The Amy Winehouse Foundation Resilience Programme

School is a big part of young peoples lives. Looking back on my school years I am constantly reminded of how important education is. Knowledge is power. School is a place where you are nurtured and encouraged to do your best, to then go into the real world to pursue your dreams. Little do we realize that in many ways, the education we get at school develops our perspective on how we see life and how we lead it.

Last week on the 12th and 13th of March we officially launched the Amy Winehouse Foundation Resilience Programme at London’s first ever ‘Recovery Festival’ in Westminster. The new programme hopes to support and educate pupils, teachers and parents and inspire change in the way children are taught about drugs and alcohol in school.

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Such education is ‘either inconsistent or non-existent’ and ‘misunderstands the reasons people turn to drink and drugs in the first place’ says Mitch Winehouse.

The launch was a great success, and was attended by Russell Brand who was there to show his support for the Foundation, the resilience programme and abstinence based recovery.

The Amy Winehouse Foundation and our partner Addaction (http://www.addaction.org.uk) polled over 4000 people in the UK on drug and alcohol issues. The survey found that 84 per cent of respondents with school aged children (5-15yrs) believe that drugs and alcohol are a serious problem. Only 33 per cent of respondents believed that schools provide adequate education to children and young people around drugs and alcohol.

The Foundation’s Resilience programme will initially be rolled out in ten different locations across England and will be delivered by people who are already in recovery who are fully trained, accredited and supported by professional workers in the field. They will share their own experiences as recovering addicts to give young people a better understanding of drug and alcohol misuse, with a focus on self-esteem; risky behavior and peer pressure and allow young people to explore the issues in a non-judgmental, effective and educational way.

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By doing this we hope to increase young peoples knowledge and awareness but also increase young peoples levels of resilience, self-esteem and resistance to peer pressure. Young people are also able to access specialist support and services when needed and will be able to access a free, confidential phone and online service for children and young people across the UK, provided by our partner Childline http://www.childline.org.uk

The Foundation believes that prevention is better than cure, therefore the programme will increase parents’ knowledge about the help that is on offer, and what support is available to both adults and young people, and will also train teachers to identify students at a risk of substance misuse. In sites where Addaction do not deliver young peoples services the Amy Winehouse Foundation will engage with local treatment services to provide the teacher training and targeted intervention work.

Mitch Winehouse said ‘Amy always had a lot of time for young people and wanted to help them whenever she could.  Through the Amy Winehouse Foundation Resilience Programme we will be able to help thousands of young people – and Amy would have been very proud of that.’

School isn’t just about lessons in textbooks but about lessons in life. Through this resilience programme we hope to change and inspire the lives of countless young people who need it most!

For more information on the Amy Winehouse Foundation Resilience Programme, visit http://www.amywinehousefoundation.org/resilience-programme-for-schools

Thanks for reading and have a great week x

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