Expert Advisory Panel

Mentor is very grateful to this group of volunteers who support our work. These expert advisors bring a range of both technical, academic and specialist experience to support our programmes, research and policy work.

Expert Advisory Panel Members

Jayne Adams QC: Barrister, Ropewalk Chambers

Jayne Adams QC was called to the Bar in 1982 after reading Law at the University of Birmingham and the Inns of Court School of Law. Jayne has practised throughout her career at Ropewalk Chambers in Nottingham where she developed a practice in personal injury work, predominantly industrial disease and clinical negligence.  Jayne is now nationally recognised as an eminent industrial disease practitioner, featuring both in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2016.  In earlier years Jayne also specialised in handling civil claims involving victims of abuse in care which inevitably involved developing an understanding of the legacy of the care and prison systems as well as the effects of alcohol and drug addiction.

Away from her professional career, Jayne sat for a number of years on a local research ethics committee considering the efficacy of developing prescription drugs  and for some 15 years was a member and subsequently Chairman of the Care Ethics Committee involving the ethics of all aspects of fertility research and treatment. Jayne is an avid reader, particularly of current affairs and crime novels, married to a fellow Barrister and the mother of three grown up children.

Rebecca Dove: Executive Head, Sandhurst Junior School

Rebecca began her career at Rushey Green primary where she was latterly deputy head for 10 years, leading the school through two successful OFSTED inspections and a complete re-build of the school premises. In 2011 she became head teacher of Sandhurst Junior School and is now Executive Head of both the Junior, Infant and Nursery schools, managing a staff of 90 and over 700 pupils. Both schools are inner London schools with approximately 29% of pupils receiving free school meals, 33% of pupils being on the SEN register and 26 different languages being spoken.

Rebecca has extensive knowledge of primary education and advises Mentor on this critical sector. She specialises in understanding the needs of vulnerable children including those with limited English language, special needs and looked after children. She is the lead safeguarding officer for three schools and regularly liaises with social services and the police. She has extensive knowledge of liaising with all agencies and has a reputation for accurate identification of children experiencing protection issues. She sits on the ‘Fair Access’ panel ensuring that all excluded, vulnerable or out of school pupils get the education they deserve in the most appropriate setting. She is also committed to ensuring that children and young people’s mental health and well-being is at the forefront of all the educational experiences they have. She is passionate about every child meeting their full potential both academically and emotionally, and removing any barriers that may hinder that journey.

Viv Evans OBE: Chief Executive, Adfam

With over 40 years of experience working in the public and voluntary sector, Vivienne Evans OBE has a wealth of knowledge around substance misuse, prevention and education. As the Chief Executive of Adfam since 2002, a national charity who works with families affected by substance misuse, Viv has helped to unpick the stigma around addiction to cultivate constructive dialogue that connects with those most affected.

Her experience has fed into the emergence of drug-prevention initiatives in other European, Asian and Caribbean countries when she was aconsultant on the United Nations Drugs Control Programme. Viv was also a longstanding member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (AMCD) chairing the working group on the implementation of the Hidden Harmsreport, which examined how to minimise the harms of drug misuse on vulnerable children. She is a current member of the ACMD’s Recovery Committee.

Abdi Hassan: Specialist Drugs Worker at Southwark Youth Offending Team

Abdi Hassan has been a Specialist Drugs Worker at Southwark Youth Offending Team for over 10 years and is responsible for all drug screenings, drug Interventions and focused group work. He has also worked with the award winning Healthy Options team in East London, where he ran a service that worked with hard to reach injecting drug users with complex needs and involved a needle exchange and drop in service. Abdi has also worked with the Somali community on the use of Khat and harm reduction in Tower Hamlets.

Yvonne Kelly: Professor of Lifecourse Epidemiology at UCL

Yvonne has published extensively over the past 20 years in the area of child and adolescent health and development. She is Associate Director of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded International Centre for Lifecourse Studies in Society and Health (ICLS), and is Director of the ESRC-BBSRC Soc-B Centre for Doctoral Training in biosocial research.

Yvonne leads a large programme of research on children and young people’s health and development. Her team’s research looks at the following areas of focus: improving our understanding about the causes and consequences of socioeconomic and ethnic inequalities in health with particular attention to the underlying pathways and the processes at play; the uptake and retention of health related behaviours including drinking, smoking and physical activity; and the influences of family and broader social contexts for healthy development.

Dr Lisa Lione: Department of Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Postgraduate Medicine at University of Hertfordshire

Lisa is an in vivo behavioural neuropharmacologist with 10 years drug discovery expertise in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, including co-founding a private held biotechnological company, Cambridge Biotechnology Ltd. At the University of Hertfordshire Lisa is researching the pharmacological mechanisms underlying ketamine- and new psychoactive substances (NPS)-induced bladder hypersensitivity and NPS awareness via international online surveys. Lisa supports Mentor’s work around working with organisations to promote education and awareness of in vivo pharmacology and drugs per se in schools and universities.

Read Dr. Lione’s guest blog: Banning psychoactive substances is not enough, we need education too

Daniella Mancini: Senior UX Designer

Dani started her career in Government devising policies across a range of departments, including drugs policy. More recently she has applied her experience of user centred design to the digital context and become a User Experience (UX) designer. Following experience as Community Manager at a start-up accelerator where Dani was responsible for developing and implementing a communications and social media strategy, she was then appointed Head of UX at a London-based agency, where she led a team to deliver digital products for large organisations such as Marie Curie, ITN and Which?

Dani recently started a new adventure in Copenhagen, where she now works as a senior UX designer for a strategic and creative agency called Great Works. Her work involves collaborating closely with clients to design innovative digital products that best fit their unique identity.

In Dani’s role on the Expert Advisory Panel she supports Mentor with the development of creative and digital strategies, social media and youth engagement. Dani is particularly interested in how digital tools can support Mentor to achieve its overarching objective: to prevent alcohol and drug misuse among young people.

Camelia Ram: Consultant, Heidrick & Struggles

Over the past five years, Camelia has been helping clients in the energy and financial services sectors understand the nature of disruption and make better choices that balance short and long-term demands. Her expertise lies in designing, facilitating and project managing corporate strategy. She has also supported projects focused on identifying biases that affect individual and team decisions, and implementation of strategies to drive a more effective choice process. Camelia holds a Ph.D. in Operational Research from the London School of Economics (LSE). Her research focused on how uncertainty in the environment can be leveraged to shape robust choices.

Camelia has published in various trade magazines and academic journals on adapting to and thriving in changing circumstances and has reviewed various books on the topic, including Brilliant Mistakes and Winning the Long Game. She has also taught courses in judgment and decision making at the London School of Economics. Camelia advises Mentor on strategy development and is also interested in how latest thinking about organisational resilience in uncertain environments may be transferable to approaches developing personal resilience in young people.

Emma Hunt: Chief Executive, Parentkind

After a 20 year career in the arts, Emma moved to head up Parentkind (formerly PTA-UK) in October 2013. As a mother of two primary aged girls and stepmother of two teenage boys, it was a natural choice to take over an organisation with the potential to represent parents in the education sector. Emma has reshaped the organisation so that, as well as being the go-to resource for Parent Teacher Associations on the ground, Parentkind is both a resource for parents to help support them with their children’s education, and advocates for parents interests at a national level in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. In 2017 the organisation joined forces with Parents Councils UK and now runs courses for educational professionals in addition to conducting its annual parents survey, and delivering the ‘be school ready’ campaign, which reaches thousands of both primary and secondary parents.  Emma is passionate about giving parents a voice in education.