Marcus Roberts has been named as the new chief executive of DrugScope, taking over from Martin Barnes who steps down at the end of December (DDN, October, page 4). DDN columnist Roberts is currently DrugScope’s director of policy and has worked in the voluntary and community sector since the late 1990s, including senior policy roles at mental health organisation Mind and crime reduction charity Nacro.
‘It is a great privilege and responsibility to be taking over as chief executive at what is such a critical time for the drug and alcohol sector – and DrugScope itself – with significant opportunities but also uncertainties,’ he said.
Much of the sector’s work is about ensuring the ‘right kinds of support are available at the right time for marginalised and stigmatised people and communities’, he said, with ‘significant strides’ forward over the last decade. ‘We now face the challenge of taking this legacy forward and building on it at a time of radical policy change and with significant financial pressures. I believe that DrugScope has a critical role to play – informing, supporting, offering a focus for discussion and debate and providing effective voice, representation and leadership on key issues.
‘I am also excited by the potential to reach out across the health and social policy spectrum to highlight the pervasive relevance of drug and alcohol issues across society, with the opportunities to initiate new dialogues and develop new kinds of intervention and support.’
See December’s DDN for a full report on DrugScope’s annual conference.