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.

Awarded: Woman of Inspiration, Association of Scottish Businesswomen

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.

Awarded: Everyday Hero, North Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership

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.

Awarded: Employee of the Year 2018, Association of Scottish Businesswomen

The Management Team are supported by;

Tracy Hurford


Tracy joined Break The Silence in 2016 and has responsibility for all administrative functions within Break the Silence including; diary management, client appointments, client management system, clinical file management, and more. 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. Tracy is also one of our qualified First Aid personnel.

Kirsty McCall

Partnership Development

Kirsty McCall joined the Team on 3rd September 2018 in the role of Partnership Development Worker. Kirsty takes on responsibility for establishing, developing and maintaining all partnerships on behalf of Break The Silence in order to improve and better integrate access to other services for Survivors and to promote equality for Survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse. Kirsty will also co-ordinate our Annual Conference, lead on promotional campaigns and work with Partners to provide helpful and educational online resources.

Catherine Scott

Administration Officer

Catherine took up an administrative role in 2008 and is one of our longest serving members of Staff. Catherine is now the Administration
Officer with responsibility for; statistical analysis and reporting, facilities management, PVG verification, invoicing and compliance related administration. 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. Catherine is also one of our qualified First Aid personnel.

Margaret Moore

Assistant Administrator

We are delighted that Margaret Moore has joined us on a temporary basis to help out with providing that warm welcome for visitors to Break The Silence and with administrative duties to support Tracy. Margaret is no stranger to Break The Silence and has been a regular supporter and volunteer.

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

Awarded: Unsung Hero Award, The Scottish Health Awards 2018

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

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.