Helena Conibear CEO
Helena, with a group of like-minded specialists in prevention, health promotion, PSHE/RSHE and education, founded the Alcohol Education Trust (AET) in 2009. The AET supports young people age 11- 25 in schools, PRUs, children’s homes, youth and sports clubs each year free of charge with the award-winning and highly evidenced Talk About Education programme, 16+ programme on alcohol and cannabis and SEN resources accessible via alcoholeducationtrust.org talkaboutalcohol.com and www.life-stuff.org
Helena is a former Trustee and member of The Institute for Health Promotion and Education, a member of the European Society for Prevention Research. She is also an accredited PSHE practitioner and lead author of the Talk About Alcohol programme, selected by The Early Intervention Foundation as one of the top 80 most effective early intervention programmes globally and awarded 3/3 for impact and 5/6 for quality of evaluation by the DfE appointed CAYT ( Nat Cen and Institute for Fiscal Studies), the highest for any alcohol or drug school education programme . She is a Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs and Royal Society of Arts and a Deputy Lieutenant for Dorset. You can contact Helena via firstname.lastname@example.org
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.”
Shona Johnston – Project Manager, Scotland
Shona has over 20 years’ experience in positively empowering individuals through assessment, group work, 1:1 and training. Prior to taking up post at AET, she worked for a charity supporting young people with care experience and loved working in both Health Improvement and in Youth Participation. She has also run a Peer Alcohol Education Programme in HMYOI Polmont and thoroughly enjoyed supporting young offenders to deliver alcohol education sessions and achieve their goals. Shona has vast experience of working in addictions and has worked in both HMP Edinburgh as an addictions worker and in a residential rehab for women and their children.
She thrives in delivering training and is delighted to join the wonderful AET Team as Scotland Manager.
Karen Perryman – Coordinator for the South, West and Midlands
Karen was a secondary school teacher, but since 2004 she has worked for children’s health education charities delivering workshops and training on Physical and Emotional Health and Wellbeing, drugs and alcohol. Since 2019 she has led the AET work across the Midlands South and West, providing workshops and training, engaging young people in interactive sessions on complex issues around choices and risk taking in an age appropriate way. She also hosts 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”.
Soraya Williams – Project Coordinator, London and South East
Soraya was previously a police officer for many years, dedicated to being the approachable figure, the listening ear in any community. A varied career that saw her and a colleague set up the first Domestic Violence Unit in Belgravia, also a plain clothes officer in Vice and Clubs in the West End and Public Protection in Wandsworth.
A major part of her career was as a Safer Schools Officer, working with Secondary and Special Needs schools, tasked to create positive lines of communication with young people, the school community and local police. The most important part of the role was developing and delivering interactive preventive talks to young people about the pitfalls of the ordinary world around them, from drugs, stop and search to issues around social media. She strongly believes that information is empowering but also the means of young people keeping themselves and friends safe.
Trained and experienced in Restorative Justice, Community Resolution and workshops for young people receiving cautions.
She also worked in a multi-agency safeguarding capacity in Public Protection, Troubled Families, Youth Offending and Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (Mash). Often returning to Schools where she felt most useful, talking to young people, making sure snowball fights didn’t get out of hand, to the serious issues of gathering information sensitively when a tragic crime impacted the young in the community.
A job that she thought she would only dip into for 5 years turned into a tough career that she looks back on proudly, that could not have done without; good colleagues, supportive friends, family and the great British public.
Now ready and excited to return to empowering young people and serving London and the South-East with Alcohol Education Trust.
Kate Hooper, Schools Coordinator
Lucy Roberts, Community Engagement Manager
Lucy has recently returned to work with AET after a career break with her two children. Having previously had a successful 15 year career in management, she set up and ran her own recording studio and music school in Southampton, and was the director of En Masse Performance Choir. Lucy has kept herself busy during her career break as the chair of governors for her local school, and continues to gig as a singer with a function band and acoustic duo.
Julie Sutton, Financial and Operations Manager
Julie is a qualified accountant and certified banker with over 30 years’ experience in financial services. Julie is also a governor for her local school.
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.