Shropshire Star

UK experts to speak at unique conference on alcohol addiction led by former Shrewsbury mayor

The programme for the second day of a unique conference has been announced and will include speeches from leading UK experts.

Jane Mackenzie with a photograph of her daughter Amy Liebich

Share Shrewsbury was launched by former Shrewsbury mayor Jane Mackenzie after she lost her daughter Amy Liebich to addiction, and the charity is holding a two-day virtual conference on November 18 and 19, called Alcohol – Sharing the Truth.

Jane said: “Leading researchers, practitioners and those with lived experience of alcohol addiction will be setting out the evidence for innovative new ways to achieve recovery from addiction, sharing ways in which communities and businesses can embrace employees and their families in recovery in order to promote mutual wellbeing and releasing untapped potential.”

Despite his demanding national role, Dr Ed Day will be giving his time to deliver the keynote speech on day two.

Jane said: “He is the national recovery champion who has been overseeing the development of the long-awaited National Drugs Strategy for the UK.

“He will be announcing the main recommendations and talking about the need for experts by profession, experts by experience, business and local communities to work together to promote recovery.

“He will outline why we must improve the way we support individuals suffering with alcohol addiction to reflect the latest research and why friends and family are crucial for successful recovery.”

The second speaker will be Professor Alex Copello, a world-leading psychiatrist, whose research has had a major impact on addiction treatment across the UK.

His work on the integration of substance misuse treatment into mental health services is now being implemented nationally.

Jane said: “He is passionate about the need to access sufferers holistically and to involve families in recovery.

"He will describe his ground-breaking social and family interventions and five-step approach which has been adopted by the NICE guidelines for use in commissioning services for carers.”


She said Lauren Booker would explain how and why businesses should support individuals within their workforce who struggle with alcohol dependence.

Lauren works with businesses of all sizes to develop and implement policies to address alcohol dependence.

“She will talk about her developing work in making addiction a protected employment criteria, demonstrating how a well trained and supported workforce is better equipped to support individuals to recover well and live their best lives," Jane said.

“Lauren will reveal how supporting businesses to develop effective policies and practices will tackle the impact of alcohol in the workplace.”

The spotlight on Shropshire will also feature Rachel Robinson, director for public health at Shropshire Council, Julie Kenny, adult services manager for Shropshire Recovery Partnership and Sonya Jones, service manager for young persons drug and alcohol services in Shropshire.

Jane added: “Sonya will highlight alcohol dependence amongst children in Shropshire, how services give support and what more needs to be done to raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol amongst children, families and schools.”

Richard Leith, operations manager at the Telford After Care Team (TACT) will share the inspirational peer-led recovery work being carried out at their base, Strickland House, in Wellington.

An expert panel will host a question and answer session and there will also be a discussion group who will debate the merits of controlled drinking versus abstinence based recovery.

People interested in attending the two day virtual conference can contact Jane at

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