~ Fighting for Your Freedom from Addiction & Crime ~

Our Team

Sarah Templeton

CEO

Sarah was diagnosed with combined ADHD two months before her 52nd birthday. She thought that explained her life until at 56, she was diagnosed with severe dyspraxia, dyscalculia and sensory processing disorder.

Sarah is a qualified counsellor and coach and did much of her counselling in Young Offender units and adult male prisons.

She now dedicates her life to helping ADHD people who have found themselves in difficult situations. She has a particular passion for the homeless having volunteered for homeless charities for nearly 30 years including Crisis and The Big Issue.

She also worked for a short time in addiction and understands the desperation of people struggling with different addictions, especially those who don’t realise that the underlying problem is undiagnosed ADHD.

Her biggest passion is for Young Offenders. She loves nothing more than turning another tearaway teen away from the criminal justice system. She believes there is no obstacle too great to get over and now writes books to help parents of ADHD kids and teachers.

She is frequently to be found on radio, television and podcasts, raising ADHD awareness and thoroughly rubbishing the ‘naughty’ label ADHD continues to have.

The last time she remembers having time for any hobbies was about 20 years ago. All her time is now taken up helping people and nothing gives her more pleasure.

 

 

Daley Jones

Trustee

Daley has been an Officer in the Metropolitan Police since 2007. He was diagnosed with combined ADHD aged 36 and Dyspraxia aged 37.

He has a good understanding of the struggles that neurodiverse people, especially those with ADHD, face of a daily basis.

At work Daley set up and runs an ADHD support group, called The ADHD Alliance. The group hold regular support meetings, and strives to help anyone around any issue or query involving ADHD.

Daley wants to try and do more to help people with ADHD, especially those let down by the criminal justice system.

Daley lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife and two daughters. He is a passionate football fan, and enjoys collecting obscure football shirts from around the world. He has a degree in history and loves nothing more than a trip to a museum or historical site.

 

Alexandra Harvey-Bryn

Trustee

Alexandra is a coach, therapist and consultant specialising in neurodiversity, late diagnosis, employment matters, advocacy, staff management and leadership.

Following a late ADHD diagnosis, having been misdiagnosed until 37, Alexandra has since dedicated her life and career to raising awareness, changing the misinformation and supporting and advocating for Neurodivergent minds.

With a long and exciting career in Leadership spanning the housing, health, social care and criminal justice sectors, Alexandra brings a wealth of experience and expertise.

As an autistic and ADHD woman, Alexandra is proud to embrace and celebrate neurodiversity in all its forms. Drawing on her own experiences, Alexandra brings a unique perspective to her work, providing insight and knowledge to help individuals and organisations navigate and understand how to champion Neurodiversity in the workplace.

Through her work within the criminal justice system, Alexandra has seen firsthand the impact of misdiagnosis and the correlation between misdiagnosis and adolescents and young adults falling into the criminal justice system.

She has seen the appalling ways in which Neurodivergent individuals are so often treated and let down. These experiences have ignited her passion for challenging and changing the system which fails so many.

Alexandra is also a proud Mother to an incredible Autistic ADHD son, who continues to inspire her passion for promoting neurodiversity and supporting those who are neurodivergent.

Through her personal experiences, Alexandra understands the challenges and rewards of raising a neurodivergent child. But also the frustrations parents face navigating education systems. She is deeply committed to creating a more inclusive and supportive world for all individuals, regardless of their neurotype.

Alexandra is dedicated to making a positive impact on the world through her work in neurodiversity, as well as providing advocacy for neurodivergent individuals and their families.

With her wealth of experience and expertise, Alexandra is a true ally for those seeking to create positive change and promote greater understanding and acceptance of neurodiversity.

 

Jo Liveston

Trustee

Jo is a vastly experienced Social Worker of 25+ years working with both children and adults.  She specialises in children who have been fostered or adopted, care leavers and issues of employment and education.  She frequently works with families who have often multiple and complex problems connected with ADHD – most of it undiagnosed and usually leading to families leading chaotic lifestyles involving addiction and offending behaviour. 

Jo was late ADHD diagnosed herself, aged 51 around the same time as one of her two sons.  Following this Jo began to increasingly realise how often ADHD featured in families where children are already in care or are at risk of going into care.

Jo also knows how often ‘looked after’ young people can find themselves stuck in the revolving door of PRU’s, Young Offender Institutes and prisons and only since her own diagnosis has she realised how many of these young people have ADHD.

