Potted history

Community response: Crew developed around 1992 in response to the rapid expansion of recreational drug use and was envisaged as a peer education and peer led organisation.

The learning by volunteers who engaged with people who were using Ecstasy (MDMA) and other substances was used in combination with the most up to date research findings that volunteers could get hold of in order to produce informative and culturally credible information for people using these illicit substances. Volunteers from the dance and other drug using scenes were recruited and trained as peer educators.

"Substance use is a public health rather than a moral issue"

Crew attitude: From the beginning the emerging Crew adopted a 'can-do' attitude, providing as up-to-date factual information on the drugs that people were using so that they could make informed decisions about their own health. 'Crew neither condemns nor condones drug use, but there are ways to make using safer' sums up Crew's harm reduction attitude.

Campaigning: From the start Crew has campaigned for safer nightlife in venues and championed much of what is now enshrined in law and best practice guidelines around the country (and further afield) it has also been a founder member of the BASICS network which is an alliance of similar type peer education projects across the world.

Up to date: Crew has developed organically over the years and now provides a range of services out in the community and in its Edinburgh premises. People are using an ever increasing range of substances and cocaine has now replaced ecstasy as the most used 'party drug'. We have developed with the times and still get over culturally credible and imaginative ways such as utilising information and communications technologies and by employing and developing social marketing techniques.

Lifeblood: Volunteers continue to be the lifeblood of the organisation and whilst we have a highly dedicated and trained staff team volunteers still outnumber them 3-1 and are involved in all facets of the work. They bring in intelligence, experience and new ideas and help the organisation to understand changing trends and to help plan and deliver much needed services.