You are using an out of date version of Internet Explorer, try upgrading for a better web experience.
- Executive Director - Niamh Eastwood
- 020 7324 2980 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Niamh was appointed Executive Director in January 2012. Niamh is a non-practising barrister who started at Release in 2002 as a legal advisor, she was then appointed Head of Legal Services in 2007, and Deputy Director in 2008. She has extensive experience of service delivery, policy strategy, fundraising and operational development. Having worked in drug policy for the last ten years Niamh is passionate about drug policy reform and believes that the most vulnerable in society are disproportionately impacted upon by the current drug laws. Niamh regularly contributes to drug policy journals and publications including Drugs and Alcohol Today and Drink and Drug News, as well as authoring and editing a number of Release’s publications including ‘Drugs and the Law’ and ‘Sex Workers and the Law’. She has presented at international and national conferences and is regularly invited to comment in the media. Niamh is also a Board member of Youth R.IS.E. (www.youthrise.org), a member of the Expert Steering Group for the Global Drug Survey (www.globaldrugsurvey.com) and is on the steering group for the UK Harm Reduction Association.
- Head of Legal Services - Kirstie Douse
- 020 7324 2982 email@example.com
- Kirstie was appointed Head of Legal Services in January 2012. She is a solicitor who joined Release in 2008 as a legal advisor and was appointed Legal Services Manager in 2011.
Before joining Release Kirstie practiced as a solicitor specialising in criminal defence. Having become disillusioned with the way in which drug users are dealt with in the criminal justice system, Kirstie joined Release with a view to tackling the problems at an earlier stage in proceedings by challenging policy and procedure.
In addition to managing the Legal Team, Kirstie continues to advise clients on the legal helpline and at Release's legal surgeries. She has become increasingly involved in the organisation’s policy and campaign work. Kirstie has a regular advice column in Drink and Drug News (‘Legal Line’) and has contributed to local and national press as well as Release publications. She has also presented at national and international conferences.
- Solicitor - Niki Durosaro
- 020 7324 2986 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Niki Durosaro qualified as a social welfare solicitor in May 2011 having completed a two year training contract at Law For All which was, at the time, the UK’s largest not-for-profit social welfare law firm. Niki then came to work for Release and is part of the legal team which provides free and confidential specialist advice to the public and professionals.
Niki is responsible for providing Housing, Debt and Welfare Benefits Law advice. She attends several drugs clinics in London every week and provides advice to vulnerable adults with drug dependency problems, alcohol dependency problems, mental and physical health problems. She represents clients at social welfare tribunals and is passionate about ensuring that vulnerable individuals receive the support they need and access the benefits to which they are entitled.
- Solicitor - Lorna Macfarlane
- 020 7324 2984 email@example.com
- Lorna obtained a degree in English Literature from Edinbugh University and worked for the BBC before re-training as a lawyer. She is a qualified Duty Solicitor who continues to undertake Legal Aid criminal defence work. Lorna advises Release's clients on the helpline and at outreach projects, believing in accessible, good quality representation for all.
- Legal Advisor - Matthew Lamba
- 020 7324 2985 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Matthew joined Release following a period of voluntary legal work with migrants and refugees at the Migrants Resource Centre. He now provides free legal advice at outreach projects across London and supports the legal team at Release. Matthew has a particular interest in the social complexities of substance use and is concerned with the impact that criminalisation has on young people’s lives. Working with clients in legal surgeries has confirmed his desire to continue representing some of the most marginalised in society. In particular, Matthew has a growing interest in assisting homeless individuals, young people facing criminal charges and clients who are especially vulnerable due to mental health conditions.
- Head of Drug Services - Gary Sutton
- 020 7324 2971 email@example.com
- Gary has over 20 years of experience working in the field of substance dependence including counselling, outreach work and formerly managing the largest needle exchange project in London. With his unparalleled experience and knowledge of drugs many committees and working groups have requested his contribution, and he has held advisory positions with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the National Treatment Agency (NTA), the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Parliamentary advisory forums. In addition, Gary has provided training for members of the RGCP, and has delivered lectures for the MSc in Addiction Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London. Gary has authored a number of informative and educational publications including heroin treatment and dependence, and cannabis, and has presented on numerous drug related topics at national and international conferences. Additionally, Gary has provided over 200 expert reports in civil, criminal, medical and military drug cases, as well as testimony. He also delivers a weekly counselling service in a clinical environment in West London to individuals and groups alike including drug and alcohol matters. Gary has professional memberships with the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals, and the Expert Witness Institute.
- Drugs Advisor & Researcher - Basak Tas
- 020 7324 2972 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Basak began as a volunteer in the Drugs Team in early 2008, and since that time she has completed her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Neuroscience (with a special interest in Neuro- and Psycho-pharmacology). She now works as a Researcher for both the Legal and Drugs Teams, with a particular involvement in disproportionate policing (part of the current campaign) and assisting with the expert witness commissions (provisional member of the Expert Witness Institute). She also provides the latest up to date drugs information and guidance to the public via the Drugs helpline and website, and to staff with in-house briefings. She is particularly keen on using scientific evidence to highlight and eradicate common misconceptions related to drugs and drug users..
- Drugs Researcher - Daniel Williams
- 020 7324 2987 email@example.com
- Dan joined the drugs team at Release in the summer of 2011. He is currently researching for the Release website and Expert Witness Team. Dan has a legal background, having attained a Diploma in Law and currently completing his LLB. He has a long history of political interest and activism and is passionate about all human rights and social justice issues.
- Head of Communications- Rupert George
- 020 7324 2978 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Before joining Release Rupert worked at the Daily Telegraph and was Head of Content at the online public sector IT publication eGov monitor. He is interested in use of the internet by charities for online campaigning and fundraising. This is coupled with a passionate interest in addressing the global governmental failure to address substance use effectively. He has been instrumental in creating TalkingDrugs, Release's innovative multilingual web platform to support drug policy reform.
- Finance & Operations Manager - Keith Edwards
- 020 7324 2979 email@example.com
- Keith joined the organisation in the autumn of 2008, and provides financial, administrative and advisory support to Release and our associate organisations. He previously worked for number of years in Higher Education as an academic eventually moving to manage a Students' Union. He has professional background in engineering whilst also having a degree in law (LLB Hons).