A survey of 14 -15 year olds in Merton schools shows that they are less likely to have tried drugs than young people in other London boroughs and in other parts the country.
With the aim of maintaining that trend, 11 year olds in Merton’s primary schools are taking part in a drama workshop project to help them understand the risks of drugs.
The Big Fish Theatre Company is touring primary schools around the borough with a performance and interactive workshop called “Safe and Sound”, which focuses on the risks of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis among others.
Vanessa Cooper, Merton’s PSHE and Drugs Co-ordinator, said: “We are obviously very pleased that Merton is performing well regarding the numbers of young people that have tried drugs.
“It is important not to rest on our laurels though. We must keep the right messages going to the young people in our schools and the Big Fish performances and workshops are a very effective way of doing this.”
The primary school project coincides with the launch of the new government FRANK campaign targeted at 11 – 16 year olds and their parents. FRANK is a helpline and website providing information and advice to young people and parents who are worried about drugs.
The new campaign will complement the drug education received by pupils in Merton High Schools. The Merton Youth Awareness Programme (MYAP) are working in all high schools to provide specialist drug education lessons as well as counselling for pupils on drug issues.
PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Media are invited to attend performances by the Big Fish Theatre Company at Gorringe Park Primary School on Tuesday 10 June at 9.10am or 1.30pm
Please confirm attendance with Merton Press & PR Office.
PRESS CONTACT – Jason Hill
Note to Editors: The survey was carried out in the summer of 2001 by the National Addiction Centre on behalf of the MSW Health Authority.