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New safeguarding programme delivers synchronised substance education

6 March 2024

On 4 March, the Kingston and Richmond Safeguarding Children Partnership delivered new, specially designed Substance Advice for Everyone (SAFE) education for children at school and their parents and carers at home.

Funded by Richmond Council Public Health, the new SAFE education project lays the groundwork for important conversations around substance use between pupils and their parents and carers. It was developed in response to increasing levels of substance use - such as vapes, alcohol and drugs - among young people locally, and the resulting rise in hospital admissions and (in rare circumstances) deaths associated with substance misuse.

Parents and carers play a huge role in helping to safeguard their teenagers, but substance use education is very complex and can be a difficult topic to address. SAFE education aims to equip parents and young people to feel more comfortable having open conversations around drug and alcohol use and learning from one another.

For the first time, schools delivered education to both groups on the same day, running age-appropriate lessons including film footage of young people affected by substances, to help deepen young people’s understanding of what is experienced locally. The same day, schools sent a beautifully made short film to parents and carers about local substance use, centred around a real life story and spoken word poetry.

It is hoped SAFE education will begin a long-standing habit of open dialogue with parents and carers around drug and alcohol use that will equip children with the skills they need to safely navigate their adolescence and early adulthood. 

To find out more about the SAFE education project, contact the Kingston and Richmond Safeguarding Children Partnership’s Education Coordinator, Lucy MacArthur

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Up to: March 2024

Updated: 6 March 2024

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