Chris Fitzgerald - Sheffield Hallam University Lecturer and founder of Strong Saturdays

Chris, titled Northern England’s strongest man at 105kg body weight works on his own project called Strong Saturdays. Strong Saturdays is a programme that guides a team of South Yorkshire strongmen to competition standard. Chris’s career started out in sport science research methods at Derby University, with expertise in drug use, drug abuse and drug policy, Chris has since been lecturing at Sheffield Hallam University for seven years. Chris is now undertaking research into the effects of exercise on recovery from substance addiction whilst also working closely with Phoenix Futures and Strong Saturdays.

Beth Collinson - Sheffield Hallam PhD student

Having undertaken a work placement for RDash in the final year of her undergraduate degree, Beth was inspired to continue working in the drug and alcohol field. Having written her dissertation based on the service Beth was encouraged to continue her studies, realising she had great passion in this area. Graduating from her BSc in Criminology and Psychology in May 2016, Beth successfully gained a scholarship from Alcohol Research UK to start a PhD earlier this year. Alongside this, Beth is also pursuing at Masters in Research, both carried out at Sheffield Hallam University. The PhD thesis will use a range of data sources to assess gender similarities in recovery pathways for problem drinkers in Sheffield, and the cohort for…

Alex Royffe - Executive Coach and Mentor

Before becoming an Executive Coach and Mentor in 2011, Alex had a successful career in brand marketing and communications, working as a senior manager for large organisations such as BT and Royal Mail. Alex has extensive experience of commercial marketing, communications, sponsorship, PR, brand development and product management. Alex is very passionate about recovery and since 2010 has provided Addiction Recovery Coaching to people suffering with substance issues. He has developed a specialist ARC12 Addiction Recovery Coaching process as a real-world alternative to residential rehabilitation – helping people overcome addiction while maintaining jobs, family lives and their social network. He is also the Marketing and business growth Director of Build on Belief, a London based charity involved with peer-lead addiction…

Julie Breslin - Head of programme Drink Wise, Age Well

Julie Breslin has worked in the homelessness and addiction field for twenty years, starting her career in Dublin with homelessness charity Focus Ireland. In 1998 she moved to Glasgow and following the completion of a Post Grad Diploma in Addictions began working in statutory addiction services. Julie began working for Addaction in 2006 and since then has established and managed a number of alcohol support services. In 2009 with funding from the Big Lottery Fund, Julie set up the Over 50s Alcohol Service in Glasgow. In its three years of funding the service supported more than 300 adults aged over 50 experiencing alcohol problems. The service received a number of accolades including the Herald Society Awards Health Provider of the…

Helen Phillips-Jackson - Strategic Commissioning Manager for Drugs and Alcohol, Sheffield City Council

Helen moved to Sheffield from Kent in 2001 to study Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield (and never left...) After graduation she began working at the 911 Project, a 24 hour supported accommodation project for people with mental health and substance misuse issues, first as a Project Worker and then as Project Manager. After 5 years at 911, she moved into the Drug and Alcohol Co-ordination Team firstly as Models of Care Co-ordinator, then Commissioning Officer, and is now the Strategic Commissioning Manager for Drugs and Alcohol for Sheffield City Council responsible for the commissioning of the council’s Public Health funded substance misuse treatment services.

Professor David Best - Head of Criminology, Sheffield Hallam University

David Best is a leading figure in the international research and policy movement around recovery from alcohol and drug problems. He is an experienced addictions and crime researcher and has published around 150 peer-reviewed papers, more than 50 policy and research reports and has authored three books on addiction recovery. David's primary research interests are around recovery and social justice, including issues of stigma and inclusion for offenders and substance users. His research work is primarily around social inclusion and community connectedness and involves ongoing research partnerships with Deakin and Monash Universities in Victoria, Australia, the University of Queensland, Texas Christian University and Stirling University. David is co-chair of the Sheffield Addiction Recovery Research Group; founder and co-chair of Recovery…

Bob Campbell

Bob has worked in the Addictions field for over 35 years in a number of different roles including frontline worker, residential service and prison services manager, business development and marketing and communications. He has managed large and diverse teams and been involved in change management, budgetary control and strategic planning. He has served on a number of consultative groups, is a Trustee of Sheffield Alcohol Support Service and was trustee of Breakthrough, Sheffield's former specialist addiction service for ethnic communities.

Harry Shapiro - Director of DrugWise

Harry Shapiro, Director of DrugWise – an online drug information service and Managing Editor of DS Daily - the daily online drug, alcohol and tobacco news service. Harry has worked in the drugs field for over 35 years, first with the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence and then from 2000 with DrugScope where he was Director of Communications until the charity folded in 2015.Harry was DrugScope’s main media spokesperson, managing editor of Druglink magazine and has written extensively on all aspects of drugs and drug-related issues combining this with lecturing, public speaking and advisory work for government. His books include Waiting for the Man: the story of drugs and popular music and Shooting Stars: drugs, Hollywood and the…

Lynda Pace Avery - Women's Aid

After many years of drug misuse Lynda went to City Roads for a 3 week detox before going to Phoenix Futures London on the 27th of March 1984 as one of the original cohort of residents who moved to Sheffield to kick start the programme. Lynda graduated on the 28th of March 1985 and went on to study at The University of Sheffield, receiving a BA (Hons.) in Economics and Social History. Since then Lynda has set up a Phoenix Futures Family Unit, worked for Doncaster Social Services in Fostering and Adoption, Emergency Social Work and Training as well as working for NCH Action for children as a manager of two family centres and set up a children’s centre. Lynda…

Pennie Raven - Co- Curator of Pecha Kucha Sheffield

Pennie Raven, Co-Curator of Pecha Kucha Sheffield will be compering the Powered by Pecha Kucha morning of the conference alongside business partner Jonny Douglas. Pennie Raven is Founder of HR Guardian Angels, Avenues 2 Zero, Sheffield Soup and The Global Soup Foundation, with a 25 year career in business and leadership development in the UK, Europe and U.S.A.