Faces and Voices of Recovery UK annual conference 2016

(In partnership with the University of Chester and Halton Borough Council)

Addiction, Recovery and Families

Friday September 9th 2014

Select Security Stadium

Lowerhouse Lane



Confirmed speakers include:

Professor Jim Orford

The impact of addiction problems on the family, and the development of methods, such as the 5-Step Method, for helping and supporting affected family members, has been a special focus of Jim’s research and writing. Amongst his publications are:  Coping with Alcohol and Drug Problems: The Experiences of Family Members in Three Contrasting Cultures (Routledge, 2005), Addiction Dilemmas: Family Experiences in Literature and Research and their Lessons for Practice (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), and Power, Powerlessness and Addiction (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Jim will be talking about ‘Empowering family members affected by addiction’.


Viv Evans, Chief Exec, Adfam

Vivienne Evans is the Chief Executive of Adfam, the national umbrella organisation for children and families affected by someone else’s substance misuse.  She has a background in drug and alcohol education, prevention and young people. She is a former member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) and chaired its working group on the implementation of Hidden Harm.  She also chaired the Drug Sector Skills Consortium, funded by the Department of Health, from 2012 until its conclusion in 2015. Adfam is the national charity working to improve life for families affected by drugs and alcohol. Adfam’s vision is that anyone affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use will have the chance to benefit from healthy relationships, be part of a loving and supportive family and enjoy mental and physical wellbeing. Adfam’s mission is to stop drug and alcohol use from threatening and ultimately destroying family relationships and wellbeing. The organisation empowers family members and carers, supports frontline workers and influences decision-makers.


Families Anonymous

Families Anonymous is a world-wide fellowship of family members and friends affected by another’s abuse of mind-altering substances, or related behavioural problems. FA has groups, spread throughout the country, which meet regularly. Any concerned person is encouraged to attend the meetings, even if there is only a suspicion of a problem. The Fellowship is a self-help organisation with a programme based on the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions first formulated by Alcoholics Anonymous. FA was founded in 1971 by a group of families in America. The first group in this country started in London in 1980 and there are now some 50 groups in various parts of the country.


Diana B, Al-Anon

I have been a member of Al-Anon Family Groups for 39 years, during that time I have learned about the disease of alcoholism and the effects that living with an alcoholic have had on me. When I started my recovery, I was living with a drinking alcoholic, but in Al-Anon Family Groups I found that I could start to make myself and my life better by using the Al-Anon programme, the support of other members, and the twelve steps of recovery. I volunteer to do public information work in my area. Al-Anon Family Groups provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been affected by someone else’s drinking, regardless of whether that person is still drinking or not. For some of our members, the wounds still run deep, even if their loved one may no longer be a part of their lives or has died. Al-Anon Family Groups hold regular meetings where members share their own experience of living with alcoholism. Al-Anon does not offer advice or counselling, but members give each other understanding, strength and hope. The fellowship, which was founded by Louis W, wife of Bill W (co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous) celebrates its 65th Anniversary this year in the UK and Eire.


Mary Stewart

Mary is an academic and author who has been in recovery for 45 years. Since retiring she has been giving talks in schools and local community groups on the neuroscience of addiction. Mary will introduce the theme of next year’s conference: Other Addictions in Recovery. She will describe how addiction can be seen as the result of a dysfunction of the neuro-circuits of the brain, affecting memory, emotive, and judgement centres.  Whether behaviour or substance addiction is the problem, the solution lies in reprogramming the neuro-circuits.  Regular involvement in a recovery programme and association with other recovering addicts significantly aids this process.


Leigh Proctor, UKSMART Recovery Family and Friends

The SMART Recovery Family & Friends (F&F) Programme offers an evidence-based approach to support individuals with a loved one struggling with addiction. SMART F&F includes tools from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy in combination with the highly acclaimed CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) programme. The programme is designed to help those affected by a loved one’s addictive behaviour to learn new ways of dealing with the challenges, thoughts and emotions that they experience. The programme looks at areas including Positive Communication, Disabling the Enabling, Trust and Self Care. SMART F&F will help participants to view their own behaviours, challenge their thinking and find more effective ways to interact with their loved one, as well as learning ways to empower themselves. Leigh Proctor is the UKSMART Recovery National Co coordinator for Wales and UK Lead of the SR Family and Friends programme. Leigh has been facilitating F&F’s meeting for the last two and a half years and has seen first-hand the positive impact it has had on those facing the challenges of a loved one’s addictive behaviour.


Maddy Vaz, Sanctuary Family Support

Sanctuary Family Support is an award winning Charity that was set up by four parents in 1999, because there was no support for families of substance misusers (Alcohol & drugs). Sanctuary staff have worked  tirelessly to help and support families suffering from the effects of somebody else’s substance misuse together with kinship carers, offering them a wraparound care package, of support, counselling, therapies and family cohesion activities.  Sanctuary also deal with the substance misusers and in 2015 was awarded 3 year funding from the Big Lottery to expand their services.


9.30 – 10.00 Registration & Coffee

10.00 Welcome: Annemarie Ward, Chief Exec – FAVOR UK

10.05 Introduction: Tony Mercer, Health Improvement Manager – Public Health England

10.15 Keynote address and Q&A – Empowering family members affected by addiction: Professor Jim Orford

11.05 SMART Recovery Families and Friends Programme: Leigh Proctor, National Co-ordinator, Wales – UKSMART Recovery

11.30 – 12.00 Coffee

12.00 Families and Recovery: Viv Evans, Chief Exec – Adfam

12.25 Al-Anon: Diana B

12.50 Sanctuary Family Support, Liverpool: Maddy Vaz

1.15 – 2.15 Lunch

2.15 Title ? Nicola Wendel, National Child Sexual Exploitation Lead – Change, Grow, Live

2.40 Families Anonymous

3.05 Panel Q & A

3.50 Theme for 2017 FAVOR UK conference – Other addictions in recovery: Annemarie Ward, Chief Exec – FAVOR UK

4.00 The neuroscience of addiction: Mary Stewart – Academic and Author

4.30 Close: Tony Mercer, Health Improvement Manager – Public Health England