New staff member: Lynn Couper – Senior Training and Development Officer

3rd September 2021

A warm welcome to Lynn Couper who has recently joined SDF as a Senior Training and Development Officer.

Lynn’s job includes delivering training with the aim of reducing drug related harm related to wound and bacterial infection. She also helps ensure frontline services, people who use drugs and other stakeholders are prepared to prevent and respond to outbreaks of bacterial infection amongst people who use drugs.

Lynn says: “In the event of an outbreak of bacterial infection or need for an emergency response, I will have a strategic role, supporting Incident Management Teams where required.

“My training can be tailored to be delivered to services including those providing injecting equipment, pharmacy staff, peer networks and people who use drugs.”

Prior to joining SDF, Lynn ran an assertive outreach harm reduction service and was a Harm Reduction Team Leader for a third-sector treatment service both based in the Forth Valley area.

She continues: “I regularly worked with individuals who use drugs to help reduce the barriers to engagement with all services.

“These included treatment and recovery services, primary health care, mental health services, housing, financial services including the DWP, community justice and other social work services.

“In my new post I also chair the Scottish Needle Exchange Workers Forum, which is a resource for dissemination, monitoring and prevention in terms of outbreaks. It is a place where people working within needle exchange services from all over Scotland meet regularly also to share information, trends, ideas, innovative working or discuss any difficulties or barriers they have overcome or would like additional input with.”

Lynn’s initial interest in substance use began in Tayside where she worked within the local authority after completing a BA in Social Sciences. She worked within the local authority until 2017 in a variety of roles, all with a specific focus on social inequalities and latterly within Community Safety where she helped to develop relationships and share harm reduction advice with frontline local authority workers, women engaging with on street selling or exchanging of sex, and people using substances.

She is passionate about challenging inequalities, stigma and in ensuring the people who use services in Scotland receive high quality, evidence based interventions that reduce the risk of all harms in their lives.