Welcome to the NHS APA 2023 Virtual Conference titled; Living the Stigma: Understanding Addiction and Overcoming Prejudice.

In this session Danny Hames, NHS APA Chair, will open the conference and introduce our keynote speaker, Dan Carden MP.

We will also be joined by our expert panel; Dr Emily Finch, Mike Hardy, Jon Findlay and Dot Smith to answer questions from our online delegates. The session will conclude at approximately 10.25am.

To access this webinar without interruption you will require a minimum internet speed of 2Mbps and ensure your network firewall enables access to BigMarker. To do a systems check on these settings please go to: https://www.bigmarker.com/system_check
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    Danny Hames
    NHS APA Chair
    Danny Hames has 18 years’ experience working in the public and voluntary sectors, within criminal justice, long terms conditions and the drug and alcohol treatment sector. He has worked as a Practitioner, Operational manager and Head of Development. In September 2018 he became the Head of Inclusion which is part of the Midlands NHS Foundation Partnership Trust. Inclusion is the largest NHS provider of drug and alcohol services in England working in both prisons and the community. Inclusion also provides Sexual Health and Improving Access to Psychological Therapy services. Danny is an accredited PRINCE2 and MSP Practitioner and holds a PG Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Policy and a MA in Voluntary Sector Studies.

    Danny is the current chair of the NHS APA.
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    Dan Carden MP
    Dan Carden MP, Liverpool Walton - Chair of Drugs, Alcohol & Justice APPG, Vice-Chair of Alcohol Harm APPG and member of the Children of Alcoholics APPG.

    In 2021, Dan shared his personal experience of alcoholism, addiction and being in recovery in the House of Commons and is determined to use his lived-experience to bring about meaningful change in policy.
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    Dr Emily Finch
    Addictions Clinical Academic Group (CAG)
    Dr Finch is the Addictions Clinical Academic Group (CAG) Clinical Director with responsibility for Addiction services across Lambeth, Bexley, Greenwich and Wandsworth. She is currently clinical lead for the Alcohol Assertive Outreach Team, she is on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) and is joint chair of the Recovery Committee. Emily is also the vice-chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Addictions Executive and a co-chair of the London Joint Working Group on Hepatitis C.
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    Dot Smith
    CEO, Recovery Connections
    Dot is the CEO of Recovery Connections, a Lived Experience Recovery Organisation based in Middlesbrough and across the North East. She has worked in mental health and addiction support services for 39 years. Dot is a Winston Churchill Fellow having researched Collegiate Recovery, the support of students within Higher Education and started the UKs first Collegiate Recovery programme in 2017. She was the recipient of the prestigious North East charity leader of the Year award in 2021.

    Dot recognises and champions that “Recovery isn’t just about our current physical or mental health, it’s about social happiness and independence, safety and security”. So, being able to create opportunities for people wanting to get their lives back on track, stay well and thrive is so important.
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    Mike Hardy
    Programme Manager (Substance Use)
    Since 2016, Mike has worked in North East Lincolnshire Public Health team as a Programme Manager (Substance Use). He was previously employed as part of Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) (for those old enough to remember them)! Mike has lived with people who use alcohol and other drugs since he was a toddler and has worked alongside those who have found themselves homeless and/or those with substance use issues for around 40 years.

    Mike’s current responsibilities cover all aspects of public health in relation to alcohol and other drugs; from commissioning treatment and recovery services, through to population level interventions.

    Mike also covers domestic abuse, gambling related harm and offender/ex-offender health for the public health team.

    Mike is a recovering alcoholic (self-assigned term) and has been sober since December 2020 after over 20 years of addiction. For those who have noticed the dates yes Mike, like others in recovery, has a story, but there is definitely not enough space in this biography.
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    Jon Findlay
    National Harm Reduction Lead, Humankind
    Jon Findlay is the National Harm Reduction Lead for Humankind. He has worked in and around services for people who use drugs for 24 years.

    Jon started out in the prison service at HMP Manchester in the late ‘90s as a segregation discipline officer. He went on to manage one of the first versions of criminal justice drug treatment offers that were the precursor to the Drug Treatment and Testing Orders and subsequent Drug Requirement Orders.

    Following this, Jon worked in a number of roles, from football violence reduction initiatives to working with young people at risk of radicalisation into far-right extremism. He progressed to managing integrated treatment services in the Northwest of England. Within Humankind, Jon is now responsible for overseeing the national charity’s harm reduction services. These include needle syringe provision, clinical alerts, naloxone, safe inhalation, chemsex, and image performance enhancing drugs hormone clinics.

    “For me harm reduction is an unconditional act of kindness and love not based on any requirement of compliant behaviour. It’s about making today better.”