Life presidents

Our founder: Lady Parkinson

Lady Parkinson founded Action on Addiction (one of three organisations which merged to form the current charity) in 1989 with the late Professor Griffith Edwards CBE. The purpose was to raise funds funds to support addictions research. Lady Parkinson's late husband, The Right Honourable Baron Parkinson was also President of Action on Addiction prior to his death in January 2016. Lady Parkinson is still a very active supporter of the charity. Their daughter, Mary, was a member of Action on Addiction's fundraising team until she sadly died in December 2017. Mary raised thousands of pounds for Action on Addiction, and also taught yoga to residents of Hope House, the charity's former specialist treatment centre in Clapham, London. 

Professor Sir John Strang

Professor Strang is head of the National Addiction Centre at Kings College London. He is also academic lead for the Addictions Clinical Academic Group within the Kings Health Partners Academic Health Science Centre. Professor Strang is a key contributor and chair of a number of international and UK policy and practice committees. He was appointed as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015, and a NIHR Senior Investigator in 2017. Professor Strang has over 500 addictions publications to his name and over 30 years’ experience in diverse areas of the addictions treatment field. He is one of only eight addictions researchers outside North America who has been identified, since 2000, by the Institute for Scientific Analysis as a ‘Highly Cited Author’ with citation rate in the “top one half of one percent of all publishing researchers in the last two decades”. Professor Strang received a Knighthood in 2016 for services to medicine, addictions and public health.

Lord Chadlington

Lord Chadlington has a background in PR and in 1974, founded Shandwick, which was once the UK’s largest PR company. He was Chair of Trustees of Action on Addiction from 1999 until 2007 when the organisation merged with two other charities to form the current charity. He has a long standing interest in addictions research and continues to campaign, both in Parliament and in the media, on issues relating to addiction – most recently, gambling addiction. He is a former member of the following Lords Select Committees: Charities Committee; Information Committee; EU Sub-Committee.

Sir Hugh Cunningham KBE

Sir Hugh was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1942 and fought in World War II in India, New Guinea and Burma. He was appointed Commander Royal Engineers for 3rd Division in Cyprus and Aden in 1963, Commander of 11th Engineering Brigade in Germany in 1967 and General Officer Commanding South West District in 1971. He went on to be Assistant Chief of the General Staff (Operational Requirements) in 1974 and Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Operational Requirements) in 1976 before retiring in 1978. In retirement he became a Director of Fairey Engineering.