I have 20 years of experience working in Addiction and Social Care. I began as a community worker working with teenage mums and working in hostels, drug services and residential projects. I started supporting organisations with workforce development, learning and change management in 2000 and have held senior and consultancy roles with a wide range third sector organisations.
I completed my Doctoral research in Adult Education and Addiction Recovery in October 2012. This work explored how adult education may aid a person in addiction recovery, in particular how our human connections and kindness can support a person’s recovery journey – however they choose to define it. I have worked for several years as national examiner for drug related qualifications and a moderator for training provided within the Prison Service and am a specialist in change management and workforce development.
Prior to entering teaching full time I worked in residential and community services, as a manager, community worker, needle exchange and case worker and facilitated group work for several years. I specialised in working with pregnant and parenting women experiencing difficulties with drugs and alcohol developing programmes of care and detoxification.
EdD Education: Staffordshire University 2013
Thesis: Addiction Recovery and Adult Education: Formal and Informal Learning (PDF, file size: 1.26MB)
MSc: Drugs in Society: Policy and Intervention: Middlesex University 2006
Thesis: Identity formation in Addiction Recovery
Certificate in Education: Manchester University 2003
Certificate in Counselling: Staffordshire University 1998
My main area of expertise is within the field of Addiction and qualitative research methods. I have explored different responses to Addiction and recovery internationally in Europe and developed a range of study visits for practitioners in Thailand where I explored a Buddhist approach to addiction recovery.
My research interest is in ways to support people in addiction recovery through formal and informal learning. I am currently working with Dr Kim Slack and Dr Amanda Hughes on a 3 year EU project RECOVEU which aims to develop access to learning resources in collaboration with people in addiction recovery and practitioners from across Europe. I have a particular interest in the practical application of theoretical approaches to recovery, in particular how recovery capital links to communities of practice in peoples experience of addiction and learning as an adult.
I teach at the Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies in partnership with the University of Bath where I am unit leader for Research.
For 12 years I was course leader in Addiction Studies where I wrote several nationally validated courses including Diploma in Management of Addiction and a Foundation Degree in Addiction Studies. I have recently completed three years teaching clinical communication to Doctors in training at Liverpool University Medical School, here I worked to develop methods to help clinicians recognise the emotional content of interactions with patients and respond appropriately.
I am currently External Examiner at the University of Brighton, examining Youth & Community Degree programmes in the School of Education.