One Life Programme

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Conference programme

Thursday 23 February, Birmingham, The New Bingley Hall

9.00am – 10.00am – Registration

Come early and join us for tea, coffee and refreshments before the start of the sessions.

Here are details of the sessions, and the running times. Please click on a speaker’s name to read a short biography.

10.00am – 11.15am – Opening Session, Setting the scene.

Welcome to ‘One Life’ – the ten-year anniversary conference.

The statistics, the situation

Chris Robin from Janus Solutions gives his personal impressions of the current state of treatment. Chris will also chair the session.

Annette Dale Perera brings the latest messages from the ACMD on what we must do to reduce opioid-related deaths.

Paul Hayes from Collective Voice gives the treatment agencies’ response.

Voices from the frontline

Joining up services for people with multiple needs. Sinead McKeown and Paul Brown share their experience of the Every Step of the Way user involvement and engagement programme to show how effective partnerships can make a real difference.

Why treatment needs to be available to all

Let’s make sure that getting treatment is not a lottery. Dee Cunniffe, of the London Joint Working Group on Substance Use and Hepatitis C, calls for improved services to prevent thousands of unnecessary deaths.

11.15am – 11.45am – Tea and coffee break.

11.45am – 1.00pm – Session Two, the big debate.

Chaired by Tim Sampey and Alex Boyt.

What contributes to drug-related deaths and what can we do? A provocative, wide-ranging and inclusive discussion, looking at what every one of us can do about the situation. Join the debate and contribute to the action points.

1.00pm – 2.30pm – Lunch and networking.

Fill up on an authentic Birmingham balti, and network with organisations from around the country. Enjoy lunch, music, entertainment, mingling, massages, meetings and exhibition.

2.30pm – 4.00pm – The round table knowledge exchange.

This session provides the opportunity to attend short interactive sessions to discuss topics including recovery in the community, overdose prevention, building and social enterprise and more. Click here for full details of the session.

4.00pm Conference close


Speaker Biographies

Chris Robin Janus
Chris Robin

As author of Crack Cocaine, The Open Door and co-founder of Janus Solutions where he has developed The Resonance Factor Chris Robin has never been afraid to ask difficult questions about the traditional role of the drug and alcohol worker as well as role and function of services. Chris also spoke at the first DDN conference in 2007.


Paul hayes collective voice
Paul Hayes

Paul Hayes was chief executive of the National Treatment Agency from its creation in 2001, until it transferred to Public Health England in 2013. Before joining the NTA Paul worked for the Probation Service for more than 20 years. He now leads Collective Voice, an organisation representing the views of some of the UK’s largest treatment providers. Paul also spoke at the first DDN conference in 2007.

Annette Dale Perrera
Annette Dale-Perera

Annette Dale-Perera has worked in substance misuse in a variety of roles from frontline practitioner to Director of Policy for Drugscope, Director of Quality at the NTA and Strategic Director of Addiction and Offender Care for CNWL NHS Foundation Trust. Annette has been a member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs since 2010 and co-chair of the Recovery Committee. Since launching ADPConsultancyUK she has worked with UNODC and EMCDDA, among many others.


Tim Sampey
Tim Sampey

Tim Sampey helped to create the innovative user led organisation Build on Belief (BoB). BoB does not offer therapeutic services, but instead provides a range of socially based services intended to support people through their treatment journey while they work to move forward with their lives.

Alex Boyt
Alex Boyt

Alex Boyt has been a long time advocate of service user rights, working for organisations in London and Bristol. Until recently he delivered service user involvement and peer support initiatives at Voiceability in Camden. Alex regularly contributes to policy debates, and is a regular contributor to DDN Magazine.





Round Table Discussions

Alcohol-Related Brain Damage (ARBD)
Notaro Homes
Alcohol-Related Brain Damage (ARBD) is a term for the damage that can happen to the brain as a result of long-term heavy drinking. Among many symptoms this can result in people experiencing memory loss and difficulty with routine tasks, as well as having severely impaired judgement and decision-making skills. This session will help you to spot these symptoms, and find out how early diagnosis and referral to treatment can increase the chances of a positive recovery.

Solvent and aerosol misuse
Nicola Jones, Re-Solv
Solvent abuse continues to be a ‘hidden’ problem today, stigmatised and with relatively few adult users finding their way into support and recovery services. Come and share your thoughts and experiences, and discuss ways that local groups can use lived experience to connect with current users.

Naloxone: Lobbying for local distribution
Lee Collingham, Naloxone Action Group (NAG)
Naloxone is the drug that can temporarily reverse the effect of an opioid overdose, and is proven to save lives. Since October 2015 any worker in a commissioned drug service can distribute naloxone without prescription, and while this has led to an increased availability of the drug, universal access has not been achieved. Current distribution varies dramatically area by area, and sometimes written commitments do not equate to the number of kits provided on the frontline. How many naloxone kits were distributed in your area, who should you ask to find out, and how do you lobby for increased provision? This session will provide practical advice and easy to follow guidance to help you campaign for adequate provision of take-home naloxone in your local area.

