Hope UK Voluntary Drug Educators work with a wide variety of different voluntary, church and statutory groups. All awareness and training sessions are tailored to meet the needs of the inviting group or course attenders. Click on the relevant link to see typical content for a session, together with case studies and user comment.
Children’s drug awareness session – Typical Content
- Understanding medicines – that all medicines are drugs but that not all drugs are medicines.
- That all substances can be harmful if not used properly.
- Knowledge about different types of medicine and that some people need them to live a normal life.
- Knowledge and understanding of simple safety rules about medicines, tablets, solvents and household substances.
- Tobacco and alcohol, and their effects.
- The human body and things that affect it.
- Making simple choices that effect health and well being.
- Self esteem (‘you are special’).
- Recognise, name and deal with their feelings in a positive way.
- Understanding of rules and how they affect us.
- Recognition of how their behaviour affects others.
8 – 10’s
As above with extra knowledge!
- Differences between illegal and legal drugs.
- Emphasis on life consequences.
- Exploration of own attitudes to drug use and related issues.
- Life skills training.
- Understanding of how and why rules are made.
- Exploration of how the media present information.
- Appreciation of what makes a healthy lifestyle
- Recognition and willingness to challenge stereotypes.
- Understanding that pressures come from a variety of places.
- How to say no and where to go for help.
Should have all the above knowledge and be able to explore fully the topic of drugs including issues around it, eg, why people use drugs, what type of person deals drugs, the effect on society and the law.
“I run a Scout Group in Colchester, Essex and my Leader team and I are always on the look out for programme ideas that benefit the young people we work with. Apart from regular “Scouting” activities we try to give our Section Members a broad remit on “Alternative” useful programme content without coming over as just an extension of the class room. In recent weeks we have had a Personal Safety consultant in to teach the youngster how to protect themselves in our sometimes hostile environment and also a very useful evening with Hope IUK. This was an extremely enlightening session which gave the kids, some of whom thought they were pretty “streetwise”, a significant eye opener with regards to the drugs scene. The presentation level was ideal for the 10 to 15 year old range that Scouts fall in to and the role plays helped to make a very serious subject fit in a lighter but instructional vane. This, I feel, got the message over to the Troop Members without what many at their age might have thought was a bit boring if it had have been presented in a duller fashion. Thanks Hope UK for a job well done.
(Group Scout Leader, 26th Colchester Sea Scout Group)
“We learnt the effects of the drugs. We learnt that cannabis was worse than what we thought before – memory loss. Overall, we have learnt not to take drugs because we are beautiful smart children.”
“It was a good session and I learned lots about drugs and how not to use them. I also learned it can destroy your sex hormones and other functions which you would not want to destroy them.”
“Learnt quite a bit about dangerous drugs. More different names of drugs. The four different categories. Reasons why people take drugs and how to avoid it.”
“Cannabis is more harmful than you think. The lesson was good and enjoyable. Cannabis causes memory loss and concern. Cocaine causes heat attack, if used to many times. The role play was fun and entertaining.”
(St Dunstan’s College, London)
“I liked it when they said you are wonderfully made.”
“It was fun and exciting.”
“I liked everything.”
(Bond Primary School, London)
Young People’s drug awareness session – Typical content
- What is a drug?
- Role play – exploring peer influence/resistance skills
- Signs and symptoms – effects of different drugs, etc
- Explanation of all drugs including classes
- Drug law
- Why people use drugs?
I am a youth worker with Pollards Hill Baptist Church in Mitcham, Surrey. The Church runs a youth club with a high proportion of un-churched young people from the surrounding neighbourhood. Located in the inner city, the area has its fair share of problems and so drug and alcohol issues definitely need to be addressed. I arranged for Hope UK to send a speaker to one of our youth club evenings and she was excellent. There were about 35 young people present and she held their attention by involving them in role play and other interactive activities that served to increase their understanding of specific drugs that are commonly available. The session was down-to-earth, practical and up-to-date and related drug use to Biblical principles. I am hoping that the Hope UK speaker will come again to speak to the whole church as well as the young people.
(Youth worker, Pollards Hill Youth Club)
“I liked the relaxed atmosphere and interesting info.”
“It was fun and interesting.”
“All the sessions were good, the beer goggles were fun.”
“Interesting and involving discussions.”
“Activities, not just lectures.”
“I liked the information they gave us. It was interesting.”
(The King’s School, Worcester)
“Clare kept the group’s interest all through the session – with a mixed ability group all with physical disabilities, it is quite difficult to do.”
“The session on peer pressure… was very valuable and well thought out.”
“Very friendly and approachable – good with different variety of abilities.”
“Excellent – friendly – warm and understanding of people’s difficulties in understanding the topic.”
(Echo Centre, Liskeard, Cornwall)
- Information about alcohol, tobacco & other drug
- Looking at samples and paraphernalia
- The law
- Social issues (including binge drinking, health and crime)
- Family perspectives
- Why people use drugs
- Prevention strategies
- Where to go for help
- Attitudes and opinions
Around 24 adults, a mixture mainly of parents and teachers, participated in an informative drug awareness session. Two representatives from Hope UK presented the evening in the cafe of the Bromley Salvation Army. The informal setting made for a relaxed evening where those attending could have some refreshment and take time to look at the drug samples, complete quiz style sheets, try out the beer goggles and try other activities displayed on the cafe tables before the Educator commenced the session.
