Ideas        2024

What’s the problem with inclusion? Diversity and belonging in the drug and alcohol sector

06 June 2024

The Workstation


Buy Tickets

Ideas        2024

What’s the problem with inclusion? Diversity and belonging in the drug and alcohol sector

06 June 2024

The Workstation


Buy Tickets

The Project 6 Ideas Conference is back for 2024! Join us in Sheffield as we bring together another action-packed programme of professionals, activists and people doing great work across the alcohol and other drugs sector.

Designing services that genuinely meet the needs of everyone in our community has been a huge challenge for organisations. It is one that the sector struggles with and one as a collective we have failed to raise to meet.

Join us as we explore together what’s the problem with inclusion? How do we build diversity and an authentic sense of belonging for all groups in the drug and alcohol sector?

    Thanks to our sponsors

    The Programme

    Panel: What’s the problem with inclusion? (BSL)

    Most people would agree that equality, diversity, and inclusion are good things; things to ‘bear in mind’ when designing and delivering services. But how often do we take the time to reflect and understand the true meaning and value of these concepts? And without doing this, how can we make a wholehearted commitment to challenge inequalities?  

    If organisations and services do not reflect the culturally diverse communities they work in how can they meet the needs of large sections of the population? The speakers will challenge us to consider whether ‘being inclusive’ is up to the scale of the problem, and whether this leads to an imbalance of power within our sector. The debate will centre on the experiences of women, queer people, and people of colour.  


    Martha Awojobi (JMB Consulting, Charity So White), Ailish Brennan (Independent Drug Policy Advocate), Anna Millington (HR M2M), Vicki Beere (Project 6)

    Facilitated by April Wareham (Working With Everyone) 

    A British Sign Language interpreter will be present at this event and a hearing loop is available.  

      Panel: Getting back to our roots: harm reduction and activism (BSL)

      Harm reduction has a rich political history. Many people fought against discriminatory policies to provide people who use drugs with basic life-saving services, many of which we might take for granted today. But to what extent is our sector still shaped by those pioneering activists? Has the growth and professionalisation of our sector been a wholly positive development, or has it had a silencing effect? The speakers will debate these questions, encourage us to reflect on the fact that progress is never fixed and laws protecting our rights to bodily autonomy are precarious. They will ask what ‘getting back to our roots’ looks like in the era of large-scale government contract delivery.   


      Deb Hussey (Turning Point), Maddie O’Hare (HIT), Jan Mayor (Turning Point Scotland) 

      Facilitated by April Wareham (Working With Everyone) 

      A British Sign Language interpreter will be present at this event and a hearing loop is available.  

        Film screenings and Q&A:
        The Recovery Street Film Festival

        For over 10 years The Recovery Street Film Festival has been inviting entries from amateur filmmakers who have lived experience of being affected by alcohol and other drug use, to show audiences the reality of their experiences. 

        From its early days of organising screenings in public places, community spaces and literally out on the street, the festival has grown to become a national event with entries being viewed over a million times.  

        The Ideas Conference 2024 is hosting a screening of 10 films from last year’s festival, followed by a Q&A with some of the filmmakers.  

          I’m Jit

          I’m Jit is a short film created by Jit Chauhan and local videographer Derek Roberts, Jit describes his own issues with addiction, the devastating impact that this life had on his family and friends and what he did to work through his addiction and turn his life around.

          We’re are very pleased to be screening an abridged version of the original film followed by a Q&A with Jit. 

          A British Sign Language interpreter and a hearing loop will be available. 

            Workshop: Racism and the alcohol and other drugs sector – Theatre in Flow *

            Drug policy is now widely understood to be a tool of systemic racism; rather than a ‘war on drugs’ it is a ‘war on people’. From the over policing and tougher sentencing of people of colour, to the fact that prohibition forces drug production into the hands of organised crime, destablising black and indigenous communities around the globe. But what about treatment and support services? Are we able to respond to people for whom racial trauma is a key driver of their alcohol and other drug use? The under-representation of people of colour in mainstream services would suggest not.  

            Theatre in Flow is an organisation that specialise in using theatre to understand and respond to oppression. Their thoughtfully designed workshop will support us to identify the presence of racism within our sector and consider how we respond to it in creative ways.  

              Workshop: The alcohol and other drugs sector and the climate emergency – Everyone’s Environment *

              The Everyone’s Environment programme is a collaboration of over 60 social and environmental charities to accelerate action on the social impacts of the environmental crises. The environmental crises do not affect all people in the same way; some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised people are worst affected by our changing environment and related policy.  

              It’s #EveryonesEnvironment and many of the people our sector exists to support are impacted by the climate and nature crises now.  

              In this workshop find out more about the link between drug policy and the climate emergency, and what action we can take. 

                Workshop: What’s LUV got to do with it? (BSL)

                George Charlton (Independent Trainer and HR Activist)  

                Join George for a hard-hitting and memorable presentation about love, humanity, hope and the magic that happens when we coproduce innovative and dynamic peerled projects in partnership with people who use drugs.

                A British Sign Language interpreter will be present at this event and a hearing loop is available.    

                  Art, Activism and Harm Reduction

                  Live painting with Marcus Method throughout the day.

                  * British Sign Language interpreters available  

                  The Speakers

                  Anna Millington

                  Identified in her early teens as a ‘prolific offender’ Anna has a long history of lived experience within the criminal justice system, and both negative and positive experiences of harm reduction and drug treatment services.

                  After her last prison sentence in 2001, Anna gained a degree in criminology at Northumbria University. She was asked by the NTA to represent women’s issues on the National Service User Advisory Group and was an expert by experience for the NTA on the Hidden Harm Agenda and the IDTS program where she delivered core IDTS training to prison healthcare.

