A new campaign addressing alcohol and substance misuse has launched in schools across the District this week as part of Cannock Chase Council’s ongoing safeguarding work.
The Council’s Community Safety Team has commissioned Loudmouth Education and Training to create a new educational resource on drug and alcohol misuse for key stage 3 pupils.
‘Out of It’, is a new theatre in education programme designed to be run with year 7 and 8 pupils. The programme supports students to learn about the short- and long-term impacts and risks of drug and alcohol misuse and to understand that a lot less young people are using drugs or alcohol than many believe by exploring the positive social norms around the topic.
The programme uses drama, a character Q&A session and discussion to raise the pupils’ awareness around drug and alcohol misuse. In the drama the main character, Amber, looks back on her past experiences with drugs and alcohol use. She talks about the negative impacts these have had on her life and how she accessed support from local organisations.
After the drama, the students get the opportunity to ask Amber questions about her past and current situation and participate in discussion. The session ends with information of where the pupils can go for help if they are concerned about their own or others alcohol or drug misuse.
Resource packs are being distributed to secondary schools providing information about local support services, details about the drama, lessons plans and further campaign material.
Campaign messages will also be promoted using the Council’s new Tik Tok channel – ‘Cannock Chase Life’ and wider online advertising via the Council’s website and existing social media platforms.
This forms part of the Council’s wider safeguarding campaign. ‘See something, Say something’, which was launched last year and aims to encourage people to report any concerns they may have about an individual or group. It has been funded by the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Locality Deal Fund.
Councillor Bryan Jones, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Leader for Neighbourhood Safety & Partnerships, said: “Keeping young people safe is a key priority for the Council and we work closely with partners to do this.
“The ‘Out of It’ campaign will help to raise awareness of the impacts and risks associated with drug and alcohol use, as well as providing an increased knowledge about the actual reality of drug and alcohol misuse amongst young people.
“Using theatre is a great way to get important messages to young people and it is hoped people will be able to identify some of the warning signs and get the help they need.
“Throughout this programme, young people will be encouraged to contact T3 Stars, Staffordshire’s Treatment and Recovery Service for free and friendly support about drugs and alcohol.
“If you have concerns about a child, call T3 Stars on 01785 241393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Kevin Woodhouse, Service Manager at T3 stars said “The campaign is a great idea and with Loudmouth bringing their innovative methods of engaging Young People this will allow Young people to discuss substance use, learn about the short and long term impacts and risks of drug and alcohol misuse in a safe environment and know where and how to get support from Humankind T3 stars…..so all in all a comprehensive package.”
Ben Adams, Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, said: “The Locality Deal Fund provides funding to local authorities for initiatives to make their communities safer. It’s great to see the fund being used in Cannock Chase to educate young people about the dangers of alcohol and substance misuse and show them where to find support if they have any concerns.”
For further information about this campaign contact the Community Safety team on 01543 464387 or visit www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/safeguarding