Sidmouth College holds drug awareness sessions for students, staff and parents

Sidmouth coleege public consultation for their new school building. Ref shh 42 18TI 3108. Picture: T

Sidmouth coleege public consultation for their new school building. Ref shh 42 18TI 3108. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Experienced trainers will present sessions on recognising and tackling drug abuse among young people

Drug awareness sessions are to be held next week for students, staff, parents and youth workers at Sidmouth College.

The sessions are part of the college’s ongoing work to tackle drug abuse and support any students affected by it.

Vice principal Matt White said: “Substance misuse is not new, but is an increasing threat to the young people of Sidmouth and beyond.

“The college feels that we can take a proactive approach in tackling some of the issues young people face in the decision to take substances or not. All young people will encounter drugs and substances in their lives. We are happy to provide factual based information from national speakers to provide them with the current thinking and issues.”

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Students will take part in the sessions during the school day on Thursday, November 1. Then there is an after-school session for college staff, which is also open to anyone working with young people in the local community. The awareness training aimed at parents starts at 6pm and is also open to other youth workers.

The sessions will be conducted by Drug Sense UK, whose trainers come from professional backgrounds such as the police, and have direct experience of working with drug users and suppliers. They can talk about the availability of drugs, dealing patterns, signs of abuse, health and legal implications, and how to source help.

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Mr White said: “We feel we can empower the student body, parents and the wider community in their understanding and decision-making process. It will hopefully engage and empower, and we are extremely grateful for the funding enabling us to work collaboratively on this national issue.”

The money came from the Police and Crime Commissioners Small Grants Fund, aimed at supporting community initiatives to tackling anti-social behaviour.

The college’s application was supported by district and town councillors, and East Devon’s community development service.

“We very much hope that this awareness day will form part of a community effort to educate and inform not only young people in the area but also professionals, parents and interested parties around all of the issues that drug use can bring to individuals, families and communities,” said Mr White.

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