                  Whilst others mainly identified her by what she currently did or what she had done in the past, she has always identified herself first and foremost as a mother. This was a facet of her life that was continually ignored throughout her criminal justice, drug treatment, and harm reduction interactions unless it was related to punitive actions.

                  Anna has spent the last 20 years working with a focus on women, particularly mothers who use drugs both as a professional and as a peer. She founded the HR M2M network in her local area having identified the lack of adequate provision for mothers who use drugs.

                  Ailish Brennan

                  Ailish is a harm reductionist and drug policy advocate who has been working in the field for 5 years, specialising in youth advocacy, feminist issues in drug policy, and the intersection between drug use and trans and queer identities. Her community, both the trans and drug using communities, remain the most important thing to her and she aims to improve the health and material outcomes of these communities through her work, in whatever way is necessary. She is a published author, having contributed a chapter to the book Shifting the Needle: The Impact of Global Drug Policy on Women where she discusses the impact of prohibition on queer women and gender non-conforming people. Ailish holds a bachelor’s degree in Politics, International Relations, and Economics from University College Dublin.

                  Martha Awojobi

                  Martha runs JMB Consulting, which specialises in anti-racist practice in the third sector. Whether that is helping Black led grassroots organisation to navigate the funding landscape, working with leaders to confront their relationship to white supremacy, or embedding anti-racism into organisational strategies and cultures, their approach is always bold, creative, and most importantly, joyful. Most people know Martha as the curator of Uncharitable (formerly #BAMEOnline), a home for political education in the third sector. Uncharitable commission writers, artists, host events and a yearly conference exploring oppression in the third sector and our pathway to liberation.

                  Deb Hussey

                  Deb started her career as a volunteer in a local drug service in Bristol. After having a variety of Harm Reduction focussed roles, including running one of the few LGBTQ specific drug and alcohol support services in the country, Deb moved to Turning Point in 2021. Beginning as a Harm Reduction Manager, she is now Turning Point’s National Safer Lives lead, a role which allows her to focus on three of her passions – increasing the emphasis on harm reduction, widening the availability of naloxone and reducing avoidable deaths. She also loves punk music and dogs!

                  Maddie O’Hare

                  Maddie is Harm Reduction International’s Conference Director and is based in Liverpool. She is responsible for the organisation of Harm Reduction International’s flagship biennial conference, and working to ensure that it continues its strong history of being relevant and impactful in our field around the world.

                  Maddie has more than two decades of professional experience across harm reduction and event management. Prior to joining Harm Reduction International in 2016, she was Deputy Director of HIT, a UK-based harm reduction information and training organisation. She remains a Director of HIT.

                  Maddie lived in Thailand from 2002 to 2008, where she worked at various NGOs focused on harm reduction and HIV. Her experience during this time fomented her belief in the importance of the meaningful involvement of people who use drugs at all levels in harm reduction responses and drug policy discussions.

                  George Charlton

                  George Charlton describes himself as a “Drug War Veteran” with over 20 years of direct lived experience of addiction. His journey has seen him incarcerated within the prison system, detained under the Mental Health Act, stigmatised, and vilified because of his drug use and is only alive today after having his life saved with Naloxone. 

                  George trained as a counsellor in 2003 and qualified with a Diploma in Person-centred counselling in 2005, a diploma in delivering learning, and then going on to complete a Master of Arts in Social Sciences and Health at Durham University in 2006.

                  Over the past 10 years George has gained recognition as the leading voice across the UK promoting and training families, practitioners and companies in the global evidence-based Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) approach. George is the UK’s only independent CRAFT trainer and supervisor to be endorsed by CRAFT Founder, Emeritus Professor Bob Myers from the University of New Mexico in the USA. 

                  Jan Mayor

                  Jan Mayor is the Innovation and Practice Lead – Alcohol and Other Drugs for Turning Point ScotlandShe first came into the alcohol and other drugs field in the 1980s during the fight against Section 28 and the AIDs crisis. She first went into a drug and alcohol service to complain about them not doing enough for the LGBTQ+ community. She stayed to work in the field, because she was appalled to discover that people who injected drugs with AIDs were treated even more appallingly than gay men with AIDS back then. That simple: “Its not fair”, commitment to social justice has kept her in the Alcohol and Other Drugs field, as a committed reductionist. She firmly believes harm reduction is inherently intersectional. 

                  April Wareham

                  April Wareham is Director at Working with Everyone, a collective of unique individuals who have both lived experience of social harms, as well as professional expertise. They work with marginalised communities and facilitate the NHS England forum Citizens on the Margins. April advocates for a system that sees people as whole people, and as part of communities, and lets them set their own priorities.

                  Get in touch

                  For questions about the conference and tickets, please email us at

                  Are time and budgets tight? We hear you. That’s why we’ve made it a one-day conference and kept the price low. Here’s what you’ll gain in a nutshell:

                  1. Engage with fresh ideas; feel inspired to challenge your own approach and share what’s working well for you
                  2. Find out more about developing services where diversity and belonging can flourish
                  3. Meet with people already taking steps on a journey to authentic coproduction
                  4. Expand your network of inspirational professionals
                  5. Get out and have some fun!

                  If you are unable to purchase tickets with a credit/debit card, we can raise an invoice for you. Please send a purchase order to

                  Discounted tickets

                  We have a number of tickets that are available at a reduced rate and free of charge. If you’d like to attend but the cost is a barrier, please get in touch.

                  Our Sponsors

                  It’s through the generosity of our sponsors that we can deliver an exceptional lineup of speakers and workshops whilst keeping 2024’s event affordable. Thank you to all the organisations and businesses who have already become sponsorship partners for this year’s conference.

                  Interested in becoming a sponsor? Find out more about how we can work together.