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Collective Voice appoints new Independent Chair

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Collective Voice is delighted to announce the appointment of Lea Milligan as its first Independent Chair. Lea is the Chief Executive of mental health research charity MQ.

Collective Voice began life in 2015 when the major voluntary sector drug and alcohol treatment providers came together to create a national structure to influence policy and share good practice. Six years later, we are now a national charity with a strong track record in both areas. With Lea’s appointment, we enter an exciting new chapter in our history.

Lea and Director Oliver Standing will together lead the development of a new Collective Voice strategy. Throughout 2021, we will be working with stakeholders throughout the field to shape a bold vision for substance misuse services and the people they support.

Lea said on his appointment: “I am delighted to be taking on the role as Independent Chair for Collective Voice. This is a very exciting time in the drug and alcohol treatment field with recent investment and a major review on the horizon.

As the Chief Executive of a national mental health charity I know that the relationship between mental health and drug and alcohol use is tightly entwined, and to fully understand one you must understand both. MQ’s advocacy work aligns with Collective Voice’s, with both organisations pushing for a more effective, evidence led approach to policy that impacts the way we deal with both addiction and mental illnesses.

I look forward to working with the members of Collective Voice and together advocating for those who need us most.”

Paul Townsley, Chief Executive outgoing chair of Collective Voice said: “It’s been a pleasure to have chaired Collective Voice over the last two years. With the Black Review on the near horizon it’s an ideal time for Lea to be joining the board. We look forward to welcoming him to the Collective Voice board and to working with him over the coming months and years.”

Paul will remain on the board and will occupy the Vice Chair position whilst its holder Laura Bunt, Deputy Chief Executive at We Are With You, is on parental leave.

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Collective Voice is the national charity working to improve England’s drug and alcohol treatment and recovery systems