Elizabeth Burton-Phillips, MBE

Founder / Trustee

As the founder of DrugFAM I have fulfilled a number of roles since 2006. I had the privilege of being the CEO of DrugFAM from 2012-2015 but stepped down to join the board of trustees. As well as sitting on the board I continue to volunteer for the charity in two main roles; client support through the helpline, support groups and one-to-one meetings and awareness raising through giving educational talks in schools, prisons and at performances of the play

The governance of the charity is extremely important to me because, like all my fellow trustees, I want to see the charity grow and flourish to serve the needs of all those who reach out to us for support. I like to use my specific skills as both founder and trustee to both spread the word about our responsibility for directing the affairs of the charity, and ensuring that it is solvent, well-run, and delivering the charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public for which it has been set up.

I feel very proud to be a member of the board of trustees and I will always strive to ensure that DrugFAM remains true to its aims and objectives in memory of my son whose story gave birth to DrugFAM.


Laura Furness

Chair of Trustees

Laura became our Chair in May 2022. Since 2015 Laura has been the Head of Funding, and a member of the English Leadership Team, at the National Lottery Community Fund, during which time she had a secondment as the Head of Engagement with the Royal Society for Public Health. Before that she was a Policy Advisor in the Office for Civil Society in the Cabinet Office and for ten years prior to that held a variety of roles in drug and alcohol services in the criminal justice and voluntary sector. She is a Trustee of 52 Lives (one of the charities chosen by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex as their ‘Forces for Change’) and the Chair of Reach Out for Mental Health. 

Laura said “I’m incredibly excited and honoured to take this role. I’ve known about DrugFAM for a long time and am constantly impressed by what you all do. The DrugFAM mission is one very, very close to my heart for both personal and professional reasons and I can’t wait to see where we can take this hugely important issue. I very much look forward to meeting you all and hearing what matters to you and the people you are supporting.”


Noel McDermott


Broadcaster, Licensed Psychotherapist and Founder of international mental health organisations

Noel McDermott is Licensed Psychotherapist with over 25 years’ industry experience. He offers counselling and support to individuals, couples, families and groups using tailored approaches including cognitive behavioural, psycho-dynamic, arts based and drama therapies.

His career within the mental health industry started in 1996 when he undertook a post graduate qualification as a therapist. Today, Noel runs a group of very successful psychotherapy and consultancy businesses supporting individuals and families struggling with problems including depression, addiction and trauma. In 2019, Noel launched Sober Help Ltd., a bespoke service providing long term community-based care for recovery from addictions. His company Mental Health Works offers wellbeing in the workplace advice and solutions for employers and creates bespoke care models for highly valued executives.

Noel is well-known to the UK media and he writes and provides comment for national press titles such as the Daily Mail, Daily Express and The Daily Telegraph. He also produces and presents his own weekly show on Men’s Radio Station ‘Well-being Wednesdays with Noel McDermott’, which provides listeners with practical advice and information about mental health. He is regularly invited to speak at conferences, runs workshops and is in the process of publishing a series of e-books.


Catherine Adcock


Having worked for national and local newspapers, Cathy moved into the non-for-profit sector over 25 years ago. Cathy’s career in the charity sector started with community and corporate fundraising for several national charities before moving to homeless charity, Julian House. in 2003.

Cathy has seen Julian House grow from 30 colleagues to 150, as well as geographical growth from providing support in just Bath, to now providing support in over 6 counties.

Cathy is an experienced Fundraising Manager, who has overseen the development of new fundraising strategies and communication policies covering individual, community and corporate and digital fundraising. Cathy has also developed a strong and successful fundraising events calendar across the South West.

“Working in the homeless sector I have seen first-hand the devastation addiction can cause. Sadly, I have met many families who have had to cope with the trauma of losing loved ones to addiction. Having known the Mills family for many years, and the amazing work the Drugfam team are doing. I have been able to sign-post many families to Drugfam where I know they have received exceptional support.”

Miranda D

Miranda Dunn


Miranda’s background is in fashion and for the last ten years she has had her own business manufacturing clothes for the High Street with brands such as Top Shop and Anthropologie.

Her entrepreneurial experience has been very helpful for DrugFAM, particularly in supporting the development of strategies for raising awareness and funds.

Miranda has a deep understanding of impact of addiction in families . She has a great awareness of the how isolating addiction can be for families and she is keen to help reduce the stigma of addiction.

As we know, successive lockdowns have increased the impact of addiction and as a result Miranda’s own commitment to helping and supporting families affected by it has grown.


Rodney D'Costa


Rodney is a qualified accountant with a successful senior management career in local government. Now retired from paid employment, he sees the role as an excellent opportunity to use his skills, working with other Trustees, staff and volunteers, to help ensure the continued legacy of DrugFAM through extending its support to an increasing number and wider geographic spread of individuals and families affected by the addiction, bereavement and substance misuse issues of their loved ones.

Since 2007, Rodney has volunteered with the Youth Offending Team at Bracknell Forest Council, where his main focus is as a Restorative Justice (RJ) Panel Chair.

“I find the RJ role really rewarding, particularly when you see a young offender at the start of the process and the positive transformation that takes place over a number of months, as a result of tailored interventions and the support from professionals from various organisations and multi-disciplinary backgrounds”.

It was at one of the YOT Volunteers’ meeting, at which Elizabeth Burton-Phillips was giving a presentation, that Rodney first got inspired by the work of DrugFAM.


Isobel Morrow, MBE


I was a member of The Independent Monitoring Board at Reading YOI Prison for 15 years, 4 of which I was Chair. The IMB monitors the day to day running of the prison and ensure that proper standards of care and decency are maintained. Many of the young men in prison were there because of drug related crimes and I was passionate that more should be done to educate them of the harm drugs can do to them and their families. After Elizabeth came to talk to the prisoners at my suggestion in 2009, it was obvious they had never thought about the damage they were doing to themselves and family.

In a previous life I was a lay Assessor for Oxfordshire County Council inspecting Childrens Homes, a secondary school Governor for 15 years, and a member of the British Red Cross for 20 years working at a Sue Ryder Hospice.

I am currently still self-employed after 20 years of working for The Safeguarding of Children Complaints Team for Oxfordshire County council as an Independent Person. I am also a Trustee of an Educational Trust, a role I have been doing for 2 years. I received The MBE for Services to the Community in the Thames Valley in 2012.

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