Resilience Programme

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OUR GROUNDBREAKING DRUG & ALCOHOL AWARENESS AND PREVENTION PROGRAMME

The Amy Winehouse Foundation Resilience Programme is our groundbreaking drug & alcohol awareness and prevention programme for secondary schools. Evaluated by academics at Harvard University and delivered in partnership with Addaction, the programme is currently delivered in well over 100 schools across England.

A new report details impressive results drawn from an independent evaluation of the first two years of the Programme, led by a team based between Harvard University and the University of Bath. The Programme helps participants to develop skills to manage self-esteem, risky behaviours and peer pressure. The evidence shows that ability and confidence to manage these areas plays an important role in young people’s decision-making around substances.

95%
OF PUPILS

Said they were now well informed, and that they could seek confidential help in the event of being concerned about substance use, peer pressure or bulllying.

79%
OF PUPILS

Said they would be more likely to avoid risky behaviours relating to substance misuse.

83%
OF PUPILS

Said they would seek out support for alcohol or drug issues.

The report also shows that participants of a small pragamatic cluster randomised control trial (RCT), who had admitted drug and alcohol misuse, saw their drinking fall by 20 per cent 12 months after completing the programme. In the same trial, the number of pupils disclosing cannabis use fell over 40 per cent, while use of all other drugs fell by almost three quarters to just two per cent.

In addition to this work, we are conducting a nationwide Prevalence Study, to determine the current levels of substance misuse among young people (including the use of Novel Psychoactive Substances, commonly known as ‘legal highs’),  You can find out more about the Prevalence Study here

Trained and accredited volunteers use their own experiences of substance misuse and recovery to educate students, parents and teachers about the real reasons why young people may misuse substances and what can be done to prevent it. These volunteers have all overcome significant personal issues and now live substance free lives, contributing to society and helping others to make wise and informed choices.

It is this approach – of putting real life experiences at the very heart of drug and alcohol education – that makes the Resilience Programme for Schools so effective. We engage students in discussing their real thoughts, feelings and behaviours. And we enable them to address issues such as low-esteem, poor body image, racism and bullying without turning to drugs or alcohol for ‘help’.

But the Programme isn’t just for pupils. We are clear that everyone in a young person’s life needs to be properly informed about drugs, alcohol and their related problems if we are to create an honest and open environment in which informed choices can be made. As part of the Programme, clinical staff from Addaction work alongside the Amy Winehouse Foundation to help teachers better identify pupils who may be living with parents, carers or siblings who are misusing substances. Research shows that these young people are most at risk of developing drug and alcohol problems themselves, later in life, and by supporting them as early as we possibly can, we have a better chance of preventing significant problems before they start.

THE PROGRAMME PROVIDES:

  • Parents’ evenings to inform parents about the underlying reasons for substance misuse, the range of substances currently in circulation, and to encourage them to have better communication with their children.
  • Sessions that incorporate real-life stories and ‘share sessions’ that provide a catalyst for further discussion around drugs and alcohol, as well as other issues (such as depression and self harm).
  • Groups that build resilience in students, covering issues such as self-esteem, peer pressure and risky behaviour.
  • Signposting to local treatment services.
  • Pupils identified as at risk of being affected by substance misuse are given targeted supported through a six session Skills for Change Programme, or through one-to-one support from a local substance misuse treatment organisation.The teams include a specialist alcohol and drugs practitioner, a volunteer co-ordinatror and a team of volunteers who are in recovery.

Much of this work is currently being funded by the Big Lottery Fund, including a full Randomised Control Trial of the Programme. It is currently delivered in the following locations: South Yorkshire, Bournemouth, Brent, Greenwich, Havering, Lincolnshire, Derby, Preston, Morecambe, Liverpool and Halton.

For more information on the programme, or for details on where we are currently working in the UK, email our team at  resilience@amywinehousefoundation.org

lottery-funded
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WHAT PEOPLE SAY:

mitch_quote“Far too many young people and their families are affected by substance misuse, including alcohol and ‘legal highs’. We want to change that. One of the key needs we have identified is for an effective educational and support service for young people and their families, working within schools. In partnership with Addaction we have developed a programme which works with students, parents and teachers to make them better able to communicate with each other and make informed choices.”
Mitch Winehouse, Trustee

simonantrobus“An education system that enables and supports young people to make informed choices – whatever they might be, is vitally important. So, it can’t be right that children and young people could potentially leave school with little or no drug and alcohol education. Supporting parents and teachers is an integral part of the programme. By working together with the Amy Winehouse Foundation we aim to have an even greater impact on the lives of children and young people, to help them feel empowered and to have the confidence to make positive choices.”
Simon Antrobus, Chief Executive, Addaction

‘The whole prospect of admitting to what goes on seemed scary at first, but the workers made me feel so comfortable talking about the issues. The group sessions helped me see that other people in school were going through similar problems, which made me feel less ashamed about it. the sessions were a perfect release of built-up emotions that I normally struggle to show’.
Student

‘In my previous school, although we had the police come in, there were no opportunities to open up of or be a part of a Q&A style workshop….. So thank you very much! Keep doing what you are doing! I’m sure many more teenagers will benefit from this!’
Student, Kingsbury High School, London.

‘All of the students were sitting in silence and were totally absorbed by what was being said. The details that Brian (a volunteer on the Resilience Programme) gave about his life captured Year 11 and the questions they asked afterwards showed they had fully understood. They now know where they can go for help and advice, should they ever need it’.
Brett Barker, Form Tutor
Lincoln Castle Academy, Lincolnshire

‘All of the students were sitting in silence and were totally absorbed by what was being said. The details that Brian (a volunteer on the Resilience Programme) gave about his life captured Year 11 and the questions they asked afterwards showed they had fully understood. They now know where they can go for help and advice, should they ever need it’.
Brett Barker, Form Tutor
Lincoln Castle Academy, Lincolnshire

‘The best presentation I have seen from an outside agency in 10 years of being at the school’
Neil Kenyon, Director of Careers and Lifelong Learning
Burscough Priory Science Academy, Lancashire