This has led Jo to become hugely passionate about advocating for increased understanding and support for those already in the criminal system.   And those at risk of offending.

She is also driven to work on preventing other young people experiencing similar issues which are often caused by a combination of untreated ADHD and addiction. 

 

Sean McNicholas

Trustee

Sean’s father passed away when he was a young infant leaving a stressed mother to raise three young children without any support.  Along with many other struggles in childhood, Sean scored a 9/10 on the Adverse Childhood Experiences test which he now realises affected the development of his brain growing up.

Without any support or guidance, his school years were very chaotic.  Even though he was a smart kid, he was very disruptive and was constantly removed from class.

He would often become overwhelmed and upset and ask himself time and time again, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ a common question asked by people with ADHD.

When Sean left school, he first worked with young people as a Youth Worker in the evenings.  During the day he was studying at college to become a Nursery Teacher, and that’s when Sean developed a real interest in psychology and how the mind works.

Sean became the first male Nursery Teacher in the UK and proved how important it was to have positive male role models in children’s nurseries, especially for young boys.

Throughout Sean’s colourful career, he has continued to learn and grow moving from one industry to another.  He has been a DJ, owned nightclubs in the UK and overseas, worked in the city as the CEO of an award-winning company and has been featured in Forbes magazine as a Tech Entrepreneur.

Sean knows first-hand the challenges of living with undiagnosed ADHD from childhood through to his adult life.  As the father of three children, Sean has a son diagnosed with ADHD along with other family members who are neurodiverse and issues such as depression, anxiety and OCD.

Sean knows that people with ADHD are in good company. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world are neurodivergent.  He firmly believes their success is based on them embracing their super brain. 

Having dealt with addiction when self-medicating his undiagnosed ADHD in the past, Sean is now a Coach specialising in addiction.

It’s only recently that he realises how many people he worked with in the past were almost definitely dealing with undiagnosed ADHD, leading to addiction, offending and other self-destructive behaviours. 

He is now passionate about helping anybody who has gone down the wrong path to find their way back.  He believes that with the right understanding, self-compassion, self-awareness and support there really is no obstacle anyone cannot overcome.  

 

Sam Bignell

Trustee

Sam is a reformed young offender, who only found out he was ADHD at the age of 29.

Unknowingly, Sam came from a family where ADHD was extremely common, but hadn’t been identified in any family members until Sam found out about his own Neurodiversity

He had struggled hugely at school, not being able to concentrate, struggling to focus, not really understanding what was being asked of him or what was being taught. He was constantly distracted, always the clown of the class, needed to be on the move and on the go all the time and began getting into trouble with the police from the age of 13.

By 29, he had racked up 500 arrests, 53 convictions and no less than 15 stays at Her Majesty’s pleasure. Typically all of this was connected to Sam self-medicating his undiagnosed yet severe ADHD.

Alcohol was his way of dealing with his numerous ADHD symptoms, but also the cause of his petty, but prolific, offending activities. He had an ASBO and most of his offending was either due to stealing alcohol, or his subsequent behaviour having taken it.

Finally receiving the correct ADHD diagnosis and medication was transformational for Sam. It saw the immediate end of all his offending behaviour and he hasn’t committed one crime since being diagnosed and medicated.

Sam is now passionate about early diagnosis in children to stop other teenagers having to lead the life he has led. Being constantly in and out of Young Offender Institutes and prisons in his teens and his 20s destroyed his self-esteem and self-worth and he 100% doesn’t want this for other young people.

Sam has stepped out of his comfort zone to appear on television and publicly for ADHD Liberty purely because he doesn’t want other ADHD teenagers to have the life he has had.

Now in his early 30s, Sam is busy working full time and is the very proud father of beautiful daughters.

He has no intention of going back to his old life.  Instead he now spends his time helping ADHD young people know that with the right diagnosis and very probably medication, there is absolutely no need to go through the trauma of being locked up, wasting the best years of your life stuck behind bars.  Purely because nobody has noticed you have any kind of Neurodiversity.

Sam is a huge supporter of early screening in schools, from aged 5 onwards and firmly believes if his ADHD and coexisting conditions had been picked up when he was in school, he would’ve had a very different life.

Michelle Holloway

Trustee

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Michelle is a mum to three sons and one daughter, and has spent much of the last 20 years fighting what she sees as a desperately failing educational system.

Michelle herself struggled at school and was decades away from her own ADHD diagnosis as absolutely nobody recognised her own undiagnosed dyslexia, nor combined ADHD.  She was finally diagnosed ADHD at the age of 44.

