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our team

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Declan Harrigan ND Bsc (Hons) PGDip

S.M.I.L.E Clinical Director

Declan began his career in corporate sales while studying Social Policy and Sociology at Magee, University of Ulster. After University and spending an additional 4 years training as a therapist he now has experience in supporting and counselling young people for over 10 years both in the North of Ireland and since 2012 in West Lothian, Scotland.

His experience in counselling began in the North of Ireland where he worked specifically with those people affected by self-harm or suicidal thoughts / ideation. However, in addition to this work he has also worked with issues such as bullying, sexual orientation, depression, anxiety, bereavement, relationship issues, abuse or post Northern Ireland conflict prisoners affected by PTSD to name but a few.

Declan worked extensively on anti-sectarianism projects with the young people involved using various counselling approaches in groups to help change their negative thinking about each other and encourage them to look at the similarities instead of the very minimal differences.

He then moved to Scotland in 2012 where he took up the position as a project co-ordinator working with similar groups and co-ordinating a youth unemployment strategy while supporting these young people to address their barriers and re-engaging positively into their community again.

Declan is married with one boy and says that “my wife and son are the driving force behind the work that I do. I love my job and being a part of the S.M.I.L.E Team is more than just a job, it’s like a family. We are all passionate about delivering the best service we can for the children and young people of West Lothian and hope to be an integral part of the community work for many years to come”.

Laura Ferguson
Bsc (Hons) Dip

Counsellor

Laura left Queen Margaret University in 2014 with an honours in Psychology. She is a practicing Hypnotherapist and Counsellor.

She has worked with people of all ages and with a variety of issues including substance misuse, stress, anxiety, anger issues and self-esteem. Laura has worked casually for many years as a support worker, helping individuals with learning and physical disabilities throughout Edinburgh and the Lothian’s.

George Scott
MSc BSc RSCN RGN HV Cert

Chairperson

George worked in the NHS for over 20 years working in the field of child health both in a hospital and community setting.

For the last ten years he has worked in the Local authority to deliver activity to reduce health inequalities. His current post is line managing a Regeneration team that works across West Lothian.

George is passionate about reducing inequalities and customer service. George has lived in West Lothian for 32 years. He is married for 28 years with three grown up girls aged 18-21yrs old.

Douglas Benson
BA Dip

Vice Chairperson

Douglas has worked in the local authority for the last 14 years across a number of roles and is currently involved in Service Development.  He is passionate about community and customer service. 

Douglas has been integral to a number of different projects; sourcing funding and providing guidance to support community projects and initiatives to reduce inequalities and promote regeneration.

Elizabeth McGrorty

Secretary

Liz comes from a background of hairdressing. Liz has worked as a Prison Officer for the last 20 years working with male young adults and then with female young adults and female adults. During this time Liz has helped and supported all prisoners with their confidence, self-esteem, self-harm reduction, addiction reduction and education.

Liz is very passionate about her work and enjoys the results that it achieves. Liz has been married for 37 years, has a grown up family and three young Grand Children.

Donna Murray
CeMAP

Treasurer

Donna has worked in financial services for 16 years, she started her financial career in corporate sales for a bank in 2002 for 9 years.

She then left to start up her own business in mortgage and insurance business in 2012 where Donna currently helps people get on the mortgage ladder, helping people achieve their dreams of owning a home.

 Donna is passionate about paying back to the community through volunteering. She says ‘S.M.I.L.E Counselling is a pleasure to be part off, knowing that they are helping young kids get the help they need to be successful adults is a very rewarding as seen some of the difficulties my own children had growing up in high school and trying to find their way in life. I first got involved in volunteering when I was 24 years old.

I am married and have 3 kids, 2 grown up with their own children and 1 still in primary, and 3 grandchildren.’

Marc Davey
HNC

Vice Treasurer

Marc is a Business Advisor currently working with Business Gateway, West Lothian.

After gaining experience and qualifications within the finance sector, Marc joined the Community Regeneration team. It was here that he realised he had a real passion for community engagement and partnership work between community organisations within West Lothian.

This has allowed him to build strong relationships with various organisations throughout the county.

Arfana Jan

Board of Trustee

Arfana has had experience working and managing a busy post office providing a valuable service to the local community.

Currently Arfana is kept busy by being a full time stay at home Mum with two children age 8 and 3 years old. In addition to this Arfana likes to keep fit in her spare time and has a keen interest in giving back to the community by taking part in charity events, her latest being the Glasgow Half Marathon.

Rachel Rintoul

HR Advisor

Rachel is currently a Customer Advisor with Sky, alongside this she is currently undertaking studies with the Open University and volunteering within the local community.

Gaining experience working for the local Council as a Benefits Advisor and previous volunteering in the local community from a very young age Rachel soon realised her empathy for helping those in need whether it be due to poverty or ill health and strives to give whatever time she can to help those in need.