Prof Matt Hickman

The co-director with Isabel Oliver (Public Health England) of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit on Evaluation of Interventions and Head of Population Health Sciences at University of Bristol. His research programme focuses on infectious disease control and the epidemiology and public health consequences of drug use – with active research grants on prevention of Hepatitis C Virus, drug related mortality, and alcohol related harms.


Dr Lindsey Porter

Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow and a member of the Centre for Health, Law and Society in the University of Bristol Law School. Her current research focuses on philosophical, ethical and policy issues around illicit drug use and Harm Reduction. Her most recent work – a short write-up of a larger project looking at whether people who use drugs deserve Harm Reduction – can be found in the Health Care Analysis special issue on the philosophy & political theory of Harm Reduction (2020: 28,4).


DCI Jason Kew

Jason is in the final year of his Policing career where he has worked in both uniform and as a detective in each rank to Ch Insp, within frontline, CID, Major crime and intelligence Policing teams. JQ is a humanist, compassionate and social justice orientated person and Police officer, having prioritised drug related deaths, homelessness and vulnerability in the design of Thames Valley’s award winning drug diversion scheme. JQ is driven to reduce the stigma of addiction and drug use, implementing schemes in schools to preclude exclusions and enable everyone found with drugs a non-judgemental assessment about they are using and tailored education and harm reduction to reduce risk. He will also describe why he is a strong advocate of supervised injecting facilities and injectable opioid treatment.


Dr Magdalena Harris

Associate Professor in the Sociology of Health at LSHTM. Her expertise lies in qualitative methods and the social sciences of hepatitis C and harm reduction. She has been based at LSHTM since 2009, where she conducts a programme of research investigating the lived experience of hepatitis C, its treatment and prevention in the UK.

Magdalena is a former recipient of an NIHR Post-Doctoral Fellowship (‘The Hepatitis C Treatment Journey’) and currently holds an NIHR Career Development Fellowship (‘Care and Prevent’). This mixed-method project extends beyond a focus on hepatitis C and qualitative methods. It is the first study in the UK to investigate the barriers and facilitators to skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) care for people who inject drugs, and the first globally to explore the potential of urine screening in drug treatment settings for preventing SSTI-related kidney failure (AA amyloidosis).

Magdalena has an extensive track-record in academic-community partnership, peer research, and in disseminating research findings in close collaboration with community organisations. She is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Drug Policy.


Maggie Telfer OBE

CEO of Bristol Drugs Project (BDP). Since opening its doors on 10 March 1985, BDP helps around 3,000 adults and young people who are experiencing problems with their drug or alcohol use each and every year.

Maggie says ‘I learnt more than I contributed about reducing harm during a decade’s partnership with The Omari Project on coastal Kenya into 2000’s.’ Three years in, securing International Big Lottery funding to open the first residential detox and rehabilitation centre in sub-Saharan Africa without fees for people who were heroin dependent. A partnership Board member of Bristol’s 8-year Fulfilling Lives programme ‘Golden Key’ looking at system change needed to improve experience and outcomes for people with multiple disadvantages.

Immersed in harm reduction: from running one of the first pilot Needle & Syringe Programmes in 1987; growing GP-based Opioid Substitution Therapy to meet the needs of Bristol’s new generation of people using heroin from 1992; to co-producing materials with people with lived experience to support uptake of Low Dead Space syringes.

A passionate advocate of reducing the stigma which stops many people seeking support for what many judge as a self-inflicted problem, less deserving of support, and where judgement is often harsher for women and parents.

And forever interested in nimble research collaborations which deliver as near real-time learning as possible to inform and improve services


Councillor Asher Craig

Asher has spent over 30 years as a community activist, leader, management consultant and now local politician.  She has championed the needs of the voice-less, with a particular emphasis on the social-economic development of BME and under-represented communities.  She has led and Chaired a number of major partnerships and organisations at local, regional and national level and has worked in the field of employment & training, education & skills, recruitment, advocacy, equality & diversity within local government and the third sector.

Asher was elected as the Labour Councillor for the ward of St George West, Bristol in May 2016 and was appointed to the Cabinet with the wide reaching portfolio of Neighbourhoods in August 2016.

In March 2017 Asher was asked to step into the new role of Deputy Mayor – Communities, bringing into & elevating the issue of Public Health within her new portfolio.  She is committed to address the inequities and multi-level public health risks that impact diverse urban populations through the lens of racial and ethnic health disparities at all levels.

One of Asher’s proudest achievements is the development of a new ground-breaking and multiple award-winning Stepping Up leadership programme, using the Bristol “One City Approach”.

Asher is a member of Avon & Somerset Police & Crime Panel, trustee of a national education charity and awarding body and the proud mother of 3 daughters.