Reading and Leeds Festival Advice and Campaigns Team (FACT)

The Reading and Leeds FACT is a collaboration between Reading Borough Council, CGL (Reading), Thames Valley Police, Leeds City Council, Forward Leeds and Festival Republic. Members of the FACT have expertise in drugs and alcohol, health and wellbeing, welfare and safeguarding, marketing and communications and events management.

In 2021, the FACT developed #LookOutForEachOther – a drug, alcohol and wider health & wellbeing festival campaign. Based on a series of animations, the campaign aims to raise awareness of these issues, to ensure festival goers have the best time they can, while remaining safe. The campaign is also used at a number of other festivals across the country, including Download, Wireless, Latitude and Creamfields.

The members of the FACT are:

Dan Burn: Health Improvement Principal (Drugs and Alcohol), Leeds City Council – CHAIR

Dan has worked in the drug and alcohol sector for two decades. He is the public health lead for drugs and alcohol in Leeds and Chair of the Reading and Leeds FACT. He has previously worked in the national Drug and Alcohol Division at Public Health England, as well as the national Policy and Research Team at the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse. He started his career as a substance use researcher and has worked as a drugs worker at the Westminster Drug Project. He is the Chair of the Leeds Drug and Alcohol Social Marketing Planning Group and currently sits on the National Executive Board of the English Substance Use Commissioners Group (ESUCG), where he co-chairs the ESUCG’s National Preventing Drug and Alcohol-Related Deaths Subgroup.

Sally Andersen: Senior Commissioner Drugs and Alcohol, Reading Borough Council – DEPUTY CHAIR

Sally is the public health lead for drugs and alcohol in Reading and the Deputy Chair of the Reading and Leeds FACT. She has worked as a commissioner for drugs and alcohol in Reading for ten years. This includes commissioning community treatment and recovery services for children and adults, primary care services, and hospital-based services, along with preventative work with partners (e.g. leading the delivery of the Drug and Alcohol Strategic Plan, trading standards and Licensing, harm reduction, and public campaigns). Sally has worked in mental health services for over a decade, in a variety of roles, more recently volunteering in a women’s specialist service working with vulnerable women who have suffered addictions, abuse, self-harm and more.

Claire Armstrong: Event Manager, Festival Republic

Claire has over fifteen years experience, spanning many corners of the live industry. She is currently an Event Manager at Festival Republic. However, in a previous life, she toured with bands such as the Wombats, before working as a promoter rep across various venues in Scotland. Since moving to London and joining the Festival Republic team, it has been the operational side of events that sparked her interest. She has a love for crowd dynamics, as well as looking at ways to better safeguard customers on site. She has been working with agency partners in Reading since 2017, looking at safeguarding policy and procedures and working to enhance the services available on green field sites.

Lucy Carter: Marketing Manager, Festival Republic

Lucy has worked in the live events industry for almost a decade. She is currently a Marketing Manager, at Festival Republic, working across all Festival Republic events. She has worked across a number of different progressive communication campaigns for festivals, particularly around the safety of festival goers.

Ian Donaldson: Head of Safeguarding, Festival Republic

Ian has over twenty years of experience working at festivals. During this time, he has worked across most aspects of planning and producing festivals. In 2019, safeguarding was added to his portfolio of responsibilities. Ian has revised both the Safeguarding Policy and Operational Plan, and both are currently in use across all Festival Republic and Live Nation festivals in the UK.

Sally Hall: Advanced Health Improvement Specialist (Drugs and Alcohol – Children and Young People), Leeds City Council

Sally works in the public health children and families team at Leeds City Council, with a remit around children and young people’s drug and alcohol use. With a background in journalism and an interest in health promotion communication and campaigns, she sits on the Leeds Drug and Alcohol Social Marketing Planning Group.

Mark Hindwell: Marketing and Communications Officer, Forward Leeds

Mark has worked in marketing and comms for over twenty-five years, with some brief spells off for time in rehab. Mark began working for Forward Leeds, the city’s alcohol and drug service in 2016. As well as promoting Forward Leeds, Mark has been responsible for a number of successful city-wide public health campaigns around alcohol and drugs (as the Deputy Chair of the Leeds Drug and Alcohol Social Marketing Planning Group), both for adults and young people. He has previously worked in the publishing and higher education sectors.

Lucy Kinsella, Licensing Coordinator, Festival Republic

Lucy has close affiliations with the city of Leeds, despite growing up in Spain. Having graduated with a degree in Events Management, from Leeds Metropolitan University, Lucy is now the Event Manager for Leeds Festival. Lucy began her career in festivals and events with Festival Republic in 2013 and has since worked across a multitude of events, now concentrating on Latitude and Leeds Festivals. Lucy is driven by being part of a team that creates and puts on large scale events in a safe environment and is excited to contribute to the growth and development of the FACT with like-minded colleagues.

Lynn Taylor: Reading Services Manager, Change, Grow, Live

Lynn Taylor is the Services Manager for Change Grow Live’s Recovery Service in Reading. With twenty-six years of experience in the social care sector she has worked within Mental Health, Learning Disability, Homelessness and Substance Misuse services. Lynn has also volunteered with the Welfare Service at Reading Festival for the last 9 years.

Millie Morris: Marketing Manager, Festival Republic

Millie has worked in the live events industry for almost a decade. She is currently a Marketing Manager at Festival Republic, focusing on Reading and Leeds as well as Finsbury and Gunnersbury Parks. She works in tandem with a number of teams at Festival Republic to ensure messaging surrounding safety, welfare, and more is communicated effectively.

Lee Newman-West: Detective Inspector, Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit

Lee is a Detective Inspector working on the Thames Valley Violence reduction unit as the County lines and drug related harm lead, working in partnership to deliver coordinated responses to drug related harm issues across the Thames Valley. He has a real passion for this area of work and prior to this was the County lines coordinator for the South East Regional Organised crime unit (SEROCU) as part of the National County lines coordination centre (NCLCC) covering TVP, Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex. Lee has over 19 years Policing experience in a variety of roles including front line response Policing, intelligence functions, complex investigations, partnership working, safeguarding, training delivery and serious and organised crime matters at a local, regional and national level. Lee is married and a proud father who enjoys family time, charity fund raising and running.