StrathlifeFirst Responder Network

What is a First Responder?

A First Responder is a staff volunteer who's trained to respond sensitively to disclosures of harm or abuse and listen without judgement. Our team of First Responders provides short-term support to students or staff as a friendly point of contact for those who may need to disclose traumatic experiences or seek support for their well-being. 

Our First Responder Network is trained to provide support in a wide range of concerns including:

  • gender-based violence
  • sexual assault
  • sexual harassment 

How can a First Responder help?

First Responders can provide information on reporting options available to you and can help you complete a Report and Support submission on any issue at any time. They can then point you to support services within the University along with relevant external organisations. 

First Responders may also support you by advocating on your behalf when accessing University services, or in relation to your studies where a safeguarding incident might impact on your university participation. For staff, First Responders can provide in-person support at meetings if appropriate.

How are First Responders allocated?

First Responders are allocated on a case-by-case basis. You will be contacted by the Report and Support Response Team who will introduce themselves, identify a suitably trained First Responder for your case (for example, a First Responder trained to support Gender-based Violence, children, or vulnerable adults), and discuss the plan of action.

Your allocated First Responder will usually be from outwith your Faculty or Professional Services area. This is to create neutral distance and discretion from your usual work, study, or personal relationships. 

Please note

First Responders may take simple and effective action if a person of concern is not able to make decisions for themselves, or is at risk of harm caused by themselves or others. First Responders may call upon Campus Security for urgent action or contact emergency services if needed. 

How does it work?

There are two ways to tell us about something that's happened:

Make a disclosure

A disclosure is when you may want to tell someone about something that has happened to you, or something you're concerned about, but do not wish for action to be taken, or to start a more formal process with the University or legal procedures. 

Submit a report

A report is the first formal step in raising an incident with the University or the police. 

Your report

If seeking support, especially if you're from the LGBTQIA+ community or someone who engages in sex work, we understand that you may be fearful of information in your report or disclosure being revealed or used against you. We respect your right to protect information about yourself. Information disclosed in your report will not be shared outside the small group of staff that respond to reports without your consent or before you are ready to tell your own story. Our focus is on a safe and supported disclosure and, in cases of sexual assault or gender-based violence, we would not normally pursue any disciplinary processes if you disclose such things as drug or alcohol consumption within your report. Exceptions to this are where we consider there are serious risks of harm to you or to other people, and cases relating to fitness to practice, professional standards or conditions set by regulatory bodies.

Next steps

The Report and Support Response Team will select and put you in touch with a suitable First Responder. If you have a preference for who you might like to speak with, please email, and let us know. We'll do our best to connect you. 

Meet the team

Alison McNaughton

Strath Union

Justyna Kardasz

Strath Union

Tally Kerr

Strath Union

Willow Riddell

Strath Union

Kirstin Fraser

Strath Union

Dillon Downie


Gabrielle Weir


Gazala Akram

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences

Shaun Bremner

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences

Melanie McCarry

Social Work & Social Policy

Fiona Drummond

Social Work & Social Policy

Lindsey Whiteford


Calum Wilson

National Manufacturing Institute Scotland

Marisa DiNardo

Naval Architecture, Ocean & Marine Engineering

Ross MacLachlan

Design, Manufacture & Engineering Management

Julie Barr

Student Financial Support

Jillian Dodds

Graduate & Degree Apprenticeships

Halena Gauntlett

Student Experience

Meg Masson


Elizabeth Scott

IS Customer Services

Nicola Hyne

Conferencing & Events

Fiona Lynn