Ailsa Rutter OBE
Director of Fresh and Balance
Ailsa helped to establish Fresh in 2005 and has been its Director from the beginning and has been the key figure head for the region and its vision to end smoking. Ailsa is passionate having lost her own father to smoking. She took over as Director of Balance in 2022 overseeing the overall strategic direction of the multi strand Fresh Balance Programme including leading on advocacy. She originally trained as a nurse and has worked on public health programmes in the UK and Australia.
Head of Alcohol Policy
Sue has been with the Programme since Balance was first launched in 2009. A history and politics graduate Sue previously worked for the Home Office and Ministry of Justice on drug and alcohol policy and takes the strategic lead across the development of our key alcohol policies and is our international and national lead with Eurocare and also the Alcohol Health Alliance.
Head of Media and Communications
Andy has been with the Programme since 2008. Formerly a journalist, he worked in local government communications. A qualified CIM marketeer, he takes the lead on the development, delivery and evaluation of all our award winning media campaigns and leads on year round mass media, news and PR activities on both tobacco and alcohol.
Lisa has been with the Programme since Fresh was first launched in 2005. With a background in HR and organisational management and having worked for the National Treatment Agency for substance misuse she takes the lead on the effective running of the Programme and also provides strategic guidance and expertise around partnerships and local delivery planning.
Catherine has been with the Programme since 2008. A politics graduate, she worked in local government before becoming our lead across a wide range of tobacco and alcohol regulation and our expert lead on vaping and is also the chair and coordinator for the multi-agency national Illicit Tobacco Partnership.
Media and Communications Specialist
Neil is the newest member of the programme. As a trained journalist, he worked as Senior Breakfast Presenter at BBC Radio Tees in Middlesbrough. Neil’s background in broadcasting across the region goes back nearly 30 years. He now supports the development, delivery and evaluation of all our award winning media campaigns , liaises with all our incredible partners and helps the social media, mass media, news and PR activities on both tobacco and alcohol.
Smokefree NHS Strategic Manager
Rachel is hosted on behalf of the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board. With a background in public health within local government, since 2021 Rachel has taken the lead on the roll out of the NHS Long Term Plan across the region and providing strategic leadership and advice around a system wide approach to treating tobacco dependency.
Sue has been with the Programme since 2021 and prior to her time with us worked in the finance industry. She provides administrative support to the whole team and is also actively involved in the Equality and Diversity committee of our host employer
Tiff has been with the Progamme since 2020 and with a background in psychology and stop smoking service delivery she provides a range of project support across all our strands of work. Tiff currently focuses on the Smokefree NHS agenda and particularly around support to the Tobacco Dependency Treatment Services across our NHS Trusts.