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Tim Leighton BA
Director of Professional Education and Research

Tim is a UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy) registered Cognitive Analytic Psychotherapist and an accredited trainer and supervisor. He has worked in the addictions field for over 30 years and developed the Addictions Counselling degree programme accredited by Bath University.

Katherine Jenkins BSc (Hons), MSc
Head of the Centre for Addiction Treatment Services

Katherine has a Master’s degree in forensic psychology and has worked in the addiction, mental health and homelessness sectors for over 15 years. Her special interests include the impact training has on cognition and practice among professionals working with addiction, recovery capital as an effective long term recovery framework for addiction and the implementation of psychologically informed practice in homelessness services.

Derrick Anderson BSc (Hons), MSc
Academic Programmes Manager/Programme Leader FdSc & BSc (Hons)
Derrick has over 20 years experience working with Drug and Alcohol Treatment services. He previously worked as a Counsellor and Clinical Manager of a residential addictions treatment unit in Bournemouth and achieved his MSc in Mental Health Studies specialising in Addictions Counselling at Guy’s Medical School, London. Derrick has experience of designing and delivering cutting edge training in a range of subjects to other professionals including assessment as an intervention, dual diagnosis and working with families affected by substance use. His current interests include Older People and Addiction and when not sailing in Poole Harbour intends to further his research career with the National Addiction Centre in London.

Nicky Adams BA (Hons)

Programme leader (Family Service & CPD units)
Nicky is an accredited counsellor, family therapist and clinical supervisor who has worked in the field of addiction treatment in a variety of settings including residential and community treatment, prison-based programmes, and a therapeutic community.  She is an experienced team manager and supervisor and has helped create a number of projects and treatment programmes.  Her special interest is in developing a whole family approach to addiction recovery.  Prior to working with addictions, she spent ten years with an adult education charity and is a passionate believer in life-long learning.

Ellie Tucker BA (Hons), AFHEA
Learning Co-ordinator

Ellie has 12 years’ experience of project managing Higher Education Research project grants and was a teacher of English to non-native speakers. Ellie coordinates the Administration for our Degree Programme and Professional Development units working closely with the University of Bath and For Families team. Ellie is also a Tutor on our Degree programme, specialising in helping students to develop academic writing and studying skills. She is particularly interested in how we can enhance our students experience by maximising current e-learning technologies.

Emma Thornton BSc (Hons) Cert in Supervision

Emma has worked professionally in the Addiction Treatment field for 9yrs, in both counsellor and Head of Service roles. Her experience includes working with families, harm reduction, criminal justice, preparation and abstinence based treatment, couples therapy and mentoring students. Emma has a BSc (Hons) degree in Addictions Counselling, is a qualified supervisor, Moving Parents and Children Together (M-PACT) practitioner and Equine Assisted therapist.

Matt Serlin BA(Hons)

Family Counsellor/Tutor
Matt has over 25 years experience working with the effects of drug and alcohol misuse in community and institutional settings. At Action on Addiction for the past 10 years he has co-ordinated and led therapeutic and academic programmes.

As a trained psychotherapist, Matt gained a BA (Hons) in Integrative Psychotherapy at the University of Southampton. He also holds a certificate in clinical supervision from The Centre for Supervision and Team Development in London.

Claudia Businaro MA

Claudia is a fully qualified psychotherapist and registered member of UKCP and BACP. She trained in supervision and in group facilitation and studied Indian philosophy for several years, meditation and breathing techniques. She has a private practice in London and in Wiltshire and also works in a residential rehabilitation centre as a family and group therapist.

Ray van der Poel BSc (Hons)

Ray has over 10 years’ experience working in the addictions field in a variety of roles in both residential treatment, as a practitioner supporting complex clients, and in community treatment, as training and education manager delivering and responsible for training clients and professionals. He has delivered and designed addiction and psychology based courses at various levels for over 15 years and is passionate about the synthesis of theory and practice. Ray is committed to upskilling professionals in the addiction field to enable the delivery of evidence based treatment interventions that change lives, within an approach that is inclusive, collaborative and holistic.

Claire Tucker
Office Team Leader

Claire worked in the prison service for over 12 years, supporting individuals with their addiction. Claire is also a qualified Veterinary Nurse and volunteers with the RSPCA and Festival Medical Services.

Anita Kirwan
Office Administrator

Anita has spent much of her working career in the charity, education and hospitality sectors, working closely with public in all roles. She ran her own business for 20 years and is a qualified Montessori teacher.

Heather Whitmore


Heather has worked in secretarial roles for most of her working career, primarily in the charitable sector.  Before joining the CATS team she spent many years working at Action on Addiction’s East Knoyle campus, in a variety of roles including Admissions Secretary to PA to the Chief Executive.   She has a Diploma in Business Studies and is a member of the Institute of Administrative Management.

Jen Lloyd Grey

Verna Stokes
Housekeeping Assistant

Tim Hancock


CATS works with a number of other trainers and tutors who support the delivery of the CPD/bespoke courses and teach on the Addictions Counselling degree programme:

Claudia Businaro
Sandy Francis

For more information, please call 01985 843 780 or email


Action on Addiction is a company limited by guarantee registered in England | Company Number 05947481 Registered Charity Number 1117988
Registered office: Action on Addiction, Head Office, East Knoyle, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP3 6BE