I’m Laura (she/ her) and I’m a Senior Counsellor and Clinical Lead in the Crew Counselling Team. I completed my counselling Diploma in 2010 in relationship and individual counselling. I am an integrative practitioner but very much lean towards person centred working.
I have been a part of the wonderful Crew team for a long time! I started in 2006 as a volunteer and have worked in many roles in the organisation since including leading on our online projects OASIS and My Crew, as Drop-in Coordinator, working with our fab volunteer team, developing and delivering drugs training and running our acupuncture service. I am very passionate about what we do at Crew and love to be able to offer non-judgemental support to those who need it.
Though we offer drug counselling, we take a very holistic approach to supporting clients. I love to work with people to give them a safe space to explore the underlying reasons why they might be using drugs. I have a particular interest in working with LGBTQ+ clients around sexuality and identity and in working with trauma. I am also training to be a counselling supervisor.
I trained at Strathclyde Uni and qualified in 2017 with a Post Graduate Diploma in Person Centred Counselling. The last few years have seen me supporting young adults at the PF in Morningside and using my previous experience (15 years in community pharmacy) to develop a counselling practice within Stockbridge Pharmacy.
My passion lies in understanding trauma and how our bodies and minds respond to it. I wholeheartedly believe in people’s ability to heal and find resilience. I love supporting people to do this – with empathy, compassion and a good dollop of real human-ness!
When not counselling, I can usually be found drinking lots of tea, climbing hills or spending time with family and good friends (sometimes all three at once!)
My name is Maija and I am originally from Finland, but after living in Scotland for the past 24 years, I have surely made Edinburgh my home.
I trained as a counsellor at the University of Edinburgh, and qualified with the Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling in 2020.
Inspired by my deep-rooted interest in emotional factors motivating substance use, I conducted a Masters research into the role of addictive substances in seeking safety, comfort and soothing from distress, while continuing my voluntary counselling work at the PF Counselling service.
In my client work, I emphasise building trusting, genuine, empathic and non-judgemental relationships, allowing the client to stay in charge of the direction and explore their material at their own pace. My work at Crew is also informed by lived experience around addiction and recovery, and addressing the stigma and misperceptions around substance use and addiction remain close to my heart.
Acupuncture and Mindfulness
I have been involved with Crew since 2005 – first as a volunteer, then as the Outreach Development Worker and since 2010 as an Auricular Acupuncturist (NADA). My experience also includes working with adults with autism, for community art projects and in mental health. With a keen interest in club culture and safer nightlife for all. I believe whole heartedly in Crew’s approach to drug information/ advice as it is forward thinking and reacts to drug use in a realistic manner.
Lisa Rigby joined Crew as Drop In Services Project Worker in September 2013, and is now our Drop In Services Coordinator. She spent 7 years as a young person’s support worker and trainer on gender-based violence issues for black ethnic minority children and young people. Prior to that, she worked as a community development worker in central Scotland. She also brings her own experiences of previously working as an actor and ongoing pursuits as a musician.
I love being able to present a smile to folk visiting the Drop In and help them realise it’s their space, and a safe, welcoming one. I get to chat with loads of great people, whether in the Drop In, a school or college, or at a staff training, and you never stop learning regardless of how much you think you know!
Robs (she/they/them) joined Crew in 2022 as our Drop-in Services Project Worker. Robs has a background in Health Science and youth work. They bring their experience as a Senior Practitioner in young person crisis intervention and vast range of experience in working with young people across Scotland in addition to their role as a registered NSPCC child protection officer. They are also an independent advisor for Scotland’s ‘The Promise’ for looked after young people. All of this direct work with young people has led Robs to develop a special interest in facilitation and personal development which, mixed with their passion for youth advocacy work, brings them enthusiastically to the Crew Drop-in.
Robs is keen to facilitate the empowerment of young people who can share their lived experience of to enhance service development. When not working, can usually be found meditating by (any) large body of water, or chilling at home with their cats, Trevor & Scout.
Emerging Trends and Training
Sarah joined Crew as our Emerging Trends and Training Coordinator in 2022 leading Crew’s external training, as well as emerging drug and drug use trend monitoring. Before taking on the role of delving into drug trend data, Sarah was a university lecturer within the Department of Social Sciences, teaching both Sociology and Psychology.
Sarah has an interest in social inequalities and previously designed a module exploring mental health in a human behavioural context, Issues in Mental Health, explored -in part- a history of stigma in mental health treatment experiences.
Further to this, Sarah brings her experience leading social research projects into Crew and is keen to use these skills to help shape harm reduction messaging and inform drug policy. Having previously worked on a drugs policy project that had real-world impact on the community, she enjoys being at Crew and continuing with applied research and being able to witness changes for individuals and communities as a result of the work carried out.
Kira is Crew’s Nightlife and Harm Reduction Coordinator. Kira joined Crew as a volunteer in 2013 before working across our Drop-in, Outreach and Training teams.
Interested in digital health with a passion for credible harm reduction, Kira has previously coordinated online support services for young people and the development of online health and wellbeing interventions. She brings her experience of working in the Senior Healthcare team for the UK drug checking charity, the Loop and other organisations across Europe. Kira represents Crew in the international Nightlife Empowerment and Wellbeing Network (NEWNet) sitting on the network’s board as General Secretary and is also a member of the board for Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs.
She is also a freelance Scottish Mental Health First Aid instructor an is pleased to offer this training to members of the Crew staff and volunteer team.
Operations and Strategy
Sharon Adam is Crew’s Services and Finance Officer and joined Crew in November 2013 after a long career in hospitality and volunteering with the Scottish Fair Trade Forum. Crew’s mission to support, educate and reduce harm and its values of empathy, non-judgement and being genuine really speak to her.
You’re likely to get her on the end of the phone and she’s more than happy to answer any general enquires or get you through to the right person. Please contact Sharon directly if your enquiry relates to Finance or Crew’s Expert Witness Service.
Janet joined Crew as part time Management Accountant in December 2018. Janet has experience working in finance within the charity sector previously working at Alzheimer Scotland and Myeloma UK and is self-studying to become CIMA qualified. Janet is proud to be a member of the Crew team and hopes to make a contribution to the organisation achieving its mission and objectives through budgeting, funding and developing efficient and effective finance services.
Emma leads the Crew team as Chief Executive Officer, developing non-judgmental drug harm reduction support and resources informed by people’s living and lived experience whilst influencing policy and public perceptions to reduce stigma.
She’s part of Scottish Government Cross Party Groups on Improving Scotland’s Health and Drug and Alcohol Use, the NEPTUNE Novel Psychoactive Treatment UK Network, a member of the Scottish GSK-funded IMPACT Award-winner’s Network and Cascading Leadership Programme, supported by the King’s Fund, a member of the European Society for Prevention Research’s Scientific Committee and European Nightlife Empowerment and Wellbeing Network (NEWNet).