The Leadership Team
Chief Executive - Graham Beech
Graham was appointed as Chief Executive of Action on Addiction in September 2015. He brings a wealth of expertise in the charity, public, and commercial sectors including: successfully positioning organisations with government, commissioning markets and with the media; developing award-winning marketing campaigns; managing change programmes, P&L accounts, business development activities, bids, and sales pipelines; creating and implementing strategic plans and business strategies; and building innovative commercial partnerships and cross-sector alliances in the addictions, mental health, and youth and criminal justice arenas.
Graham has extensive voluntary sector experience having spent over a decade working at director level in three highly regarded national charities: Crime Concern, Catch22, and Nacro where he led on the organisation’s entry into the substance misuse treatment market. Prior to this, Graham had a successful career in the Probation Service, culminating in the role of Assistant Chief Officer in Wiltshire.
He has also owned and run a strategic consultancy practice, working on a range of assignments including: developing the operating model for the UK’s first social impact bond; advising on a programme of prison reform in Mexico; supporting the development of a new social enterprise in the welfare-to-work arena; and advising on a major funding programme for young offenders.
Graham is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Operations Director - Marion Foster
Marion Foster joined the organisation in April 2013, bringing specialist skills in business development and operational change.
She has had many years of leadership experience in the development of organisations through operational related change and business transformation. She has extensive experience working in both the public and private sectors and an in-depth understanding of people and process related change in large, complex organisations.
She has held a range of senior management positions, working with blue chip companies including Schroder’s Asset Management, Jaguar Land Rover and JP Morgan Chase. Her roles have included operational and business management, coaching and facilitating organisational change, project and programme management and enhancing the effectiveness of people and performance through planned interventions
She is a qualified Business and Executive Coach and a Chair Magistrate in the Adult Criminal Court.
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 and Company Secretary - 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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