Collective Advocacy Workers
I started with CAPS as a volunteer in 2013 working on the eating disorder film ‘Seen But Not Heard’, which was funded by the Butterfly Bursary. After the success of the film, I became employed by CAPS in 2014 to continue using this film to educate and create awareness and also to develop a collective advocacy eating disorder project. Since then I have also been involved in managing the See Me funded project which involved the creation of a GP resource pack about eating disorders. I really enjoy working at CAPS and am excited about developing the project further in the future. Outside of work I like reading and socialising as well as spending time outdoors, usually walking and horse riding. I’m originally from Ireland so I often travel back there to visit my family too.
I am the Midlothian and East Lothian Collective Advocacy worker for CAPS. I started working here in October 2014. My role is to support groups of people who access Mental Health services Lothian, to highlight issues that are important to people and help them to have their voices heard where decisions are being made in order to bring about positive change. I also work with a group of people with experience of trauma who are interested in influencing the set up of Lothian’s new trauma centre – Rivers Centre. When I’m not at work I love to spend time with my husband and son, usually doing something outrageous…potentially dangerous but always hugely fun! I love singing and dancing and kick box fitness!
I started work for CAPS in April 2016 as Volunteer Co-ordinator. I support CAPS/LEARN team of volunteers to contribute to CAPS work and develop their skills and interests. Part of my role is to encourage more people with lived experience of mental health issues to get involved with CAPS. I also assist CAPS development workers with Collective Advocacy projects. Before I started working for CAPS I worked in Health and Social Care for many years. When I’m not at work I can be found walking my four Boston Terriers or at dance classes.
I’ve been a Collective Advocacy Development Worker with CAPS since March 2017. I work with two of the Lothian-wide collective advocacy projects, Much More Than a Label and Experiences of Psychosis.
I am interested in how people communicate what their experience is like from their perspective. I am also excited by finding ways for others to listen to that experience, to facilitate conversations, changing attitudes and perceptions.
I like being outside: walking, running, cycling and hills. And being inside: reading, music, food and drink. I find myself often looking for ways to be quiet when I am surrounded by noise!
I have a long history with CAPS having gone to my first collective advocacy meeting in 1994. I now work as LEARN Co-ordinator and I also work on the Oor Mad History project. I qualified in Community Education in 2006.
Away from work, I am on the editorial board of Concept: The Journal of Contemporary Community Education Practice Theory and also write about mental health activism and Mad Studies,
I love swimming in the sea in all weathers, reading SF and strong coffee.
Hi, I’m Kirsten and I work with the Oor Mad History project. Working with a fantastic bunch of people over the years, we have developed an oral history project, set up an archive and written a book – all based on the history of activism by people with mental health issues. We believe in the power of the arts as a tool for activism and advocacy, so we’re involved in the Scottish mental Health Arts Festival. We’re also delivering a ‘Mad People’s History and Identity’ course in partnership with Queen Margaret University and are looking forward to seeing this work grow in the future.
I joined CAPS as LEARN Administrator in August 2016 after medical retirement from a 34 year career as a Civil Servant. I deal with the admin side of our LEARN education events…publicity and bookings etc. I find it very interesting and I love to share what we do with people I meet. When I’m not at work I love to spend time with my daughter (especially at a Hibs match), family & friends, volunteering with Mad Jam Open Mic, a good cafe, France, general arty-craftiness, live music and comedy. My hidden talent is scrounging things for free to help charity events.
Pam van de Brug
I have previously been involved with CAPS as a volunteer and public artist, since 2017 I have been employed as Arts As Advocacy Development Worker. I work with the Planning Group to organise Out of Sight Out of Mind exhibition and support the participation of individuals in the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival. I believe that the arts are a powerful tool for advocacy, as well as to provoke thought and discussion on important issues. As well as the arts, other passions of mine are outdoors pursuits and learning to sew.
I work with Oor Mad History, which is a community history project focused on Lothian mental health service users’ activism and collective advocacy. I started with CAPS in July 2019. Outside of work I am interested in peer education, strategies of community care amongst LGBTQI+ people, and making embroidery patterns up as I go (sew) along. I have two tortoiseshell cats, and my pronouns are they or he.
Individual Advocacy Workers
I am the Individual Advocacy manager here at CAPS. I have always been interested in the experiences of people who use mental health services and was previously employed as a support worker before joining CAPS in June 2014. When I’m not at the office you can often find me wandering Edinburgh’s footpaths or knitting wonky socks.
I joined CAPS in 2003 as a volunteer and since 2007 I have been a full-time Individual Advocacy Worker. My main responsibility is to provide advocacy support to East Lothian and Midlothian people who are affected by the Mental Health Act and so I spend much of my working time at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, though I also support people in the community.
I started with CAPS in June 2014. My role is to provide independent advocacy to ensure the person’s voice and their views are heard when dealing with difficult issues relating to their health, benefits, housing etc.. I have previously worked in Family Learning, Youth Work and Domestic Abuse settings. I am currently involved in various community projects; enjoy spending time with my family and going for long walks.
I am an Individual Advocacy worker here at CAPS having joined the team in June 2019. Prior to my employment at CAPS, I have had several years of experience supporting people in the community who have mental health issues, in a variety of ways. I am particular driven to ensuring that peoples’ own views and wishes are heard when it comes to making important decisions about their life, working for CAPS as an Individual Advocate allows me to help make this happen. When I’m not at work or studying I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, usually exploring around East Lothian.
Our Office Staff