Our Staff Team

Meet the Changes team and find out why we’re all so passionate about the work that we do around mental health in East Lothian.

Caitlin Rodgers

Chief Executive Officer

I joined Changes in August 2019, my role involves leading the operations of the charity, supporting the staff team, working with the the Board of Trustees, volunteers, funders and members of the East Lothian community.

Throughout my career I have worked in the third sector, starting out in front line support roles and moving into project coordination, leadership and management. I graduated in Criminology and Sociology at the University of Stirling and have since worked in crime prevention, homelessness and addiction recovery. Before joining Changes, I led a Befriending Programme supporting migrants and refugees resettling in Scotland. This highlighted for me, all we gain from living within and celebrating diversity in our communities. 

I have a personal interest in counselling. Gaining my certificate in Counselling Skills has been one of my most powerful learning opportunities to date, both on a personal and professional level. Supporting and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing has been a common thread throughout my career to date. Self care and wellness is something I am passionate about. When I’m not working I’m often out running or cycling in the Pentlands (foothills only!) and enjoying the beautiful East Lothian coastline.

Kelly Thacker

Development Manager

I started with Changes in July 2021 and am learning about all the activities that take place here, not to mention all the lovely staff and volunteers. 

I’ve been working in employability in Edinburgh for the last 11 years, with a range of charities and in various roles.  I began coaching people to move into jobs, training and volunteering opportunities, I have run training in a range of topics, moved into project development and most recently leadership. 

I trained as a Life Coach 12 years ago and have used these goal setting and life planning skills throughout my job roles since.  I am passionate about supporting people to break down some of the bigger things they are trying to deal with in life, create inspiring goals and work towards a plan that allows smaller steps to their own personal success stories.  

I love the outdoors and when I feel overwhelmed, I often find myself in a beautiful woodland or on a beach, just to breathe deeply and recharge.  I enjoy journaling and use it to capture my thoughts to make sense of my world and what I’m currently experiencing. I walk and swim in the sea and might be found under a tree at night in my bivvy bag, enjoying a night under the stars.  

Rebecca Mitchell

Therapy Manager

Rachael Spiers

Peer Support Worker

John Rendall

Peer Support Worker

My name is John and my career was in the Security Industry for over 37 years. I received support from Changes over 5 years ago and I am now in a good place.  I have been volunteering for 4 years now and have done various paid Project Work roles for Changes, especially with 1st Response and Men’s Groups. I have spoken at two Changes AGMs which was very powerful and emotional. I love a laugh, even when times have been challenging. 

Jade Mitchell

Buddy Walk and Nature Project Coordinator

Hello, I am Jade the Buddy Walk and Nature Project Coordinator. I have been with Changes since 2021 and really enjoy working for such a compassionate and caring organisation. The projects have grown massively since I started, and it’s great to have a role that is ever evolving. I may speak to you on one of our befriending and buddy walking assessments, or see you at one of our nature groups, workshops or courses. My favourite activity is our weekly Ponder Wander on a Thursday, where we see lots of different sights across East Lothian in a mindful, slow paced wander.
In my personal time you will find me amongst the beautiful sights of East Lothian or championing for allergy awareness.

Margaret Howard

Financial Administrator

I have worked with Changes for over 15 years and I am the admin/finance worker.  I enjoy answering the phone and dealing with enquiries.  I have recently become involved in the allocation of the counselling appointments which is challenging but very rewarding.   A key achievement for me this year was during the time between the previous manager leaving and the new manager starting, when along with the other staff members, we all worked very hard to keep the project running smoothly.  My main aim in this coming year is to be involved in improving the efficiency of the administration of the Counselling service.

Brian Glass

Training Coordinator

I joined Changes in September 2009 on a one year contract. They still haven’t managed to get rid of me! My main role is now to organise and deliver SMHFA, ASIST and safeTALK training. All three courses designed to give people the skills to help someone in mental distress or with suicidal thoughts.

I am also the Suicide Prevention worker working as part of the Suicide Prevention Group in East Lothian and I help deliver the 1st response service in East Lothian, so I actually put the training I deliver into practice and know that it works. I have a mental illness but it is well managed and unlike when I worked in corporate-land rarely keeps me off work. As an Artist, I love painting but I also love delivering the courses. I really enjoy helping people to help others as well as helping people.

My key achievement to date has been the development in my skill as an artist. It has taken 20+ years but I am actually quite good. My real specific interest though, is suicide prevention. I know how it impacts people, I have twice been suicidal myself, I also know that just because you think about it does not mean you have to act on the thoughts. I have learned so much about suicide, suicide prevention and helping people deal with suicide in the past 10 years working in Changes. For that I am so grateful. If you want to talk about suicide, come talk to me, I’ll listen.

Zanjbeel Iqbal

Befriending Coordinator

I joined Changes in May 2022 as the Befriending Coordinator. My role involves setting up the befriending project, recruiting volunteers, supporting, and supervising matches and ensuring the project runs smoothly for the next three years.  

I have a genuine passion for advocating for mental health and volunteer for SHOUT, an online crisis service, have completed my Counselling certificate and am currently studying toward my Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Having moved from Yorkshire, I’m adjusting to the cold weather but can’t complain about my surreal walk to work along the coastline! 

Outside of this, I enjoy writing short stories following on from my English degree, I can explore the mind and use writing therapeutically as my creative outlet. I also enjoy leaving my phone behind and getting lost in nature so if you happen to see me wandering around, just say hello 🙂 

Annette Murray

Volunteer Recruitment Officer

I recently joined Changes as the Volunteer Recruitment Officer. I’ve relied heavily on volunteers to support me in my work all throughout my career, firstly in nature conservation and more recently as a course facilitator in mental health and wellbeing. 

I’ve personally volunteered in numerous roles ranging from practical conservation work, to supporting the bereaved and more recently helping people experiencing mental health challenges. I’ve personally gained from being a volunteer and from having volunteers support me in my work. I know how important it is for a volunteer to have a positive experience in a role that is right for them. 

I look forward to meeting and enrolling new volunteers to help Changes deliver their services.



I joined Changes in April 2022. My background is in Psychology and Mental Health. I have previously worked for several community-based services for individuals with a variety of developmental and mental health needs. I have always been curious about our inner world and drawn to deeper conversations in life, so becoming a Counsellor seemed a natural way of progressing with my professional development. 

There is a quote by John Dewey, an American philosopher and psychologist, which captures for me the essence of the therapeutic process: “We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” I am aware that such reflection can be at times difficult, and so when we can all benefit from a companion in this process of learning about ourselves. 

In my role as a Counsellor, I strive to offer a relational encounter, a reflective and supportive space with opportunity for exploration of what in our day-to-day life may remain under the surface; unnamed or unnoticed. I believe that counselling can ignite personal change and enhance life transformation and I am passionate about being part of the exciting and challenging process of self- discovery and change, which can take place in so many unique ways during therapy. 

When not in the counselling room, I love being surrounded by nature and I enjoy reading, especially biographies.

Contact us 0131 653 3977 or info@changeschp.org.uk