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Graduates from the Young People's Life Choices Programme recognised

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Young people from Elemore Hall School and Bishop Barrington Comprehensive School are well equipped to recognise the dangers of drug and alcohol misuse, as a consequence of the Young People’s Life Choices Programme.

The first graduates of the programme were awarded certificates today.  For the ceremony the twelve Young Ambassadors from Elemore Hall (pictured) delivered a showcase to their peers in school, and to teachers and parents, before being presented with their graduation certificates and badges. The awards were presented by Ellen Terry, Durham’s Young Police, Crime and Victim’s Commissioner and Inspector Rachel Stockdale of Durham Constabulary. 

This programme enables young people to play an ambassadorial role supporting their peers and teaching staff across the whole school community. It enables them to explore and understand the impact of ‘life choices’ on individuals, families and communities, aiming to diverting them away from a life of crime, anti-social behaviour, and harms caused by substance-misuse.

Ellen Terry said “As a young person I know what issues and problems young people face.  The impact that drugs and alcohol can have on young people, and their families can be huge, one decision can change everything.  As young people we can find it hard to know where to go in times of trouble as we worry that we are going to get into more trouble by seeking support.  Having peer Ambassadors within schools will help to break down this barrier.”

The innovative Young People’s Life Choices programme was developed and delivered by George Charlton, an independent trainer and consultant, in partnership with Durham Agency Against Crime.

The training sessions provide the young people with a unique insight into the life and experiences of an individual who spent many years in the grips of addiction whilst also being impacted by significant mental health issues.

George Charlton said “The programme has been really well received by the students. Having lived with a personal addiction to drugs and alcohol and struggled with mental health problems for over a decade, I know what needs to be done.  I can explain how making certain decisions impacted upon my life, my family and community.  I try to be open honest and tell them how it really is.  This programme enables young people to seek support from their respected peers.” 

Posted on Monday 8th April 2019
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