Effective service user involvement within an organisation
Sue Edwards, CGL Service User Council
Real service user involvement allows an organisation to create a better fairer treatment system for their clients. However, providing genuine independent and effective service user involvement within an organisation is not always easy, and can sometimes create tensions. Sue Edwards will explain the challenges faced and lay bare the process that has led to a genuine independent service user council that provides valued input into one of the UK’s largest treatment providers.

Sustaining a social enterprise
Changes UK
Self-funding a group through a social enterprise is a desirable path to follow. Freeing the group from the ongoing pressure to find funding in the current tough economic climate provides an opportunity to be truly independent, while also providing valuable experience and potential transferable skills and training for members of the group returning to the workplace. But sustaining and growing the business to be profitable can prove to be a challenge. Learn from a successful social enterprise in Birmingham that provides gardening services, and take the opportunity to speak with a dedicated social enterprise manager who can provide advice for your enterprise.

Working with hard to reach groups
The Shanti Project (Aquarius)
Hard-to-reach groups may sometimes ‘slip through the net’ of traditional drug and alcohol services. Shanti works to tackle the taboo issue of alcohol misuse in the Punjabi Sikh community, working with individuals and affected others to promote recovery and engagement, delivering brief interventions in Gurdwaras (Sikh places of worship), hospitals and community venues, and creating links with GP surgeries, schools and colleges.
Find out more about how Shanti is working to break down the barriers of denial and shame surrounding alcohol misuse within Punjabi Sikh culture, and discuss ways to work with other culturally sensitive minorities.

Reaching out from recovery
Recovery communities provide a fantastic, safe, supportive environment to help members build personal recovery capital, while often providing benefit to the wider community. But it’s of equal importance that groups continue to engage with people still misusing drugs and alcohol, in an inclusive, non-judgemental way. B3 is an innovative, growing organisation providing peer support and advocacy in the London borough of Brent, including an open access weekend drop-in service. Join this session to share ideas on how groups can support their members, while engaging with those yet to find recovery.

From residential to community
Choices UK
Good rehabs ensure that aftercare is in place for clients leaving treatment and returning to the community. While this is often done through a service’s own network and the fellowships, there is always scope to grow stronger links with local organisations. The Choices group of rehabs would love to meet and network with local recovery groups to form alliances, and look at ways to help clients transition back to the community and help them build a strong sustainable recovery.

A place for fellowships
Cocaine Anonymous
Since the 1980s, Cocaine Anonymous (CA) has used the 12-step process to help people addicted to cocaine or other mind altering substances. While this process does not work for everyone, millions of people attribute their ongoing recovery to the support provided by CA or similar fellowships. Despite more than 80 years of global success since the first fellowship meeting, there are still several misconceptions around the 12 step fellowships that can prevent some individuals or organisations engaging with them. Come along to find out more, hear some myth busting, and ask questions. All you need is an open mind!

Patient choice and the right to OST
Stephen Malloy, independent trainer and director of INPUD
Methadone maintenance and buprenorphine prescribing are evidence based interventions that are proven routes to stabilising drug use, and can be the first step on the road to recovery. Even with more than 40 years of evidence to support it, there have been recent high profile criticisms levelled at maintenance treatment. This session will provide the opportunity for a frank, open discussion on the individual nature of recovery, and the right of the individual to follow the path best suited to them.

Naloxone Training
Philippe Bonnet, CGL
Since October 2015 any worker in a commissioned drug service can distribute naloxone without prescription. This, coupled with the simplicity of administering the drug, provides the opportunity to provide simple practical training, and distribute prenoxad injection kits at the event. If you have not been trained in this life saving intervention already, do not miss out today!

Hep C – get tested, get treated
Dee Cunniffe, The London Joint Working Group on Substance Use and Hepatitis C
New treatment options should ensure that no one should have to live with this potentially life-threatening disease, but how do we make sure that treatment is accessible to those who most need it? Dee opens out the discussion she began in her morning presentation, about making sure hep C treatment is not a lottery.

Going for growth
Red Rose Recovery
Setting up and running a local recovery group is challenging, but as an organisation because successful and attracts more members a different set of challenges can be faced. How do you support these new members and cater for increased activities and services –and importantly, how do you fund this? Red Rose Recovery have grown from a small local group with a few members to a organisation in the north west that works with some of the UK’s largest treatment providers, employs more than 20 full and part-time staff and turns over nearly £1m. Find out how they achieved this without compromising their independence, and look at strategies for growing your recovery community.

Everything’s possible – with the right support
Members of the Every Step of the Way programme (Birmingham Changing Futures Together Project)
Paul Brown and Sinead McKeown, who introduced the Every Step of the Way flagship user involvement and engagement programme in the morning session, bring in colleagues Mark Fitzgerald and Andrew Shelton to show how they support and training can open a world of opportunity to people with multiple needs.

Let’s talk about sex
Nic and Christine, Paula Hall Associates
Like all other addictions, sex addiction has a negative impact on both the individual and their family and loved ones. Whether it’s compulsive use of pornography, visiting sex workers, multiple affairs or any other kind of sexual behaviour, it is not always recognised by mainstream services. Paula Hall and her team have more than 40 years’ clinical experience in sex and porn addiction recovery; come along and find out more about identifying harmful behaviours and offering specialist treatment models and interventions for this often overlooked problem.