Jo Byrden

I have worked in the voluntary sector for 20 years, the majority of this time working in the drug and alcohol field.  My experience includes working both as a practitioner in treatment and as a manager overseeing harm reduction, a blood-borne virus service, outreach and community work.

I currently work for the second largest multi-agency service in the UK; Forward Leeds. I manage the aftercare element of the service, group work provision and the Recovery Hub; 5 Ways @ the Recovery Academy.

Peer support and co-production is in the heart of what we do at 5 Ways and something I am genuinely passionate about.

I have experience in service development and always strive to improve and provide the best opportunities.  For me, working in this area, it’s important for people to feel a sense of belonging and ownership. My manager will often say I take risks, but I like to think it’s more about trusting your instincts and knowing what works.  I’m a firm believer in giving someone a chance, listening to those receiving a service, knowing your team and peers and utilising and developing the skills presented to you.

Although not in recovery myself, I count myself as been extremely lucky, having spent my teens and 20s at various raves up and down the country and many a night at some ‘blues party’.  I have close friends and family in recovery and receiving treatment.  I have a deep understanding and experience of the impact addiction can have on the individual and family members.

I am a qualified counsellor (person-centred) and have a Level 4 qualification in Leadership and Management (ILM)

I am a parent of two boys, well, one boy and an adult and recently became a grandma.  In my free time, I love the outdoors, walking and camping, catching up with friends, good food and feet up watching a good box set.

I feel honoured to be a trustee for FAVORUK and are very much looking forward to supporting Faces and Voices of Recovery UK promoting and advocating the charity to both those in recovery and services who provide support, reducing stigmas associated with addiction and showing that recovery is possible.