Meet our HEART Ambassadors

We're delighted to have the support of several notable names in research and media on addiction and recovery behind the platform. Here, you can learn more about the people who have given their backing to HEART, in association with Recovery Connections.

Dr. Ed Day

Ed Day is a Clinical Reader at the Institute for Mental Health at the University of Birmingham and a Consultant in Addiction Psychiatry with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust. His work is split between clinical research and teaching at the University of Birmingham and clinical practice in the Solihull Integrated Addiction Service (SIAS), a partnership between the NHS and three third sector providers.

Much of his research focuses on developing and testing innovative pharmacological and psychosocial interventions for tackling addiction, with a particular focus on social network interventions. He conducted the first RCT of front-loading detoxification strategies for alcohol dependence in the UK, and developed and tested a range of treatment manuals based on the concept of node-link mapping for Public Health England

He is a member of the Addictions Faculty Executive at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a member of the Drug and Alcohol Advisory panel at the DVLA, and part of the expert group writing clinical guidelines for the management of alcohol use disorders with Public Health England. He was appointed National Recovery Champion by the Home Office in May 2019.

To find out more about Ed, click here

Dr Wendy Dossett

Dr Wendy Dossett is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Chester, and Principal Investigator of the Higher Power Project, which explores the language of spirituality in Twelve Step Mutual Aid. Wendy, who has a PhD in Buddhism, also studies the range of Buddhist approaches to addiction recovery.

She is a member of the Welsh Centre for Alcohol and other Drugs (Research, Policy and Practice), and holds an ‘Unsung Impact’ Award for her work from Fast Track Impact. She is grateful to be in long-term recovery herself. Wendy is passionate about staff and students in recovery being able to bring their whole selves to University and in the potential for universities to lead the way in addressing the wider societal stigma that prevents help-seeking.

To find out more about Wendy, click here

Dr Suzi Gage

Dr Suzi Gage is an epidemiologist and experimental psychologist from the University of Liverpool. She has written a book and makes the award-winning podcast Say Why to Drugs, presenting evidence-based information about psychoactive substances in an accessible and engaging way. She is a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow.

To find out more about Suzi, click here

Shahroo Izadi

Shahroo is an award-winning behavioural change specialist and bestselling author, with many years’ experience working in addiction and recovery. Her popular ‘Kindness Method’ workshop (and book of the same name) provides attendees with the tools they need to self-implement any plan of change. Shahroo has worked with NHS, Turning Point, MOJ, The Amy Winehouse Foundation, Vital Signs, and won the Baton award for Thought Leader of the Year at House of Lords in 2020.

To find out more about Shahroo, click here

Natasha Devon MBE - Consultant

Natasha is a writer, activist and TV and radio presenter. She tours schools, colleges and universities throughout the world, delivering talks as well as conducting research on mental health, body image, gender and social equality. She campaigns both on and offline to make the world a fairer place. Natasha is founder of the Mental Health Media Charter, which scrutinises the way the media report on mental health. She is a trustee of Student Minds, a patron for No Panic, an ambassador for The Reading Agency and a member of the Men and Boys Coalition.

To find out more about Natasha, click here