Hope UK uses trained voluntary Drug Educators to deliver interactive drug and alcohol education to children and young people.
Volunteers are trained with a 120-hour course accredited with the Open College Network. The course consists of distance learning involving six modules at level 2 and three modules and level 3 and includes three weekends of practical training as well. Volunteers observe at least one session carried out by an experienced volunteer and are observed themselves before being accredited to carry out drug education on Hope UK’s behalf.
Once trained, voluntary Drug Educators work in schools, with youth groups and on the street to raise awareness of drug and alcohol issues and prevent harm. Some Educators also deliver drug education in pupil referral units and youth hostels. They are able to help parents, youth workers and others with responsibility for children and young people to include drug prevention in their own activities with young people.
Our voluntary Drug Educators are Christians who have chosen a lifestyle free from the use of drugs and alcohol. This is because Hope UK has a Christian foundation and does around 50% of its training with churches working within their communities to improve the quality of life. However, our Drug Educators work with groups of any faith or none at all because Hope UK’s mandate is to prevent drug and alcohol-related harm to children and young people – not to promote the Christian faith.
Why have these people become Hope UK Educators?
“Being a Hope UK Educator is a privilege! Not only do I have the opportunity of speaking to hundreds of young people and parents about drugs, but I get to be part of the lovely Hope UK family! It’s well worth it!”
Andrew Hornsby, Hope UK Educator (Lincolnshire)
I joined Hope UK to train as a Drug Educator because I had a burden for the UK youth. The training has increased my awareness of the drug situation worldwide and equipped me to assist Hope UK in achieving the aim of enabling young people to make drug-free choices. I have been involved in sessions in schools (secondary and primary) and a Youth Drop-in centre in my neighbourhood, where there is a ‘gang culture problem’. I was part of activities at a Police Station and I have also been involved with Hope UK presentations for ethnic minorities in churches, community centres (Somali Women) and youth clubs (Bangladeshi Youth). Everywhere I go, I use Hope UK resources and FRANK booklets to ‘educate’ people. As a Hope UK Educator, I have always been encouraged, supported and appreciated. There is always free training available to keep us equipped. Hope UK is making a difference and I am pleased to be a part of it!
Elizabeth Gregory, Hope UK Educator (London)
I was hit by a big cultural shock when I first arrived in England where people consumed so much alcohol! In my quest to integrate, I could have got caught up in the drinking habit as did many of my friends. I am therefore grateful that I met Hope UK during this crucial time of my life.
As a volunteer Drug Educator for Hope UK, I am proud to be able to present young people like myself the choice of leading a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle—a choice that I was oblivious to about seven years ago.
Dominic Wiredu, Hope UK Educator (Exeter)
“As school assembly teachers for over 25 years, we have told children just about everything we could about the Lord and His love for them and how He wanted them to live good lives.
The day came when we realised that we would have to go further and so began to think about how we could introduce drug awareness to them so that they could make drug-free choices. At the very time we were thinking this way, someone handed us a leaflet about Hope UK. We needed to be trained, Hope UK did that. We needed open doors, Hope UK’s name did that. As we have expanded from helping children, to all ages, (even OAP’s) we are aware of the one thing we wanted to do from the very beginning, and that was ‘To make a difference’. We believe we are doing that. What a privilege.”
Pat & John Hannigan, Hope UK Educators (South Wales)
“My previous background as a Minister of Religion makes me enjoy giving a service to the community. My heart is especially with issues that concern young people. I take advantage of all the opportunities that come my way so that I can represent Hope UK as a volunteer and inform the communities about the effects of drugs. Moving in churches, youth clubs and people’s houses representing Hope UK has made me make lots of friends, contacts and impress the hearts of people. Being a Hope UK Drug Educator has also greatly assisted me since I am a secondary school Teacher in Religious Studies and Citizenship. I now have plenty of resources to use when I am doing Drug education in my class and this has greatly assisted me to be confident in my subject. Well done Hope UK!”