Vicki Beere to step down as CEO of Project 6

Vicki Beere has announced she is to step down from her role as Chief Executive at Project 6. After 16 years, nine of which she has served as its Chief Executive, Vicki will be leaving the organisation in August 2024.

Vicki said:

“I am so proud of everything we have achieved at Project 6. This role has been the challenge of a lifetime and I am so privileged to have lead this amazing organisation. When I started at Project 6, we were a small charity of 18 staff delivering services across Keighley as a key part of an ecosystem in locally rooted community organisations. The following years have seen an enormous change to the world of drug and alcohol services and the charity has faced multiple, significant challenges, navigating the competitive work created by commissioning processes.

I am incredibly proud of the work my team and I have achieved in managing these changes and creating a stronger, passionate, more ambitious, and more impactful organisation. We genuinely believe we can make the world a better place for people who use alcohol and other drugs. I leave the organisation in a strong position with 98 staff and over 100 volunteers, working across West and South Yorkshire, now supporting over 9,000 people every year.

This has been a very difficult decision, I genuinely love this organisation, the people who work for us and most importantly the people who come to us for support. However, the time is right for me to step down and I will be undertaking my PhD research at the University of Manchester full-time from September”.

Statement from Jo Morley, Chair of the Board of Trustees

“On behalf of the trustees, I want to thank Vicki for her 16 amazing years of service to Project 6. Her leadership has taken the organisation from a small team to one that is delivering life-changing drug and alcohol services across Yorkshire.  Her tireless dedication to the organisation has truly embodied our values, Vicki genuinely cares about doing things well, knows how much people matter and has a genuine belief that everyone can change, regardless of their circumstances.  Her decision to leave is rooted firmly in her desire to continue her work helping and supporting others, as she continues her studies full time studying and researching drugs policy, women, and harm reduction. The Board fully respect her decision and she goes with our very best wishes.

Statement from the University of Manchester.

Vicki’s PhD promises a quality, evidence-led analysis of changes to drug treatment funding and to treatment approaches in England over the last two decades. Her work is particularly concerned with how policy and strategy has affected women’s access to treatment services.  The research is urgent. It is important in developing our understanding of gaps in services, and for shaping recommendations for improvement. Given Vicki’s rich experience and knowledge of the sector, and her network of people who use DAT services, she is superbly positioned to conduct this work. Head of the Criminology Department at the University of Manchester Professor Rose Broad, and the PhD supervision team  (Professor Julia Buxton and Dr Will Floodgate) are strongly convinced of the timeliness of the research and the credibility of Vicki’s contribution to contemporary policy debate.  In this respect, her decision to pursue the PhD full-time and immerse herself in the data gathering, analysis and writing is warmly welcomed. We know that she leaves Project 6 with a heavy heart, and that this has been a major decision for Vicki. Full time study is a big commitment. But we hope this move into academic research and related teaching opportunities will be a win-win for all of us concerned with improving the visibility, outcomes and support for women who use drugs.