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Alcoholics Anonymous appoints new Non-Alcoholic Trustees to the Board of AA

17 June 2019

Media Information

17 June 2019

The General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous is pleased to announce the appointment of three new Non-Alcoholic Board Trustees (NAT's), volunteers from a range of professional fields, who join our existing Non-Alcoholic Trustee Dr Mani Mehdikhani who was appointed in 2016. Mani is a Clinical Psychologist with the GMW NHS Mental Health Trust. They join the AA General Service Board, which is made up of volunteer recovering alcoholics. 

The new trustees are:

Prof. Thomas Baldwin: Professor of Philosophy at the University of York, with several years of experience in the field of medical ethics (e.g. Deputy Chair of HFEA, advisor to the Department of Health on obesity).

Dr Eric Carlin: Director of SHAAP (Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems).

Andrew Wetherell: Director of ARW Training, a Mental Health Training Consultancy, working with the public, private and voluntary sectors, including Primary Care & NHS Trusts.

The new Trustees bring their professional expertise and experience to the General Service Board of AA. They are particularly helpful in raising awareness of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 step recovery programme publicly, because as NAT's  they can speak to the media in person, with photos or live interviews, since they are not bound by the tradition of anonymity at media level that regular AA members follow. The GSB board is hugely grateful for their support and commitment to AA.

AA's four Non-Alcoholic Trustees are available for comment and interview by arrangement.

"I worked in the alcoholism field from 1999 until November 2018, first as a researcher and later as a clinician, but despite this my journey to AA has been twisty and not at all preordained. To echo the words of a former NAT neither I nor anyone in my family or among my network of friends suffered from alcoholism and other than in the course of my work, and even then, on the margins, there was little reason for my path to cross with AA. In fact, in the beginning my blind prejudices and preconceptions about AA actively worked against it.  Over time my eyes were opened, especially as I began to signpost and accompany clients to their open AA meetings. This eventually led to my joining the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous Great Britain in 2016; being a member of this Fellowship as an 'honorary alcoholic' has indeed been a singular honour and I am hopeful that in some small way I have contributed and will continue to contribute to our primary task; to carry the message of recovery to the suffering alcoholic and to the professionals who support them." says Dr Mani Mehdikhani

"The quiet work, dedication and service of the AA Fellowship is tremendously impressive; I look forward to making what contributions I can to this work".  Says Prof. Thomas Baldwin

"In my personal and professional life, I have come across many people affected by alcohol. It is a tremendous privilege for me to have the opportunity to work alongside and learn from other members of the AA General Service Board, as I have also been learning from AA members about how service contributes to and supports recovery for the individual and for others."  Says Dr Eric Carlin

"I feel honoured and privileged to have been selected to join the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, and very much look forward to being of service to this wonderful organisation. I have many good friends who are in recovery from Alcoholism, and they are a joy to be with, as well as being living proof that the 12 Step Recovery Programme works. Personally, I would say that AA is one of the greatest social developments within the 20th & 21st Century – long may it continue!"  Says Mr Andrew Wetherell

Alcoholics Anonymous' mission is spelled out in its Preamble, which is read out before every meeting:  

"Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.  The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.  There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety."

AA has a national free helpline where first time callers are offered help by an AA volunteer who will share their experience on recovery and offer to put them in touch with an AA member who will take them to their first meeting.  Some people find details of their local meetings from the AA website or other sources and come along on their own.  There is no need to book, just turn up. If drink is costing more than money, then there is help available today. 

The national free number is 0800 9177 650 and covers the whole of Great Britain. There is also help by email at help@aamail.org  and lots more information at www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk including where to find AA meetings. There is also a Chat Now facility on the website.


Note to desk - we can also supply local recovery stories of AA members and contacts and local meetings lists are online www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk

*Alcoholics Anonymous Awareness month is November each year, there is also an Alcohol awareness Week which will be 11-17th November 2019 

For any further information, please contact Jenny at Jenny.Pryke@gsogb.org.uk