Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Hope UK Conference

I spent some of last weekend with the volunteers of Hope UK.

Hope UK is a member of the Drug Education Forum and they asked me to come along to talk to their volunteers about the policy context that drug education is being delivered in.

I arrived at the residential centre the conference was taking place in on Saturday evening just in the to catch the last part of a session on how drugs interact with body and the variety of methods they can be delivered. As the session was being delivered by Dr Alan Morinan, of the National Addiction Centre, it was pitched at a pretty high level and the audience were haring to concentrate hard to keep up. I was told that this was the third lecture Alan had delivered that day.

As you may know Hope UK is a Christian organisation that grew out of the 19th Century temperance movement and their volunteers share a faith (and a commitment to not drinking, smoking or using illicit drugs). So after dinner they celebrated their faith in an act of Worship and a period of prayer. Following that we had a firework display which just managed to dodge the heavy rain.

Over the course of the evening I got to meet volunteers from across the country and talk to a number of them about what they were doing. They made the point of making sure that I knew that Hope UK is not a proselytising organisation; and that while their faith was important to them it wasn’t part of their drug education sessions.

One person I spoke to told me about how hard she had to work to make connections with the statutory commissioners of drug services for children and young people in the area they were working in. She said she wasn’t sure whether it was because of the scepticism the commissioners had about the value of drug education, a misunderstanding about what Hope UK stands for, or a wariness about being asked for funding by voluntary sector organisations.

On Sunday morning I spoke about the policy context that their work is being delivered in and the slides I’d prepared are below [downloadable from here].


Filed under: Drug Education Forum Members

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