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  1. Anna Whitton

    21 April 2023 by viadmn

    Anna has dedicated her career to working with complex social issues, championing inclusive services that make a positive difference.

    Having worked in the voluntary sector for over 17 years, Anna has developed considerable experience in leading teams to adapt, develop and innovate to respond to evolving and changing need and content.

    Prior to Via, Anna worked as an executive director for BBC Children in Need. She developed and implemented the charity’s first impact strategy before overseeing a significant change programme across the organisation’s grant making alongside the charity’s funding response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Anna also has extensive experience in the substance misuse field, having worked at Addaction (now known as We are With You) for 12 years. Starting as a frontline practitioner and manager, her last three years at Addaction were as the executive director of operations.

  2. Dr Arun Dhandayudham

    by viadmn

    MBBS, MRCPsych, CCT (Addictions Psychiatry), PgDip (Mental Health Law), PgCert (Med Ed), MBA (Henley Business School), MFMLM

    Arun has been a Consultant in Addictions Psychiatry for over 17 years in both the NHS and the third sector.

    He trained in Psychiatry at Oxford and Cambridge before becoming Clinical Director of the NHS addiction services across Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire.

    He joined Via as Medical Director in January 2015.

    A keen interest in management led to an MBA at Henley Business School and membership of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management.

    Arun has extensive experience of setting up and running community and inpatient drug and alcohol treatment services, prison substance misuse services and dual diagnosis services.

    His research interests include pain management, online shopping addiction and chronic arousal states such as anxiety and their impact on addictions treatment as well as the potential of psychedelics to transform addictions and mental healthcare.

    Arun is also a specialist inspector for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and supports the London Drug Commission set up by the London Mayor’s office to review cannabis regulations.

  3. Abi Cooper

    by viadmn

    Abi is committed to delivering innovative services that have a positive impact.

    She has extensive experience of delivering improvements in quality assurance, performance management, strategy and governance in a variety of roles.

    She has worked in the non-profit sector for over 30 years; the last 15 years in leadership roles.

    Abi trained as a mental health social worker and has an MSc in Social Policy and Social Work Studies.

    Her skills and knowledge developed from directly delivering services in a number of health and social care settings. She has also worked in local government and higher education.

    Abi currently oversees the work of the Quality Team, the Data and Performance Team and the Innovation and Research Unit (IRU) at Via.

  4. Brian McGinn

    by viadmn

    Brian has a wealth of experience of over 25 years in charitable, commercial and public sectors including financial management, managing senior and directorial teams, strategy development, governance, human resources, IT and facilities management having qualified with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in 2001.

    Brian joined Via in August 2020 as Director of Finance leading to the position of Chief Operating Officer 12 months later. Prior to Via, Brian most recently worked as Director of Finance and Resources in the charitable and telecommunications sectors. Brian also worked as Chief Finance Officer for one of Northern Ireland’s leading charitable social enterprises for over 20 years, delivering budgetary growth from £1 million to £50 million plus and 800 staff which included mergers and acquisitions, financial planning and analysis, major capital expenditure, tender successes and grant management.

    Brian has continually worked with Boards and external stakeholders in complex consolidated multi-national companies in both the charitable and commercial sector and was a founding Trustee of Shopmobility Belfast, where he remained as treasurer for 11 years.

  5. Craig Middleton

    by viadmn

    Craig is Executive Director of Services for Via, alongside Tom Sackville, and responsible for leading on our high quality service delivery.

    Starting as a frontline practitioner in 2006, Craig has over 15 years’ experience in the field working across different settings and leading on a range of diverse services.

    He joined Via in 2009 as a Project Coordinator and has gone on to be a Service Manager and Area Director for us.

    Craig is our executive sponsor for the development of our core service delivery interventions for the organisation and is passionate about delivering services that meet the individual needs of the people who use our services.

    Craig values working in collaboration with the people who use our services, their families, our staff and funders to support effective and responsive, coproduced services that make a real difference.

  6. Graham Howard

    by viadmn

    Graham has been working in substance misuse business development for over 13 years.

    Within this time, he has secured multiple high-value substance misuse contracts and helped to diversify Via’s provision.

    Prior to this, he worked in the welfare-to-work sector which involved directly supporting the long-term unemployed into sustainable work.

    Graham is responsible for driving our strategic growth agenda.

  7. Tom Sackville

    by viadmn

    Tom has over 25 years’ experience working in health and social care.

    He initially qualified as a probation officer, completing a Diploma in Social Work, before working for Turning Point with probation clients whose offending was linked to substance misuse. As part of this role, he developed work with local youth justice services, triggering an interest in work with young people’s services.

    Following this, he was responsible for the development of a bail supervision and support and intensive supervision and surveillance service working across three London youth offending services, providing holistic intensive alternative to custody programmes for young people.

    Tom then worked for Catch22 for 14 years as an operations director, with responsibility for a diverse portfolio of substance misuse and emotional health, leaving care, gangs, youth crime prevention and housing services. This involved national programmes as well as local delivery, and taking an organisational lead on gangs and youth justice. It also included responsibility for policy and research work with a number of studies on youth violence being published.

    As Executive Director for Services, working alongside Craig Middleton, Tom is responsible for overseeing the delivery of services across the organisation, including having a focus on young people’s services, employability and recovery in action.

  8. Dr Yasir Abbasi

    by viadmn

    MBBS, PG cert, PG Dip, EDPM, CCT (Addiction Psychiatry), FRCPsych

    Alongside Dr Arun Dhandayudham, Dr Yasir Abbasi is Via’s Executive Medical Director as well as being as the clinical lead for Via’s services in the North-West of England.

    For more than a decade of being a consultant psychiatrist, Dr Abbasi has contributed towards the development of addiction services in the UK and United Arab Emirates (UAE), academia, and increased awareness about mental health and addiction.

    Prior to joining Via, Dr Abbasi was the director of addiction services at Maudsley Health in Dubai, UAE for three years. He delivered services in the country’s largest mental health facility at Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital and developed the addiction department, introducing one of the first community opioid substitute treatment services in the region.

    Before his departure to Dubai, he was the clinical director of addiction services at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

    Dr Abbasi also set up the Painkiller Addiction Information Network (PAIN) charity in 2016 which was the only charity at that time raising awareness about painkiller addiction and supported the government to order a review into it. There was a Public Health England (PHE) review in 2019 and he was a part of the expert reference group.

    He is associated with over 20 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has spoken widely at various national and international scientific conferences across the world. He also presented his views about addiction treatment on various media outlets such TV, radio, and newspapers.