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Gillian Allan
Development Co-ordinator

I have worked alongside people with learning disabilities in different ways since 2003 when I was an unpaid crisis advocate with Powerful Partnerships, whilst studying law. My masters explored issues around witnesses with learning disabilities in the criminal justice system and my PhD thesis explores friendship and learning disability. I am really interested in what supports genuine friendship to happen, what gets in the way and how people can support each other to overcome the difficulties.


While there were many things I enjoyed about academic work, direct work in the community is where my heart is. In my early 20's I lived in a l'Arche community - a place where people with and without learning disabilities live and share daily life together. I've also worked as a PA. Now, working for EDG I enjoy being involve in co-creating and running projects with people. I have a particular interest in empathy and have been delighted to be involved in the empathy in support work project with Alexander Warren of AJP dreams as well as directing our Festival of Empathy in 2016.


What I am most interested in is working with people to create a community where we can all live our fullest potential, where no one is judged for the labels they have and we all have our basic needs met. I believe the cooperative model provides a fantastic vehicle for achieving these three goals.  because of the focus on equality, solidarity and self-help.

Cultivating empathy and friendship or friendly relationships are also key elements of cooperative working, so this is a project that brings together many of my interests.

I work for EDG part time and work part time as a Gestalt Therapist at Gestalt Therapy Edinbugrh. 

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