FROM touring with one of Glasgow's most successful bands to helping victims of violence in a city accident and emergency department.

These two things may seem worlds apart, but Geraldine Lennon claims the same set of skills is helping her be successful at both.

Geraldine has gone from being "tour mum" for Glasvegas to one of a team of four Navigators in a scheme run by the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).

The 41-year-old said: "Both jobs are exactly the same: it's about finding out what someone needs and then putting that in to practice, whether that's on a tour bus or in an emergency department.

"It's about knowing people and believing in them."

Geraldine joined the Navigator project six months ago.

The initiative aims to help stop the revolving door of violent injury in hospitals, savings lives and the extra strain on the health service.

A pilot project with two staff initially ran for a year in Glasgow Royal Infirmary and its success has seen staff numbers double and Navigator extended to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

So far some 439 patients have been offered support and 341 accepted.

Geraldine and her colleagues identify people in A&E who may need help - this can be victims of domestic abuse, self-harmers, those involved in gang violence or others.

They approach the patient and then talk to them to find out what they need - a simple approach but one that has proven to be life changing.

Geraldine said: "We try and use the window of opportunity in A&E to interrupt the cycle of violence. It is a patient led intervention.

"It can be someone to sit and talk to them, someone they can voice any thoughts of revenge or violence to.

"We can support them to go to court. We will do anything they need to help them turn their life around. We once went round and tidied someone's house.

"It's about removing any barriers that might be stopping them from seeking help.

"You just kind of know who to approach. If you're in the department people are broken, lost, lonely and frightened and that can come out as a lot of anger, aggravation and noise.

"I don't like the word anger because when you break that emotion down, it's usually frustration or hurt.

"So if someone is presenting as angry, you have to find out what the root of that is."

Geraldine, who now lives in Cumbernauld, worked in social work and addiction services in Glasgow at the start of her career.

Her social work colleague, Denise, is the sister of Glasvegas frontman James Allan - and almost before she knew it, Geraldine was on tour with the band, ensuring their day-to-day needs were met.

The band sowed their fondness for her by writing a track about a social worker called Geraldine - which she says clients have sung to her without realising she is the Geraldine of the song.

From Glasvegas, Geraldine went on to work with Grammy nominated American artist Sharon Jones, before moving onto work with soul singer Charles Bradley, who has been sampled by the likes of Jay Z.

She said: "I eventually decided to come back home but I miss the madness of living on a bus and rolling into town like some kind of freak circus.

"When I was working for the addictions team I would never have believed how my life would have turned out.

"I remember the early days of Glasvegas and then how quickly they took off - it was crazy town. I remember their first gig at Glastonbury and it wasn't what you expected at all.

"I thought it would be amazing but it was hard, hard work.

"If I could go back out on the road for a short stint then I definitely would love to but never at the expense of this job."

Back in A&E and Geraldine says the Navigators signpost people to any service they might need, such as addiction or homelessness services.

They ensure they meet with people very quickly after the initial contact in hospital where Geraldine describes the four hour waiting time in A&E as an "amazing opportunity" and "precious time" to reach people.

She says the work can be emotionally very tough but music is a help again - she and her colleagues play 80s power ballads to motivate themselves.

Geraldine added: "It's probably the most random thing that can happen to people in the hospital, having some stranger approach them in a bright pink t shirt.

"We say it's just opening up and talking but that's actually a very difficult thing to put into practice. When people are living in a dark place inside their head, to open up and talk is a very brave thing to do.

"You can see a sense of relief when they tell you their story and nothing bad happens. The world doesn't end, you're not disgusted or horrified.

"You are approaching human beings and hearing their hardest stories, seeing the darkest bits of somebody's life.

"It is a very privileged position to be in."