Break the Silence has a dedicated and passionate team of Staff and Volunteers. We are living wage employers and recognise that our Staff and Volunteers are key assets of our organisation and as such they are highly valued.

We follow strict recruitment procedures to ensure equality and diversity and to ensure staff have the appropriate credentials, qualifications and experience.

Learning and development opportunities are available to all staff in order to ensure their continued personal and professional development, enhancing their skills, knowledge and experience.

Clinical staff are professionally qualified Psychotherapists with either the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP), Counselling & Psychotherapy in Scotland (COSCA), British Psychological Society (BPS), or British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists (BABCP).

PVG/Disclosure verification is carried out for all Break The Silence Staff and Volunteers prior to commencement and all staff are subject to the organisation’s rules and procedures provided at induction, on our intranet and in hard copy within our offices.


The Management Team comprises of;

Alison Tait

Chief Executive

A business professional and owner with previous management experience including management of a global charity, Alison has been involved with Break The Silence since inception.On the retirement of Founder Kate Short, Alison retired from the Board of Trustees in order to accept the role of Chief Executive to ensure the operational management of the organisation and to continue it’s growth and development.

Sharon Belshaw

Clinical Lead

Responsible for Clinical Team and all Clinical Services, Sharon has a range of varied and relevant clinical experience working within public sector, private sector, education and consultancy environments. Member of BACP and BPS.

Relevant Qualifications: MSc in Counselling, Pg Dip Person Centred Counselling, Pg Cert in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, BSc Hons. Psychology, Qualified Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner. Trained in EMDR and Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors. Currently working towards Chartered Counselling Psychologist status with QCoP.

Lesley Craig

Head of Income Generation

Responsible for Income Generation Activities, Lesley has previous experience both in the private and third sector. Previous experience includes charity management, trusts/foundation fundraising, project management, development and sustainability. Member of the Institute of Fundraising.

Relevant Qualifications: Institute of Fundraising Certificate and Diploma in Managing Fundraising, Institute of Fundraising Certificate in Fundraising Practice, European Framework of Quality Management Accredited Assessor, CPD Certificate in Best Practice Consultations, SVE/EVOC Training for Advisors of Small Charities.

The Management Team are Supported by;

Allison Smith

Partnership Development Worker

Allison joins us in the new role of Partnership Development Worker
taking on responsibility for establishing, maintaining and developing Partnerships, providing a platform for collaboration and co-production to improve and develop better access, integration and support mechanisms for Survivors in addition to promoting early intervention/prevention approaches.

Relevant Qualifications: Certificate in Social Science, Allison comes a Prison/Police background and enjoys working with people and communities. As a jog leader, Allison appreciates the importance of exercise for health and wellbeing and is delighted and enthusiastic about her new role and the opportunity to make a difference for Survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse.


Catherine Scott

Administration Supervisor

Responsible for all Administrative Processes, Catherine, took up an administrative role in 2008. Catherine is now the Administration Supervisor and has responsibility for all administrative functions within Break the Silence including statistical reporting, diary management, PVG verification, client databases, clinical file management, invoicing and banking to name a few. In 2016, Catherine was one of the first participants to complete the Customer Service Excellence training of Kilmarnock Business Association illustrating her commitment to customer excellence. Fiona Lees, Chief Executive of East Ayrshire Council presented her with her award.

Tracy Hurford

Administration Assistant

Tracy joined the organisation in 2016 to assist with the administration functions within Break the Silence. Tracy brings a wealth of experience to her role with previous experience in financial management, child protection, charity management, charity governance, business management and economics.

The Administration Team also provide support to our Clinical Team.
Our Team of professionally qualified Psychotherapists delivering our front line services includes;

Susan Dickson

COSCA Counselling Skills Certificate
PgD Person Centered Counselling and Psychotherapy

Susan Laird

Graduated BACP Accredited Course in Counselling and Psychology
COSCA Module 1,2,3,4
COSCA Introduction to Counselling Skills Course

Maureen Leggat

M.A. Social Sciences, Glasgow University, 1980
Diploma in Social Work, Queen’s College, Glasgow, 1981
Certificate in Counselling, Tom Allan Centre, 1993
Diploma in Person-Centred Counselling, Strathclyde University, 2001
Certificate in Person-Centred Supervision, University of Newcastle, 2003

Martin Courtney

BA (Sussex University)
BA Honours (University of the Witwartersrand)
MSc. Psychological Counselling (GCU)
BA – General Psychology – University of the Witwatersrand
BA Honours – Clinical PsychologyResearch on Countertransference in the counselling of SA Ex-Combatants

Shirley McMillan

COSCA Counselling Skills
Diploma Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (COSCA Accredited) 2014
Introduction to counselling

Lesley Anne Pratchett

Diploma in Relationship Counselling
Externship in EFT
PGDip CBT (ongoing)
Bsc Physiotherapy (Queens College)
Safetalk training

Student Placements

In addition, Break The Silence support 2 student placements completing Doctorates through Glasgow Caledonian University, providing an excellent learning and development opportunity.

“My placement with Break The Silence has been the best placement throughout my 3 years of training”.

“Thank you for making this year so incredible and always making me feel part of the Team”.


All staff in Break the Silence undertake regular one to one line management supervision.

Supervision is carried out on a monthly basis with an external provider with the purpose of; exploring training and development needs/requirements; to provide support for on-going day to day duties; providing space and opportunity for staff to feedback; discuss performance.

Due to the nature of our work Staff or Volunteers engaged in non-clinical roles who don’t attend regular clinical supervision can contact their line manager who will arrange the required support for their needs.