The Educator identified the drug samples, categorised them, gave statistics and corrected myths about different drugs and spoke about how we can begin to become aware of the signs of drug use and prevent our young people from using them. Participants generally felt that the clear explanation and time available to contribute to the discussion was extremely helpful as most had little or no knowledge of the subject.
“The trainer was excellent – she was a mum and had been through the teenage years – so know about the fears and pit-falls and gave a lot of hope. The media tends to focus on the negative and with children approaching teenage years it can all seem a bit daunting.”
(Participant, Salvation Army, Bromley)
“Only attended one session but opened my eyes into drugs, although never had on hands with drugs.”
(Newport Baptist Church, Newport, Shropshire)
“Very informative, clear and thorough training.”
“Very good, informative and helpful. Explained very well.”
“…this was totally new information for me, never having seen the substances in small amounts in sachets. I realise what to look for now.”
(Parents’ group in Bedford)
“Very professional presentation!”
“Very well presented. Has made me more aware of issues re drugs.”
“Warm, friendly and confident presentation.”
Very useful – thank you! Thought the prevention strategies sheets were excellent.”
(Parents’ group in Cawsand, Cornwall)
- What drugs look like
- Drug names
- Short and long-term effects
- Reasons why young people choose to use or not to use drugs
- Patterns of drug use
- Implications for others
- Signs and Symptoms (Physical, Behavioural)
- Paraphernalia used for drug-taking
- Prevention and Intervention Strategies
- The law
- Dealing with drug-related incidents
- Where to find help
The purpose of this course was to help equip youth workers to better work with young people around the issue of drugs. It has proved to be a very beneficial course both for me and for the young people I work with. The course itself was very informative, well presented and also challenging. Over the 2 day course we used a number of different learning styles, from practical examples, group work, discussion and dialogue all of which enhanced the learning experience for all the participants.
I found the course to be very stimulating as the delivery from the trainers over the two days was excellent and because of the interaction with the other participants. It was beneficial to go over the types of drugs and their effects/uses as well as to look more deeply into the situations being drug taking. However, this course was not just about providing information. The trainers provided us with some excellent ideas and creative ways of engaging young people on the subject of drugs and in tackling the issues that arise from drug taking. We also covered some of the legal aspects relating to the issues of young people and drugs which I personal found beneficial, as it makes me feel more confident as to what I can and can’t do and say.
The Christian element of the course was extremely beneficial to me. I work from a church based setting and although a good proportion of my work is with young people who have little or no Christian background it is good to discuss the issues that are important in a Christian context with the trainers. It was also very helpful to have a biblical perspective to what we are aiming to do – to love and care for the young people we meet.
Since attending the course in January I have begun to be able to take some of my learning from the course and practical apply it to my ministry. On a very basic level the knowledge that I gained from the course has enabled me to relate to and share in a positive way with a number of young people. It has been particularly helpful to be able to help them ensure that they understand the risks and dangers involved and to clarify any myths that they have picked up from other sources.
The course has also helped me to begin to consider how as a church we might be better equipped to reach out and care for the young people in our society who are affected by the use, abuse and side effects of drugs use.
It was a real privilege to be able to attend this course and in the long term I feel that it will have a great impact on the ministry that I engage in. I would highly recommend this course to any youth workers.
(Associate Minister:Youth, Croxley Green Baptist Church)
“The training provided by Hope UK was inspiring. Sessions were well planned and clearly delivered. I came away with an increased knowledge of drugs and drug issues. The practical approach meant I have new ways to support the young people I work with. Time was available to look at case studies which related to specific issues I face every day in my work.”
(Youth worker, COINS Trust in Newbury)
- Drug Awareness
- Definition of ‘drug’
- Names and categories of drugs
- Drug samples, paraphernalia
- Drug risks and effects on adults and children
- Drugs and the Law
- Signs and symptoms of drug use
- Social Effects of Drugs
- Social effects of alcohol
- Addiction and families
- Growing up in families with alcohol problems
- Personal stories
- Why do people use drugs?
- What can we do?
- Preventative Tools
- Most dangerous drug
- Practical tools to use in drug prevention
- Stories, questions, Dialogue Conference
- Advice for families
- Intervention Tools
- Family Case Study – the model of a family with an alcoholic father
- Local Drugs Policy
- Helpful Agencies
- Government Strategies
In March 07, several workers from Spurgeons (the BASE Project) and other local relevant organisations were part of this pilot training course run by Hope UK. We found it informative, stimulating and useful, if a little shocking to have to do homework! The course included personal stories of families affected by drug and alcohol issues. A very useful exercise was a role play that illustrated the positions taken by various members of a family and the role each person plays in helping to support positive change.
As a result of the course, I feel more knowledgeable about how to support families, with a better concept of what my role as a family support worker could be, and where and when expert help can be accessed. We were also able to write a drug and alcohol policy specific to the work we do.
(Su Austin, Family Support Work Co-ordinator, The BASE Project, West Sussex County Council)
“Very good mix of practical/theory, group/individual work.”
“Very good course.”
“Loved the activities and interaction – and the sweets!”
“I arrived knowing very little about this and have gained so much knowledge. It has made me aware of effects to look out for and how to deal with situations professionally.”
(Mitcham Town Cluster Group, Mitcham, Surrey)
“I feel the course was extremely effective and well run.”
“I feel that all the points that were discussed were important to my learning.”
(Maya Project, Peckham, London)