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 (for myself and for others). 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

Project Development Coordinator

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 Coordinator


Lucy Bond

Clinical Associate in Applied Psychology/ Psychological Therapist


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 Worker

I feel really lucky to part of the Changes team, as Buddy Walk Project Worker. This combines two of my passions – community and nature. 

I have 7 years experience of working with a vast array of people, with mental health at the forefront of all of the projects I have been involved with. During my last role we developed several walking groups and hearing the feedback these groups had on people’s mental well-being was incredible. I have an interest in nature therapy, particularly ‘Shinrin Yuku’ (forest bathing) and hope to bring these elements into the Buddy Walk role, along with a passion for psychology and counselling, having completed a level 3 in Counselling and currently working through a Psychology and Counselling degree. 

In my own time you would find me outdoors basking in our wonderful East Lothian scenery or championing and promoting allergy/anaphylaxis 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

Choose Life Training Co-ordinator and Trainer

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.


Caroline McGrath

Administrator


Marina Ramsay

Communication & Engagement Officer

Before joining Changes I worked in communications and digital marketing for over 10 years. I have worked for both established companies as well as startups. I have a bachelor’s degree in philology (German and English) and a keen interest in art.

As a woman from an ethnic minority background I’m committed to supporting Changes in being an inclusive, welcoming and accepting organisation that provides non-judgemental support, free of biases or stigma. I’m always open to learn new things.


Renata Adwent Johnston

Counsellor


Zanjbeel Iqbal

Befriending Co-ordinator

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 🙂 

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