Impact Award

Impact award for improving public health in Scotland, Investing in volunteering award and a range of publications are just some of the success stories from Crew.

"A well run organisation with an impressive community focus on young people. Its innovative approach, relevant to its audience, is engaging young people in a way that statutory bodies find difficult. Clearly deserving of an award for its fresh approach."

Impact Awards judge Bharat Mehta, OBE. ( 2007)

Impact awardsAs one of the few specialist organisations in the UK focusing on psychostimulant drugs, Crew's influence reaches across Europe. Our local focus and our ability to listen to and learn from service users directly ensures our messages to policy makers and other professionals are powerful and at the cutting edge of what is happening in Scotland in relation to drug and alcohol use. Public awareness raising of drugs issues in society, through the media, helps ensure wider understanding of the role of drugs in society.

Crew's methods of using design and technology to ensure information and health promoting messages reach drug users effectively is coined by the term 'Social Marketing' in Europe. Our information cards and our Bluetooth messaging at nightlife venues, our shop window displays and our (anti-)corporate image have all reached beyond Edinburgh and Scotland through European conferences in which Crew has been invited to share experience with drugs agencies from Spain to Romania.

Our work with European colleagues resulted in the production of 'Safer Nightlife Guidelines', a publication aimed at practitioners, policy makers and club promoters to improve health and safety at clubs and festivals, carrying important messages for licensing authorities, health services and the police, as well as drugs services. In 2009 we will build on this success with a joint research project in partnership with Jellineck Mentrum and Maastricht University, to develop and test on-line assessments for cocaine and alcohol users, and on-line peer support and mentoring. Our European involvement includes policy-level.

More about the imact awards at

IMPACT Gold Championships Award 2012

In 2012 Crew was further shortlisted for an IMPACT Champions Award, winning 1 of 3 gold champions awards. The award also included £35,000 plus free leadership coaching and access to the IMPACT Awards Development Network.

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Here in Scotland, Crew has been at the forefront of recent policy developments in relation to alcohol and drugs. We have brought our expertise and direct knowledge of drug users needs to the Scottish Government's Psychostimulant Working Group, the production of Road to Recovery and the alcohol consultation paper. Locally, we work closely with colleagues in Lothian Health Board, Lothian and Borders Police, other Edinburgh Drugs agencies and the City of Edinburgh Council. Together we make a difference to service users and together we can provide the range of appropriate and proportionate responses drug users need.

Crew were runners up in the Charity of the Year award run by the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations in July 2011. Crew was recognised for its work with young people around substance use and for its innovative practices. "We were up against some very stiff competition and a very worthy winner, but it was an honour just to be shortlisted"

John Arthur, Director of Crew


Volunteering at Crew

Investing in VolunteersCrew believes the quality of our work is directly related to the quality of our staff - paid staff and volunteers are expected to take their own learning and development seriously, and we provide them with first class opportunities. Our volunteers are provided with several stages of training, from induction to basic counselling techniques, covering all aspects of drug use and sexual health, within wider understanding of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and on to advanced drug and sexual health training and peer support.

Crew achieved Investing in Volunteers standard in 2008, and again in 2012. Volunteers have been the lifeblood of Crew's development since we began, and we believe volunteers are central to our future.

Visit the Investing in Volunteers Website


  1. Impact Awards: Impact_ward_publication.pdf
  2. Safer nightlife guidelines: M42_SAFER_NIGHTLIFE_GUIDELINE_EN.pdf
  3. SACDM psychostimulant working group report 2007: SACDM_psychostimulant_working_group_report_2007.pdf

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