She was determined her children wouldn’t have to suffer the way she has and fought very hard for recognition of their difficulties from infant school onwards. She was absolutely sure each of them had educational learning challenges but was given literally no help – in fact quite the opposite. Her own parenting was called into question purely because she asked so many questions trying to get answers for her children. She became the target for teachers and schools passing the buck.

Nothing would put Michelle off though, and it wasn’t until each of her children were in their final year at school, that they received their ADHD, ASD and dyslexia diagnosis’ between them.

Michelle has made sure that her children feel empowered and can achieve anything they want in the world, whether their issues have been identified and diagnosed or not.

Her second son discovered a flare for cooking in his mid-teens, and despite being seen by the school as likely to fail at anything he tried, he secured a place at a highly prestigious catering college where he is loving every minute.

Michelle is passionate about all ADHD children and determined to change our current antiquated education system, which doesn’t cater for those with neurodiverse minds. She wants ADHD, ASD and all the comorbidities screening for in schools from the age of five so the correct support can be put in place as early as possible.

Khaled Helmy

Trustee

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Khaled has over twenty years’ experience as a Psychiatrist working with mental health disorders including Adult ADHD and addiction.

Not only is Khaled diagnosed with ADHD himself, he also has many family members and friends diagnosed with ADHD. So he knows about ADHD both from his professional and personal experiences.

Khaled is particularly passionate about helping people who have addiction problems alongside ADHD. 

Khaled completed his medical training in 1998 with an MSc and MD in Psychiatry followed by Substance Misuse in 2009. He joined The Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2013.

His medical practice has included time spent as Medical Director for inpatient and community services for mental health and drug misuse disorders.

Khaled has been extensively involved in delivering presentations, lectures and training courses to healthcare professionals both nationally and internationally. He has also published widely about substance misuse and mental health research. His particular interest is in the Dual Diagnosis of mental health disorders and substance misuse disorders – in particular Adult ADHD and substance misuse.

Khaled also shares our frustration about the amount of undiagnosed ADHD people languishing in prison because their undiagnosed ADHD has led to addiction, criminal behaviour to support the addiction and ultimately incarceration. He is passionate about raising awareness on this unnecessary punishment of people for whom the correct ADHD diagnosis and medication could have meant a very different crime-free life.

David Breakspear

Ambassador

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David didn’t receive his ADHD diagnosis until his was 41 years old.   Unfortunately for David, that was after already spending most of his life trapped in the ‘revolving doors’ of crisis and crime but being diagnosed was not quite the end of his journey through the criminal justice system.

Drugs and alcohol – self-medication -ran parallel through David’s life, with many failed relationships and ruined employment littering his past, as were many missed opportunities. Missed, as David puts it “because people were too quick to label me as ‘challenging and disruptive,’ but no one intervened, no one asked why?”  

First arrested in 1980, at the age of ten, with plenty of evidence that David had had a messy childhood, he didn’t break free from the criminal justice system until April 29, 2019, when he successfully completed his final ever licence from prison. 

Since then, not only has David stayed totally away from criminality, but he now uses his lived experience to educate others and campaign for much needed changes to the criminal justice system. 

He is also passionate about the education system, because being excluded from school at the age of fourteen and sent to custody for the first time aged fifteen, David is fully aware of the devastating impact of the school-to-prison pipeline. 

In 2017, the last time he was incarcerated, the prison population stood at 85,975, and at the time the Institute of Public Policy estimated that 54,164 of those had been excluded from school, and into the pipeline they went. A pipeline full of children with undiagnosed neurodiverse conditions. 

David is also a member of the Revolving Doors neurodiversity lived experience team.   He has spoken and presented at many prestigious venues, including the House of Commons, the House of Lords, Cambridge University, Edinburgh Napier University to name a few, and was on a panel with ADHD Liberty CEO Sarah Templeton at the Dyslexia Show held at the NEC in Birmingham. A panel chaired by Matt Hancock MP. 

In November 2023, David was awarded with a St. Martins Challenge Award for his work around criminal justice reform and for his work with Revolving Doors.

Having volunteered and trained as a ‘Listener’ during his time in prison, along with his own experience of suicidality in prison, David is also passionate about suicide prevention and is a lived experience team member at the Samaritans, and a lived experience influencer at the National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA).   

David says that the best education he received in prison was gaining the knowledge of who he was along with the understanding of who he could be. The rest is history, a history David is happy to share.