Our vision is to be a world class leader in rebuilding lives. To do so, we identify, develop and deliver evidence-informed solutions. This begins and ends with our staff and trustees.
Take some time to get to know the faces and minds behind the magic of Cranstoun.
You’ll also have the opportunity to read our annual reports.
Chief Executive Officer
Charlie has worked in the voluntary sector for nearly 30 years in large UK and Irish charities holding CEO and senior management roles. Prior to joining Cranstoun in 2020, he led Extern to become the largest social justice charity across the island of Ireland. He brings a strong values-based leadership style and is keen to ensure the people who use Cranstoun’s services remain core to the charity’s development and growth. Charlie is a Fellow at the Institute of Directors, a Board Member of the Local Government Staff Commission and is a National Lottery Community Fund Board Member.
Director of New Business and Services
Meg has expertise including policing, policy, and social justice. Previously, Meg was Head of Policy for West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, delivering the nationally regarded harm reduction approach to drugs, including leading West Midlands Police to be the first force in the country to carry naloxone. Meg led innovation in criminal justice and had responsibility for victim’s services. Meg brings her passion for social justice alongside a track record of delivering innovation at pace. Meg is supporting the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for the Vienna and New York Committee on Drugs.
Director of People & Culture
Kim built her career in voluntary and private sector organisations. Joining Cranstoun in 2014, she brought her passion and commitment to supporting and celebrating one of Cranstoun’s core strengths – its people. Leading this agenda for Cranstoun ensures our workforce is able to innovate to further its support to service users and be a part of developing Cranstoun’s future. Kim is a Chartered Member of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development).
Director of Care, Quality and Governance
Jason is a Registered Nurse with experience in the NHS and charity sector, gaining experience in clinical, operational and governance roles. His clinical areas of expertise include sexual health, HIV and homelessness. Jason strongly believes that people should receive high-quality, safe care that makes a difference to their lives. Jason previously served as Chair of the Royal College of Nursing Public Health Forum and was an appointed member to the Prime Minister’s Nursing and Care Quality Forum. He is an appointed member of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education Care Services Route Panel.
Commercial & Finance Director
Raj brings a wealth of private sector experience and knowledge gained over the past 20 years in industries that include manufacturing, consulting and services, as well as the charity and public sector. He has previously held various senior Finance Director positions, providing strong financial leadership, and strategic and business partnering support to aid commercial growth. Raj is a qualified accountant and a member of CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants).
Dr. Steve Brinksman
Steve has worked with people who use drugs for almost 30 years. He was the lead GP for substance use in Birmingham and was heavily involved in the city’s massive expansion of shared care. He was the RCGP’s West Midland Lead for substance use for seven years and since 2010 has been the Clinical Director of SMMGP and a columnist for DDN. Steve joined Cranstoun, as part of our merger with Swanswell, and leads on Cranstoun’s clinical management and quality governance.
Danny is a registered mental health nurse and integrative psychotherapist. Danny has worked in the substance use field for over 20yrs and is a staunch harm reductionist and advocate for people who use drugs. Danny is passionate about ensuring people who use clinical services have access to all evidence based interventions available and that interventions are delivered in a trauma informed compassionate manner.
Assistant Director of Services
Annie’s career has always been about supporting people to help them live the life they want. She joined the substance use field in 1996 as a GP liaison worker and has since managed a range of services across alcohol, drugs and floating support. This experience has built a remarkable knowledge of sector service delivery. Annie moved to Cranstoun, following the Swanswell merger, and now leads our substance use services nationally.
Assistant Director of Services
Wendy has many years of frontline and senior management experience in the fields of homelessness, housing and substance misuse, dating from 1989. Wendy joined Cranstoun in 2015, having been a director at a medium-sized housing association, and brought her pioneering, ‘can-do’ attitude. This is truly evident in the services she leads. Wendy leads our children and young persons', and housing services nationally.
Assistant Director of Services
Darren has over 20 years of experience in delivering criminal justice and substance use services. This has included frontline and leadership roles in the charity sector, Prison services, Probation services, and with the police. This has been in both community and residential services, including Independent Approved Premises. Darren joined Cranstoun in 2016 and for many years lead one of our high performing integrated substance use services offering support and treatment to both adults and young people. Darren is passionate about supporting and empowering people to make positive changes in their lives. Darren leads on our criminal justice services.
