Capacity building

Crew uses its experience and knowledge of working with substance users to train and enhance the abilities of others to engage positively with people who use drugs.

This happens in the form of training to professionals such as 'cocaine on my brain!' a one day programme in partnership with NHS Lothian with ongoing information & support for drugs workers or other professionals who attend. See outline of the cocaine on my brain programme

Crew's recent developments in capacity building include our seminar and training for trainers programmes in emerging trends and new psychoactive substances often referred to as 'legal highs". Check out News Latest for upcoming dates or visit our training site.  You can view the evaluation report from the training pilot in training downloads. Part of this work involves being involved with early warning systems such as DrugWatch and contributing to local drug monitoring groups. This work informs the information we release to workers and service users ad we aim to release information on current trends at regular intervals, you can find our latest briefings in our resources and information sheets downloads.

Crew works with local and national government to develop policy around substance use and also works closely with private, public and voluntary sector organisations towards safer nightlife initiatives. You can view one of the publications Crew were involved in online: taking drugs seriously.  Also included in this work is training up volunteers and peer educators for music festivals who then take on the drug information and crisis intervention provision at festivals.

Building capacity across the EU and emerging Nations: Crew are founder members of the Basics network and are involved in the Democracy Cities and Drugs initiative which has produced the 'Safer Nightlife Projects' guidelines to share good practice with examples of collaboration from across the EU including Crew.

The current work with this group (DC&D) is to establish a Trans European Drugs Information system known as 'TEDI' which will link together those agencies who test illegal drugs in the EU and Switzerland and provide a data base on the testing results. The new work package of the Safer Nightlife Group is also concentrating on providing information sharing and skills transference through volunteer and staff exchange amongst the partner agencies.

The Psychostimulant Working Group which met over 2007-2008 was a sub group of the Scottish Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and another area that Crew Capacity Building was involved in. For the first time that we're aware of, recommendations are that harm reduction education and information should be targeted at some groups of under 16's. The recommendations also call for more psychostimulant service provision across Scotland.

Download the report here


The Capacity Building project within Crew is funded partly through the Scottish Governments 16b funding stream and supplemented with crew's own income from its work in other areas. In this way we are able to keep our high quality training costs down to a minimum.  Our legal highs pilot is currently funded by the Scottish Government with support from the pilot ADP areas.


Social worker on the Cocaine on my brain training:

"this is the best professional development training I've ever had"

Guidance Teacher, Edinburgh:

"Crew are amazing trainers and this was first class, the drugs training will help me to be more confident and engage with young people at our youth club, youth worker at LAYC organized training by Crew. As a result of this training I am better equipped to work with young people around drugs, The confidence to say' I don't know' but I know how to find out will be really helpful when engaging with our young folk."


To view the capacity building evaluation please visit our Findings downloads page



To contact the capacity building team get in touch with our Training and Outreach Coordinator Katy MacLeod