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to bring my skill set to The Fyne Den.

I transferred from the Adventure Zone to Little Learners childcare facility at the end of last year and am qualified at SVQ3, and loving it.

Contact Orla on 


Cara Blyth


Early Years Practitioner

I find myself coming full circle with Cairndow community childcare as 19 years ago I was under the care of (now) manager Lisa, and Jessica, and I now find myself the ELC practitioner. I love working with children and have recently moved nursery jobs from dunoon to be somewhere closer to home. Family means a lot to me and I find that Cairndow brings a family feel to it, with strong family relationships. I am also currently furthering my education with a a Bachelors degree in primary education. Any free time I have I enjoy spending it with my dog Lola!

 Our Customer Service Team 

Kirstie Dowse

Event & Party Co-ordinator


With a background in acting & drama provision for the young people in the local area, and presently studying for a degree in Event Planning, I am delighted to be using and expanding my experience at The Fyne Den.  I have been involved in producing dramatic and musical theatre for a number of years and act as creative director for our local youth theatre, where staging and set have been in the forefront of my experience.

I enjoy nothing more than organising an event or birthday party that will surprise, delight and wow a child, while minimising the stress for a parent and supporting them to get the celebration they desire.  

You can contact me on or press here for direct e-mail link - 

 Our Business Team 

Sheena Dowse


Business Development 

I have been raising my family and running my own businesses in the local area for the last 30 years, being heavily involved in lots of community activities.  I have experienced business and voluntary work from many diverse angles and have picked up a lot of skills along the way.  Getting involved with developing The Fyne Den, helping it to reach its full potential, and promoting the opportunities it brings to the local community, visitors and team are both exciting and rewarding.

My role as Business Developer at The Fyne Den is due to be completed in January 2023, and I am delighted with the progress the Den has made.  The Adventure Zone play space is now on track to be a well used and valued attraction for local and visiting families alike.  The events, party offerings and special play opportunities like our Toddler sessions, have proved amazingly popular, and will continue to develop and evolve as more families discover and enjoy play at The Den.  The Fyne Den Team will continue to prioritise customer service and quality of play while being innovative and forward thinking, and spectacularly creative when producing party and event opportunities. 

The Childcare in Little Learners, continues to grow and develop offering the highest quality of care whilst putting the needs of the individual child first.  Our setting of an amazing new building, in a stunning rural location, with access to outdoor space and a unique sand and wood adventure heaven is special.  Beautiful,  bright childcare rooms where children are in small groups, means our wonderful practitioners really get to know each child, responding to them quickly and offering real one to one care.

Everyone involved in The Fyne Den can feel proud and privileged and ultimately inspired. I know I am, and it has been the greatest experience to be involved.

 Our Directors 


Cairndow Resident and previous user of childcare facilities for her  children, now moved on to schools
Director of Dawnfresh Farming Ltd

Director of Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre

Director of British Trout Association 

RSPCA Freedom Food assessor, ISO 14001 lead auditor and business development experience within the Salmon and Trout industry.

Alison Hutchins


Director/Secretary & Treasurer

Involved with Cairndow Community Childcare since 2004.

Trustee of S.J.Noble Trust since 2012 - working to assist business development in Argyll.


Self- employed event organiser, catering provider and consultant on Tourism and Food business development.

Founder member of Food from Argyll Group in 2007/8. Co-ordinator for the group 2010 to present.

Virginia Sumsion



Cairndow resident

Director of Dignity HR Solutions Ltd, and also Stoirm Ltd.


Vice Chairman of Dundee Contemporary Arts
Subject expert member of the People Committee of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service.

Honorary Professor at the University of Dundee.

Alan Boyter


Local resident and representative for  Loch Fyne Oysters Ltd

Worked for Loch Fyne Oysters for many years within Sales, HR  and Accounts Dept.

Hugh Johnston



Cairndow Resident and previous user of childcare facilities for his children, now moved on to schools 

Career in fish farming and husbandry, currently Manager Cairndow Salmon Hatchery 

Owen Hutchins

We are fully staffed at present but are always interested to hear from anyone looking for work with us so please do get in touch if you are interested.

As a charitable community business, The Fyne Den would be delighted to hear from anyone who thinks they would like to offer their time and energy on a voluntary basis, particularly in the Adventure Zone, at weekends and fund-raising events.  Our management committee is also entirely run by volunteers and anyone who feels they may be interested in taking on a role in the future, please do not hesitate to get in touch or complete the form below and we will get back to you shortly.
Please let me know of future vacancies

Thanks for submitting!

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