I am a Counsellor at Crew and joined the team in 2010. I have worked as a counsellor for 18 years largely in the areas of substance use (alcohol and stimulant drugs), mental health and trauma. I have a warm, gentle nature and offer a person-centred relationship, meeting each person where they are with acceptance, genuineness and compassion. My experience also includes working with women and with survivors of sexual violence/childhood sexual abuse. I am a British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Registered Accredited Counsellor.
Laura is a part time Couples Counselling Practitioner and also provides our Ear Acupuncture service. She is a hugely valuable member of the team, bringing a barrow load of skills and experience in the health field. Laura is currently on Parental Leave.
I trained as a Counsellor at the University of Abertay, qualifying with a Diploma in 2015. I was previously a Counsellor at Simpson House’s counselling service and joined the Crew team in 2017.
I believe that everyone is different and unique, and what each individual needs to heal will be different too – I don’t really believe in the idea of “normal.” I value realness and authenticity a lot, and I try to be as genuine as possible with my clients. I strive to create a space that is as non-judgmental as it can be, so that clients feel safe enough to be their real selves too – to explore parts of themselves, their drug use or their past that may feel painful or difficult and that can otherwise stay hidden away.
After qualifying with my Diploma, I conducted a research MSc into transgender clients’ experiences of counselling. The topics of gender and widening access to counselling continue to be interests of mine.
Before becoming a counselor I completed a Masters degree in Gender, Rights and Development at the University of Glasgow where I focused on gender based violence in Palestine. After completing training in person centred counselling, I later began working with women in the criminal justice system, those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and delivering counselling to students at the University of Edinburgh.
I am trained in couples counselling, Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) and recently completed training in integral eye movement therapy. I am also a qualified yoga teacher and qi gong teacher specilising in yoga for PTSD.
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!)
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 ie 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, still currently, 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!
Alex Kellas joined Crew as our Drop In Project Worker in 2019 after returning from London, where she worked as a Children’s Rights Advocate. Alex is passionate about work which empowers people to make their own choices, and she currently volunteers with some causes close to her heart. Alex has a PGCert in Social Work and an MA in Literature in A World Context. When not working in our drop in, she can usually be found furiously scribbling theatre reviews in a corner, or cruising her houseboat.
Emerging Trends and Training
Kira Weir is Crew’s Nightlife and Harm Reduction Coordinator. Kira joined Crew as a volunteer in 2013 after being fascinated with the organisation whilst growing up in Edinburgh and has stuck around ever since, popping up in various departments including Outreach, Drop-in and Training.
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 is a freelance Scottish Mental Health First Aid instructor and also volunteers for the Loop delivering “MAST” drug testing brief interventions at festivals across the UK.
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).