Mark Evans

Wellbeing College Coordinator

Mark has worked in the third sector since 1999. Mark spent his first six years working for Mencap and supported many individuals to access employment, volunteering, education and training. He entered the Drug and Alcohol sector in 2006, as a Criminal Justice Worker, and since then has held a diverse variety of roles related to the field (Alcohol Support worker, CBT Group Worker and Generic Substance Misuse Worker).

Mark has spent the last six years working within the Gwent Drug and Alcohol (GDAS) Recovery Team and has set up a diverse range of groups and activities to assist GDAS Service Users to maintain their treatment goals. During this period Mark has also formed an extensive network, with other Service Providers and organisations, to ensure Service Users can access support beyond GDAS.

Mark’s hobbies are: listening to music, playing the guitar/ synthesisers, hiking, growing vegetables on an allotment he shares with his Dad and keeping fit in general. Mark spent most of the 90’s chasing recording contracts with his band and had many ‘almost famous’ moments. He has written soundtracks for documentaries and was shortlisted to the final three for a BAFTA Cymru in 2011 for work on a BBC 2 documentary about World War 2 Codebreakers.

Mark is passionate about supporting individuals to discover, and rediscover, their potential. He has witnessed, and experienced, the negative effects related to isolation and disconnection, and the positive effects linked to community connection, empowerment and wellbeing.

Mark is responsible for managing the GDAS Wellbeing Team and Gwelcol.

Linzi Laverick

Wellbeing Practitioner

I have worked with vulnerable people with substance use issues since 2004.

My career supporting people on their recovery journey started in the Criminal justice system as an arrest referral worker in the North of England.

From there I worked in a structured day programme with those who were voluntarily requesting treatment, using group sessions that focused on relapse prevention work.

I then relocated further south and joined the NHS as a drug and alcohol worker and stayed there for 5 years holding a caseload of voluntary service users. Towards the end of my time working there I helped develop recovery services for the area.

I then spend a year back working with substance users in the criminal justice system before coming back to work in the voluntary sector for GDAS. I have been with GDAS for over 2.5 years now.

Wellbeing is a huge part of getting and staying abstinent from substances. By discovering who you are without substances you can start putting things in place to secure the changes you have made. A focus on your wellbeing helps to developing hobbies and making healthy relationships with people who can understand your recovery journey as well and helps to fill your time constructively.

I believe that positive change is possible, and I work to develop someone’s own self-worth and their self-esteem to have faith in their own ability to make those changes.