The Leadership Team
Chief Executive - Nick Barton
As Chief Executive of Clouds, Nick was one of the principal architects of the merger of the three charities Clouds, the Chemical Dependency Centre and the former Action on Addiction in 2007.
Under his leadership, Clouds became highly regarded for the quality of its first-stage residential treatment, integrating detoxification into a recovery-oriented psycho-social treatment. He established a community-based structured day treatment programme in Bournemouth, developing the pioneering Working Recovery project alongside to facilitate social re-integration.
Nick has been instrumental in developing a variety of interventions to support families and carers affected by substance misuse since 1986 and in 1998 founded Families Plus to respond to their needs in their own right. He has been driving the M-PACT (UK) national roll out to scale up Families Plus’ innovative Moving Parents and Children Together (M-PACT) programme as an evidence-based response to children living with parental substance misuse and addiction
He has championed professional workforce development and supported colleagues whose work has led to the designing and teaching of Foundation and Honours Degree courses in Addictions Counselling awarded by the University of Bath. The Charity opened the Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies in 2008.
Under Nick, the Charity has set an example when it comes to evaluation, commissioning a noteworthy longitudinal outcome study of Clouds House in 1995 and submitting other programmes and initiatives to external scrutiny. He now oversees the Charity’s research strategy, commissioning projects as well as managing relations with the National Addiction Centre at Kings College, London, which was founded by Action on Addiction.
Nick Barton has been Chief Executive of Action on Addiction since July 2008, prior to which he was Chief Executive of Clouds, which he originally joined as a consultant psychologist.
With an MA in Clinical Psychology, he worked in the US as a psychotherapist and family counsellor before becoming involved in the addiction field in the UK in the mid 1980’s. He has sat on many panels advising government on aspects of treatment delivery, family support and workforce development. He co-founded the European Association for the Treatment of Addiction, which he chaired for 8 years and was a member of the Psychiatric and Substance Misuse committee of the Independent Healthcare Association. He was a trustee of the Nelson Trust and currently sits on the board of Substance Misuse Management in General Practice. He was a member of the Topic Expert Group for NICE standards in drug treatment. He has advised organisations in several countries, taught courses and written numerous articles.
In December 2008 Nick was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Health from the University of Bath, in recognition of his contribution to the addiction field.
Company Secretary and Finance Director - Michael Clark BSc FCIS
Michael has a degree in Mathematics from London University and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators.
Michael joined Clouds, one of the three charities which merged to form Action on Addiction, in 2005. In addition to serving the Board of Trustees as Company Secretary, he is a member of the Senior Executive Team of Action on Addiction.
Prior to that, he ran his own property development company for six years, following a management buy-out.
His earlier career included being a Divisional Chief Executive of Swan Hill plc (formerly Higgs & Hill plc) and of Speyhawk PLC, and Finance Director and Company Secretary of Courtaulds Industrial Estates Ltd. He was also a Divisional Company Secretary of Courtaulds plc and Company Secretary of Samuel Courtauld & Co Ltd.
Treatment and Care Director - Kirby Gregory
Kirby has worked in the addiction field since 1990, in first and second stage residential treatment centres, as a counsellor, supervisor manager and director.
He trained as a counsellor at Clouds, to Post Graduate Diploma level and is a Cognitive Analytic Psychotherapist and an Association of Cognitive Analytic Therapy Accredited Supervisor. He has a particular interest in integrating CAT ideas and methods into addiction treatment and has also provided CAT supervision in the NHS.
He has been with the organisation since 1999, and as Director of Client Services for Action on Addiction for the last five years he has overall responsibility for all “direct to client” services and has extensive experience of developing addiction treatment services and their staff. He is a member of the Charity’s Senior Executive Team.
He has presented at major conferences on addiction, has contributed to expert groups for the National Treatment Agency and has provided training on addiction to psychotherapists in the private sector.
Director of Professional Education and Research - Tim Leighton
Tim Leighton came to work for Clouds as a counsellor in 1985, and in 1987 was sent to Hazelden in Minnesota to look at their addiction counsellor training programmes in order to develop a course suitable for British counsellors in the field. In 1988 he began to teach a one year certificate course at Clouds which developed into an externally validated Further Education Diploma in Addictions Counselling. He was also asked to design a post-graduate Diploma for United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals (later part of King’s College London) which ran for several years. He had a long term ambition to create a degree level course and this was realised in partnership with the University of Bath with the validation of the Foundation Degree in Addictions Counselling and its launch in 2004.
Tim has been a UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy) registered Cognitive Analytic Psychotherapist since 1994 and is also an accredited trainer and supervisor.
Tim was for many years Director of Clouds’ Professional Education, Training and Research Department and he has been the Director of the Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies since its relaunch and relocation to nearby Warminster in 2008.
Fundraising Director - Tristan Millington-Drake
Tristan trained as an addictions counsellor at Hazelden in the United States in 1983-1984. On his return he assisted in the development of the treatment, family and training programmes at Clouds House. In 1985 he co-founded The Chemical Dependency Centre and served as Chief Executive until it merged with two other charities in 2007 to form Action on Addiction.
The Chemical Dependency Centre developed five treatment services, both residential and day services, based in London and Liverpool. Tristan held three directorships related to the addiction field, one of which he chaired and was co-opted to the board of a fourth. He was also appointed to the board of trustees of the Henry Smith Charity, a major grant making trust, in 1999 and holds this position to the present day.
Tristan is currently the Fundraising Director for Action on Addiction. He is responsible for new service developments and generation of charitable income.
HR Director - Vicky Whitworth FCIPD
Vicky is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. She is qualified in the use of psychometric tests holding the certificate in competence in occupational testing from the British Psychological Society.
Her 20-year career in HR spans the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Having cut her teeth as a personnel officer in the Department of Health, Vicky spent ten years at the ethical high street retailer The Body Shop in the position first as a training and learning manager and then as HR manager. People management at The Body Shop was highly innovative, and Vicky had the opportunity to work alongside Anita Roddick at a time when the company introduced many leading-edge HR practices.
After leaving The Body Shop, Vicky set up an HR consultancy specialising in recruitment, performance management and the training and development of HR professionals. Her clients have included Denplan, Waitrose, and several government departments.
Vicky joined Action on Addiction in 2010 as HR manager and was promoted to HR director in October 2013. Vicky works on a part-time basis for the Charity alongside continuing to run her HR consultancy. She delivers training courses for HR professionals and is a membership assessor for the CIPD.
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