DDN National Conference 2023

With over 500 delegates and more than 40 exhibitors the DDN conference this year provided an opportunity to share ideas, get inspired and work together.

DDN 2023 Conference coverage

The first session focused on stigma, with Karen Biggs, CEO of Phoenix Futures outlining the aims of the Anti Stigma Network and inviting delegates and organisations to join.

April Wareham of Working with Everyone and Hannah Shead, CEO of Trevi looked at the specific challenges faced by women who use drugs and the need for more specialist support.

Callie Davidson of the Safe Ground project talked about how they are working with serving prisoners to challenge stigma and thrive.

The second session focused on peer power. Alistair Bryant and Luke O’Neil from Cranstoun shared genuine examples of co-production to develop their dynamic harm reduction initiatives including peer led naloxone distribution and innovative tech to create the BuddyUp app.

Laura Pechey from the government’s Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) and Lanre Babalola and Ade from BUBIC along with Ged Pickersgill from The Well Community discussed their shared determination to embed lived experience in the treatment system.

Marcus Johnson, Christiane Jenkins, and Karolina Sowinska from SUIT shared innovative ways they’re engaging with the wider community, including challenging specific issues around stigma faced by people in Asian and East European communities.

The afternoon session centred on THE BIG CONVERSATION – a chance for delegates to contribute to the debate, let people know what’s working, what needs to be done and ideas for how it should happen. Topics ranged from personal experience of treatment, how peer involvement can save lives, challenging stigma and looking at ways we can organise, mobilise and influence.

Join us on 11 July in Birmingham for the 2024 Conference

We would like to thank all of our sponsors, exhibitors, magazine supporters who made this event possible and whose continued support allows us to keep providing a free publication.

Supported by:


If you attended this year’s event we would be grateful for your feedback which will help shape next year’s conference. All contributions will be entered into a draw for a £50 Amazon voucher!




























































































































At-a-glance Information

Timings and venue: 13 July, The National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham. The closest train station is Birmingham International and there is free parking available onsite.

Delegate registration from 9am, First Session 10am, Lunch 1-2pm, Afternoon Session 2-3.30pm Conference close 3.45pm

Delegate information: Tickets include refreshments and a cooked lunch with vegan and gluten free options available. The venue has free wifi. Tickets include access to all sessions, the exhibition area and free access to the motorbike museum from 3.45pm.

Exhibitors and Group Bookings: If you have booked an exhibition stand all of the information you require is here. 



The programme will run from 10am–4pm including a lunch hour and tea and coffee breaks.

Sessions will focus on tackling stigma with direct action and a new campaign, demonstrating how we can all create strong and effective partnerships between people with lived experience, commissioners and services, practical advice and support around overdose prevention, BBVs, family support, brief interventions and personalised treatment, and pathways to and from treatment.

View the programme here.

Exhibition Area

The vibrant exhibition area will be at the heart of the event. It features community groups, treatment providers and support services, to share ideas and inspiration, offer information and support and give practical training and demonstrations. Refreshments will be on hand while you enjoy networking!

If you have a stand booked all the details you need are here.

Delegate Places

Tickets are £145 + vat for professional places and £95 + vat for volunteers and people with lived experience/people who use services

Book online here.

Tickets include full access to the presentations and exhibition, tea, coffee and refreshments, a full cooked lunch and access to the National Motorcycle Museum in the afternoon!

Venue Access and Accommodation

Situated on junction six of the M42 and providing free parking for cars, buses and coaches, as well as being just five minutes away from Birmingham International Train Station and Birmingham Airport, the National Conference Centre at the National Motorcycle Museum provides easy access for all delegates attending for the day.

The DDN Team are staying in the Arden Hotel which is close to the conference venue. You can book online or on 01675 445605.

There are other hotels close by in the NEC or Birmingham city centre is only 20 minutes away.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the event please contact ian@cjwellings.com

Working together, we will challenge stigma and build better fairer treatment systems for everyone – systems that are responsive and work for every single person, no matter what stage they are at.

The event is welcoming, inclusive, optimistic and inspiring – but at the same time we are not afraid to challenge what’s not working. By learning from each other we create an experience that goes beyond the event.

Over the past 15 years of this conference you – the participants – have helped to change the treatment landscape and started conversations that have led to truly innovative partnerships. The networking throughout the conference, exhibition (and frequent refreshment breaks!) has resulted in new peer groups and initiatives that have galvanised peer power and representation in many areas and recognised the value of lived experience.

We have challenges ahead, but also many opportunities to directly shape our treatment services. This year’s theme, Many Roads, recognises there are many directions, individual needs and preferences involved in treatment, which we will look at together. But there are also certain elements that we must all move in the right direction with – tackling stigma and seeking out positive partnerships.

If this chimes with you, we want to see you and hear you at the best networking event you can circle on your calendar! Last year it was amazing to be able to get together in person after so long. This year we are action-driven and determined to make this the most dynamic – and enjoyable! – conference ever.






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