Gael Cochrane, MA, PGCCE
Gael has been working as a trainer and outreach worker with Crew 2000 since May 2011. Gael has worked in the drug and alcohol field for 13 years, for 8 years she worked as a development worker and training officer with Fast Forward. Fast Forward are a national health promoting agency working mainly in the field of substance use education. As Development Officer at Fast Forward Gael worked with young people, many of whom were using substances, delivering drug education from a harm reduction perspective and developing resources. As National Training Officer at Fast Forward Gael was responsible for designing and delivering training on all substances including alcohol, cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, heroin and New Psychoactive substances. She has delivered training in drug and alcohol issues and information to professionals from a variety of fields.
Gael was employed by the Edinburgh Drug and Alcohol Partnership as a Substance Misuse development worker within the Children and Families department. This role included review and monitoring of current drug trends and planning training for professionals to increase their skills in supporting people who use illicit substances. In addition, she was responsible for the planning and development of support services for children, young people and families affected by problematic drug use which includes working in collaboration with service users in treatment and recovery.
Gael works for Families Outside, managing the Visitors Centre at Addiewell Prison. Families Outside is an organisation supporting the families of prisoners, by giving support, advice and information, to mitigate the effects of imprisonment on children and families. Many of the families and their convicted relatives experience issues with substance use. Gael was a member of the Families Outside helpline advisory group for 6 years prior to working in this role. Gael has also been involved in Crew’s outreach work providing crisis intervention and welfare services at events and festivals, this again informs her about current trends, street prices and using patterns.
For many years she worked with mental health service users, many of whom were drug users and/or had an alcohol dependency. This coupled with her work with young people who were using substances has given her an in depth knowledge about new trends, patterns of drugs use, dual diagnosis and other issues affecting drug users.