Crew Outreach and Welfare Services

Contact name: 
Emma Crawshaw and Helen Williams
CEO and Outreach Coordinator
Crew 2000 (Scotland) Limited
0131 220 3404
32-32A Cockburn Street Edinburgh EH1 1PB, Scotland

Intervention details

Type of intervention
Outreach, Crisis intervention
Intervention setting
Primary health care settings
Youth clubs
Club/ disco/ afters
Social Media
App (smartphone or tablet application)
Secondary School
Higher education or university
Target population

Anyone affected by psychostimulant drug use. We do not wait for young people to become problematic users and offer harm reduction advice to anyone considering trying substance use.

Peer development of the My Crew website to deliver current, credible information on drug harms and harm reduction Peer development and dissemination of harm reduction lanyards and other culturally credible materials tailored to specific markets Peer-delivered advice and information at festivals Training and workshops across Scotland Curriculum development to increase knowledge and understanding or risk minimisation strategies and encourage critical thinking Input into Policy/guidance: Trading Standards Scotland guidance on NPS; NEPTUNE Clinical Guidance on NPS treatment; Scottish Government Expert Group on NPS; Pan Lothian NPS Strategy; EMCDDA NPS Treatment event October 2015 Training for GPs, Nurses, Licensing Boards, Prison staff and Prisoners, medical students and youth workers Person-centred, goal oriented counselling for people wishing to reduce, stabilise or stop drug use Recovery support to encourage our clients to link in with recovery networks and increase their recovery capital Internal evaluation using 360 degree feedback External evaluation as part of the GSK IMPACT Awards process assessing and recognising excellence in community health care Cascading Leadership pilot project as part of the GSL IMPACT Awards Alumni Network
Theory/evidence behind the intervention

In the intervention the core values of acceptance, congruence and empathy in all interactions are promoted. This approach, enacted through the methodology of motivational interviewing, is more likely to engage people and support them to adopt positive behaviour change. Motivational interviewing is proven to be an effective intervention for outreach/transient settings where people may exhibit ambivalence to harm reduction messages and interventions.

Number of people needed
40 volunteers and 11 staff
Specific training required?
6 week minimum volunteers peer educators training and appropriate professional training for staff, e counselling qualification, health promotion MSc
Time required to run
Variabel, eg 18 hours for one night festival/club event; 5 days for weekdn festival and 2-3 hours upwards for training. Counselling sessiona can run up to 30 sessions
Other resource requirements

Harm reduction and signposting information resources. Consumabels for welfare/crisis intervention, eg disposable bowls and hazardous waste bags for vomit. Portable beds, blankets etc for creating a welfare area, food and drink for volunteers, high visibility vests branded with harm reduction information, transport to and from venues

Evaluation details

Activities evaluated

Each intervention is outcome-evaluated. As part of preparation a process evaluation was conducted for a competitive tendering process to sustain our counselling service.

Type of evaluator (e.g. external consultant, internal evaluator)
Internal evaluator
Evaluation results (Outcome evaluation)

A 30% decrease in reported poly drug use can be demonstrated among young people accessing Crew and completing questionnaires at festivals 2014-15 from our outcome evaluation.

  1. Drop In evaluation forms and surveys indicated that 4,925 service users accessed the Drop In during 2015 of which 71% were aged 12-25 years and 68% were return users. 91% of young people felt the quality of drug information was good/very good and 82% thought the staff were welcoming and provided a good service. This data suggests a need for the service among young people in Edinburgh and an indication that once they engage with the Drop In, many like the service enough to return. Qualitative feedback from young service users supports this and includes; very welcoming, relaxed and pure awesome!; very helpful and understanding; I feel like I understand more; Defo wouldn't touch legal highs now, might have before; good to know there's support
  2. Feedback from LGBT Youth's mystery shopper visit included commendations for our informative website and use of social media, good understanding of the different needs of young people, accessible opening times reflective of young people's needs, warm and welcoming environment with the volunteer/staff member ensuring the young person gained as much from their visit as they possibly could.
  3. A survey conducted with 76 Edinburgh College students in 2015 highlighted the good work that the service is doing (57% have accessed the Drop In for information, advice and support on drugs and sexual health and found it to be beneficial). Students reported where they felt gaps existed in the current service, identifying that they would like to see blood borne virus (BBV) testing (78%) and pregnancy testing (72%) offered in the Drop In, whilst 41% said they would benefit from Drop In resources being made available on campus. These results are comparable to the findings from the Crew User Impact Survey (2015) where 208 young service users took part and as such the suggestions have now been incorporated into the planned expansion of the service.
  4. Findings from the Scottish Youth Parliament report (2015) 'Tackling New Psychoactive Substances; a report on the views of young people' support the development of our existing service and include the following recommendations: a. Increased knowledge and awareness of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) b. Information should be accessible, young person-friendly and localised c. Young people should be involved in the design and delivery of information on NPS d. The tone of information about NPS should be balanced, pragmatic and not patronising e. The provision of advice services should be increased f. There should be further training and support for education/youth professionals about NPS g. Where possible a peer-led and youth-led approach should be used for the dissemination of information and advice
  5. The Drop In has received an increasing amount of anecdotal evidence suggesting a need to work with frontline workers and vulnerable young people. This has been in the form of increasing numbers of enquiries and visits from frontline staff in Edinburgh who are worried about a young person's drug or alcohol use. In addition, we have also received enquiries from teachers at a number of Edinburgh high schools who have identified pockets of drug use among pupils and who have also had parents contact them, worried about their child's drug use. Further enquiries from concerned adults have come from the Wester Hailes area where NPS use among young people in the area has grown significantly and workers don't know how to respond. This evidence indicates that frontline workers recognise the Crew Drop In as a source of reliable and credible information, advice and support and further suggests the benefit of expanding the current service to meet the needs of frontline workers and vulnerable young people.
  6. A needs analysis conduc...
Evaluation references

Crew Drug counselling service: evaluation study August 2008 Liz Bondi, Amanda Burston, Vicky Plows, Seamus Prior and Graeme Smith, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh Mindfulness-based Relapse Prevention qualitative primary research study 2015 undertaken by our PhD student from Glasgow Caledonian University - in progress