The Staff Team is led by Clare Allison as the Service Director. She is responsible for the day to day running of the organisation, basically, looking after the finances, staff rotas, service delivery and future planning. Clare has had a variety of different roles including research scientist, mediator, advocate and family support team manager and is trained in Family Therapy and systemic practice. Clare is the registered Care Manager for the Housing Support Service.
I became the Service Director in April 2021 and one of the reasons I wanted to work for the Blide Trust, apart from my interest in working alongside people who experience mental health difficulties, was because of its ethos, it's positive reputation and the genuine affection that the Orkney community has for the place, the people and the work that we do.
It’s a real privilege to be involved in the day to day running of the organisation as well as being part of shaping the future direction of the Blide and to do so with the support of the Board of Directors, the talented and dedicated staff team and of course all of the Blide members.
She is ably assisted by Sandra Tait in her role as Senior Mental Health Support Worker. She brings more than 20 years of experience in working with people with lived experience of mental ill health. She started work at the Blide in housing support and continues to give one to one support, heading up our Distress Brief Intervention Service and supporting people with her SMART Recovery Training.
Housing Support is provided by Rosalind Spence. Rosalind previously worked as independent advocate supporting people with learning disabilities. She is also the coordinator for the Therapeutic and Active Blide Services organising out and about trips, therapeutic craft groups and physical activities for Blide members.
In 2022 we accessed Young People’s Mental Health Covid Recovery Funds and were able to employ a worker, specifically for supporting care experienced young people, a very vulnerable part of the Orkney Community. Anne-Marie Squire , who has a history of working in Social Work and Children's Residential Care, is now our Young Person's project coordinator, supporting people aged between 16 and 25.
Craig Nisbet is our Purposeful Blide Coordinator. He supports members wanting to get involved with the upkeep of the Blide, including our vegetable garden in our weekly gardening group. He also promotes community engagement and can speak with any local organisations wanting to learn more about the support the Blide provides.
Carol Shearer may be recognised from being in the Blide many moons ago has recently rejoined the team as a Mental Health Support Worker, supporting individual members with some of the challenges they face.
Kelly Scott is a new member of staff, supporting members and their mental health through the Orkney Money Matters Project
Anne Stevenson is a vital member of the team providing administration support for the whole organisation. Anne works alongside Clare to keep the accounts in order. She is keen to support people who come to the Blide and will help them with some tasks and with open days. She helped organise staff and members to support a fashion show being held to raise money for the Blide.
Our catering team, Scott, Jackie and Sam, prepare nutritious daily meals in the kitchen of our Haven Cafe. Coffee, Tea, Light snacks and home bakes are also available.
In response to suggestions from our members and members of the public the Blide set up Time to Talk Counselling, in partnership with Natasha Leslie Counselling and Noreen Wright. Carol Majendie is the receptionist admin worker who organises the appointments for Time to Talk. You can find out more about this service on this site, under 'Our Services/Time2Talk Counselling'.