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Professor Derek Heim smiles at the camera with a green background behind him.

News story

Edge Hill professor appointed new chair of addiction charity to help ambitious growth strategy

March 9, 2023

Edge Hill University Professor Derek Heim has been appointed the new chair of UK SMART Recovery, a leading national charity supporting people to overcome addictions.

He has joined seven existing trustees to lead and oversee the strategic direction of the charity and will help the charity realise its ambitious plans for growth. 

Professor Heim said:

“I am delighted and honoured to be joining the SMART Recovery UK team. The charity’s evidence-based approach empowers individuals to overcome addictions and contributes to international research efforts to enhance understanding of the recovery process. This is urgent and important work.” 

As Professor of Psychology, Derek’s research focuses on social, cultural and contextual influences on substance use and wellbeing. 

Professor Heim is also the Editor-in-Chief of the cross-disciplinary journal Addiction Research and Theory, and previously served as a trustee of Alcohol Change UK for many years; he has a deep appreciation of the value of a high performing and effective board.  

He added:

“I identify strongly with UK SMART Recovery’s inclusive ethos and values and I am looking forward to engaging with our volunteers, staff and my fellow trustees. Together we will build on SMART’s impressive track record and work to improve the lives of many more individuals, their families and their friends.”  

UK SMART Recovery is undergoing a period of significant change as the organisation embarks on an important digital transformation journey with its international colleagues in Australia and America. Derek will also be involved with the work of the Global Research Advisory Committee to continue to build the evidence of SMART’s effectiveness.  

Dr Charlie Orton, UK SMART Recovery CEO, said:

“The type of leadership we have in place is more important than ever as we deliver an ambitious strategy to better the life chances of those impacted by addictions. Professor Heim brings all the qualities and experience we’ve been looking for and I am certain the charity will thrive under his leadership. There will be a culture of innovation and operational excellence underpinning everything we do as we seek to make SMART accessible to as many people as possible.”

UK SMART Recovery is a founding affiliate of the global SMART Recovery community that is governed by SMART Recovery International. 

International president Jennifer Johannesen added:

“It is important that our country affiliates have sound leadership and governance practices. We are pleased to welcome Professor Heim to the global SMART Recovery community and are confident that UK SMART Recovery will thrive and grow under his leadership and vision. We are also looking forward to Professor Heim joining our Global Research Advisory Committee and leading research projects on SMART Recovery in the UK.”

March 9, 2023


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