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Helena Conibear, Founder and CEO

Following a long career specialising in alcohol, health and responsible drinking, Helena with a group of like-minded specialists in prevention, health promotion, PSHE/RSHE and education founded the Alcohol Education Trust in 2009, establishing it as a charity in 2010. The AET now supports over 500,000 young people annually in over 1,500 schools, PRU’s, children’s homes, youth and sports clubs each year free of charge with the award winning and highly evidenced Talk About Alcohol programme and associated resources.

Seeing a need for a practical alcohol education programme for young people in schools and informal settings across the UK, the Trust’s ethos is built around evidence based, interactive, feasible approaches that are adaptable to busy lives. Helena understands the importance of positive social norm based, engaging and interactive teaching methods that build resilience and reduce all risk taking among young people.

Helena is a former Trustee and current member  of The Institute for Health Promotion and Education, a member of the European Society for Prevention Research, and of The South West Health Education Group. She is also an accredited PSHE practitioner and lead author of the top ranking Adepis CAYT Talk About Alcohol programme  Helena, as a parent of two, has chaired two Parent Teacher Associations and was a primary school Governor. She leads the local COVID 19 volunteers in her village and is a panel member for Comic Relief grants.  

Kathryn Arnott-Gent, Project Coordinator, North

Kathryn is a university graduate and qualified teacher, having studied BA (Hons) Social Care (Children & Families) at the University of Manchester and the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) from Bolton University. She also has a wealth of practice experience working predominantly with young people, spanning over 20 years. She has 10 years service with Manchester Youth Offending Service, where she was a qualified Youth Offending Team Officer and Referral Order Coordinator, working with young people who were at risk of offending, or first time offenders. She also set up and project managed the Appropriate Adult Scheme, Restorative Justice and Mentoring projects. Kathryn continues to lecture on a part time basis, delivering short courses in Mental Health, Substance Misuse and Wellbeing in the community to students in recovery from addiction and to volunteers and staff working with the recovering community. Kathryn has been with the Alcohol Education Trust since October 2014 and during this time has built up partnerships across the North West of England. “It’s a pleasure to work for the Alcohol Education Trust, and I feel proud to deliver sessions to schools using the excellent resources that we have produced and to offer practical advice to parents on talking to their children about alcohol.”

Kate_HooperKate Hooper, Schools Coordinator

Kate is the Schools Coordinator for the AET and has been with us since 2014. She enjoys being in touch with schools and organisations and oversees resource distribution.
Kate has previously taught in a secondary school for 7 years and also has experience of charity administration work with Citizens Advice.

Alison Rees, website and publishing

Alison has worked for the AET since its inception and creates and maintains all the AET resources and the website. After graduation, Alison trained as a programmer and then worked as a business analyst within the utilites sector for over 15 years. She has also worked in schools as a peripatetic music teacher and has served on the committee of a number of charities.

Brian Gibson – Scotland Director

Brian started his working life as a professional footballer, during which time he achieved his Diploma in Business Management; but after hanging up his boots he spent three years working with the Careers Service in Glasgow.

Brian then joined Tomorrow’s People Trust, based in their Glasgow office. He managed all the Trust’s UK initiatives involving youth and young people’s services, in particular the innovative Working It Out programme, which he designed. Prior to this appointment he managed the Trust’s Scotland and North of England operations in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool and Newcastle.

Brian was a member of the Trust’s Management Committee and he has extensive experience of training delivery, programme development, marketing, operational, staff and financial management.

Brian represented Tomorrow’s People on a number of groups including local Business Support Groups and Government Task-Forces set up to help large scale redundancies. Brian was instrumental in helping to establish the Scottish Training Federation, a National Representative Body for training organisations and sat on a number of quality forums within the Trust’s operational areas.


Karen Perryman  – Coordinator for the South, West and Midlands

Karen has a wealth of experience in PSHE, having trained as a secondary school teacher, but since 2004 she worked for a children’s health education charity delivering workshops and training on Physical and Emotional Health and Wellbeing, drugs and alcohol throughout the South and South West. Engaging young people in interactive sessions about emotional health and discussing complex issues around choices and risk taking in an age appropriate way was a large part of her role. So too was hosting sessions for parents and carers.

Karen comments, “I feel honoured to be entrusted with this wonderful role. The Alcohol Education Trust provides engaging, interactive, evidence based resources and sessions for young people and their teachers. Empowering young people to ensure harm minimisation around alcohol is an extremely important thing to do and the AET do it superbly. As it’s known that parents and carers have a huge influence on young people, the sessions that have been developed for them are invaluable. I am really looking forward to the new challenges set before me.”

Julie_Sutton1Julie Sutton, Financial and Operations Manager

Julie recently joined the AET team as the Finance & Operations Manager. Julie is a qualified accountant with over 30 years’ experience in financial services. Julie is also a governor for her local school.