Caniad Panel

The Caniad panel is made up of people with lived experience and  carers. The role of the panel is to oversee the work that Caniad does and steer us in the right direction.

The Panel meets every six weeks, some of the things that they look at Caniad’s budgets, monitoring requirements and development of the service.

If you would like more information please contact

Caniad is run by the charities CAIS and Hafal, and was commissioned by BCUHB through the North Wales Substance Misuse Area Planning Board.

Health services presented with trophies by users at ‘inspiring’ awards event

The best mental health and substance misuse services from across North Wales have been presented with a host of awards – by the people who use them.

Treatment, therapeutic and community services from across the region were hailed at the first Caniad Awards, with categories judged and trophies presented by a panel of patients, service users and their family members.

The “inspiring” event at Rhyl Town Hall brought together practitioners, commissioners and people with lived experience of mental health and substance misuse conditions to recognise the best in the sector.

Amongst the winners were the team at Ysbyty Cefni in Llangefni, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board medical director for mental health and learning disabilities Dr Alberto Salmoiraghi, Prestatyn’s Artisans Collective and carer champion Keiron Rondel from the Gwanwyn Ward at Wrexham Maelor’s Heddfan Unit.

Since its launch in 2016, Caniad has directly engaged with and represented the interests of hundreds of people with experience of mental health and substance misuse services from across North Wales.

Its network of volunteers has created an involvement charter, worked with BCUHB to coproduce the region’s new mental health strategy, and championed the introduction of value-based interviewing for recruitment to substance misuse and mental health services.

Service manager Denise Charles said the awards event had been organised in partnership with members of Caniad’s network – and showed the value of ensuring people with lived experience have a clear voice in the design and delivery of the health services they rely upon.

“It was wonderful to use this event to recognise the best mental health and substance misuse services in our area and to highlight and celebrate the work of the people who deliver them,”

“It was an amazing evening – and to feel the hope, motivation and unity in the room was so inspiring.

“These areas of our health service continue to face challenges, and Caniad will continue to faithfully represent the voices of service users and their loved ones.  But we also believe it is important to celebrate when things are going well.

“Our panel feel that these Caniad Award winners are delivering great service, and are committed to working with the people who use the services they deliver.”

The event also included the premiere of a new film designed to raise awareness of County Lines drug trafficking produced by Caniad volunteers.

They worked with not-for-profit filmmaker Eternal Media to create the documentary and two other short films with the support of funding from the North Wales Area Planning Board for Substance Misuse.


Full list of Caniad Award winners

  • Value-based Interviewing Award – presented to the team at Gwynedd Substance Misuse Service for their commitment to shared values and involving service users when recruitment news members of staff.
  • TODAYiCAN Award – presented to Sam Watson, BCUHB head of mental health services in North West Wales, for her commitment to change and partnership working; and to the team at Ysbyty Cefni in Llangefni, which works hard to ensure wellbeing, quality of life and best care for all its clients, by working with a wide support network and offering accessible activities to its clients.
  • Shining Star Awards – presented to Keiron Rondel from the Gwanwyn Ward at the Heddfan Unit in Wrexham, for his work as a carer champion; to Arwel Roberts, from the Ask Centre in Rhyl, who launched the Hope Giver fundraising campaign to provide support to people who are facing challenges; to Adrian Whiteley, a volunteer with the Gwynedd and Anglesey Autism and Asperger’s Support Group, for his dedication to others; to Sarah Flynn, from the Gwynedd Substance Misuse Service in Caernarfon, for her commitment to others and contagious enthusiasm for recovery; and to Tony Carr, for his outstanding dedication to Caniad and to service user involvement.
  • Positive Practice Award – presented to Dewi Richards and the team at Ty Derbyn in Wrexham, who established a wellbeing drop-in session offering advice, support and information, which has now being replicated in other areas; and Matt Jarvis and the team from the Trwyeryn Ward at the Heddfan Unit, who invited Caniad to work with patients on ward improvements and activities.
  • Partnership Working Award – presented to Wrexham’s Community Care Collaborative has shown how working in partnership has helped vulnerable people to access healthcare, benefits support and other vital services.
  • Advocate for Coproduction – presented to Dr Alberto Salmoiraghi, whose enthusiastic approach to coproduction and positive leadership embraces change and improvement.  He continues to be a committed supporter of Caniad.
  • Involvement Champion of the Year – presented to Sarah Clarkson, specialist rehabilitation matron from Ruthin, who was instrumental in developing and establishing Together 4 Recovery and Carer Champion groups which are now both firmly embedded in BCUHB rehabilitation practices.
  • Innovative Involvement Award – presented to Artisans’ Collective from Prestatyn, which uses social prescribing principles to support all sections of the community alongside health services; and the Craig Hyfryd Community Mental Health Team from Holyhead, for their pioneering work to involve the voices of service users and carers.
  • Champions of Change – presented to Shan Ashton from Capel Curig Community Centre for her work to champion education in rural communities, women’s groups and equality; and Together 4 Recovery for its work to ensure equality across three rehabilitation units and involved everyone in change.   
  • Caniad Star Award – presented to BCUHB director of mental health strategy Lesley Singleton for her commitment to embedding coproduction the division.
  • Caniad Panel Award – presented to Peter Williams for dedication in championing the voice of others.

Awards were also presented to dedicated Caniad panel members Ruth Yarwood, Beryl Jones, Rachael McGarry, David Snape and Siobhan O’Keeffe.

Liz Craig and Jenny Burgess Caniad Panel Members

Sarah Clarkson
Rehab Matron

Dewi Richards and Matt Jarvis

Our Panel Members