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03 October 2012

Christian drug education charity wins Big Society award

Christian drug education charity wins Big Society award

Christian charity, Hope UK – a member of the Evangelical Alliance - have received the prime minister's Big Society Award for their work educating children and young people about drugs.

The charity has trained hundreds of volunteers to be drug educators who go into schools, youth groups and faith groups to lead interactive sessions on the misuse of alcohol, tobacco and drugs.

Collectively the 200 drug educators currently working in the UK have held 1,800 sessions this year.

Prime minister David Cameron said: "The commitment shown by volunteers in undertaking a long training programme before they begin to start working with young people is particularly impressive and it is a credit to the team at Hope UK that they currently have 200 volunteers working around the country.

"As well as helping young people to make positive choices it helps to build links within communities as local people work with groups in their area. I wish Hope UK all the best in continuing to grow and extend their services to even more young people around the country."

The awards were set up by David Cameron in 2010 to recognise those who demonstrate the Big Society, and encourage others to follow suit.

Recently, we have seen a drop in the number of young people who have said they have taken drugs, in 2001 29 per cent of 11 to 15-year-olds said they had taken illicit drugs, the figure had dropped to 18 per cent in 2010, but the problems associated with drugs, tobacco and alcohol use still continue.

On receiving the award chief executive officer of Hope UK, Sarah Brighton said: "We are honoured to receive the Big Society Award and would like to thank our volunteers and supporters for making this possible.

"Hope UK's sessions include life skills that enhance peer resistance and build confidence and are designed to encourage healthy choices and enable children and young people to realise their potential."