Assistant Director for Business Development
Luke joined Cranstoun in 2017, driving the expansion and mobilisation of new services to further diversify our offer beyond substance use treatment. Luke leads on income generation and innovation. This includes tendering, fundraising, and the development of new service offers informed by global best practice. Luke has over 15 years’ experience working in the third sector in both frontline, leadership, and trustee roles for charities that both address and challenge health and social inequalities.
Assistant Director for Domestic Abuse Services
Maria has been with Cranstoun for over 20 years, establishing targeted domestic abuse interventions within a number of service settings including substance use treatment and criminal justice services. Maria has led the development of innovative perpetrator intervention programmes addressing all risk levels. Maria has established herself as a leading national expert in this space, participating within and advising the All Parties Parliamentary Group for Domestic Abuse, and working to identify and evolve global best practice via the International Learning Alliance.
Board of Trustees
Lesleigh is the CEO of a disability charity in Surrey and became Cranstoun’s Chair in 2020. She has significant experience in charity governance, leadership, and management.
She has worked in the social care sector as a lead commissioner and has led country-wide pilot programmes for the Ministry of Justice, NHS, and the Home Office on the diversion, detection, and treatment of people in contact with criminal justice system. In her previous senior roles for the NHS and for a homelessness charity in London, she successfully delivered a number of high-profile central government programmes and is experienced in growing services while delivering against ambitious targets.
Treasurer and Vice Chair
Katharine was appointed to Cranstoun’s Board as a Trustee in January 2006 as Honorary Treasurer. She is also the Chair of the Audit Committee.
Katharine is an ACA qualified accountant and Partner at Buzzacott LLP. She has worked with charitable organisations ranging from convents to universities to international development charities. Most of her time is spent overseeing the audit process for these charities and providing financial advice.
Dr. Franklin Apfel
Franklin Apfel is a medical doctor and the Managing Director (and founding partner) of World Health Communication Associates. His current work focuses on building public health capacity to communicate risks and make healthier choices easier.
He has worked as Head of Communications for the WHO Regional Office for Europe, Primary Healthcare Fellow of the King’s Fund, Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe Project HOPE, a General Practitioner and CEO of California Health Leadership Inc. and Director of the Lincoln Hospital People’s Detoxification Center.
Franklin is a frequent moderator, facilitator, and presenter at public health meetings in Europe and beyond.
Andy is the Owner and Managing Director of Cogent Content, providing communications support for people and organisations with a great story to tell. Andy has created content for senior figures across business, academic and politics. He has worked across four continents delivering training and services.
Andy served as a trustee with the drug and alcohol support charity Swanswell from 2014. Swanswell completed its merger with Cranstoun in 2021. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
David has worked in the charity, private and government sectors at Addaction, Scope, Unilever, PA Consulting, Serco and Agilisys over the last 30 years. His focus is on leading change through sound business planning and project/programme management. He now works as an executive coach.
Naomi is the Executive Director of Harm Reduction International, a leading NGO dedicated to reducing the negative impacts of drug use and drug policy. Naomi has worked in law, human rights, health and drug policy at national and international level for 18 years.
Alastair's is committed to improving the health, welfare and understanding of some of the most under-represented and vulnerable in society. He spent a decade in a broad senior management role at the National Autistic Society, which included voluntary and commercial income generation, plus direct service delivery such as specialist advice and casework services.
Rebecca is Director of Customer Journey at Citizens Advice. She leads on the delivery of digital advice and creates a seamless customer experience across the whole service. In the BIMA 100 for 2020, she was also in Computer Weekly’s 2020 and 2021 lists of the top UK women in tech. Rebecca is a member of City Hall’s Smart London board and a trustee of National Ugly Mugs, a charity that supports sex workers who are victims of crime.
Anne has established an international reputation for work within the drugs & alcohol sector which has led to research at UK Government level for drug policy and practice reform. She is currently working on ‘wearables technology’ to detect opioid overdose deaths, labeling for alcohol products using face recognition software and women and harm reduction approaches. Notably, Anne has co-authored a number of UK ACMD research papers. She is a lifelong international research fellow on the U.S. National Institute of Drug Abuse, a member of the DOH NI Stormont Drugs Treatment advisory Committee and has shaped the development of the new NI Drug and Alcohol Strategy through her current membership of the strategy outcomes team.
Gail is a Professor in Addictions Healthcare Research at King's College London. She has almost 30 years of research experience in the field. Her research takes a gendered approach to understanding and improving treatment and support for people who use substances and have other co-occurring issues including intimate partner abuse, mental health and bloodborne viruses. Prior to joining King's in 2013, she has held NHS and academic research posts in the UK, Australia and Spain.