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Hooked on fighting drugs

PUBLISHED: 15:08 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:54 23 August 2010

FOUR students have completed a peer mentoring scheme aimed at preventing pupils becoming hooked on drugs and alcohol. Sixth-formers at Northfleet Technology College were presented with certificates by Mayor of Gravesham Ken Jones at the Civic Centre, in

FOUR students have completed a peer mentoring scheme aimed at preventing pupils becoming hooked on drugs and alcohol.

Sixth-formers at Northfleet Technology College were presented with certificates by Mayor of Gravesham Ken Jones at the Civic Centre, in Windmill Street, Gravesend, last Wednesday.

Robbi Nash, 17, Graham Edwards, 17, Craig McKee, 16, and Reece Carroll, 17, have completed the Cascade scheme.

The initiative is run by Kenward Trust, a charity which works with people suffering from alcohol and other drug misuse problems.

Students are educated on the effects drugs have on the mind and body. It is hoped that this information will then "cascade" down to younger children.

Reece Carroll, of Moor Road, Swanscombe, said: "When we heard about it, we thought it was a great idea.

"Unfortunately, we know people who take drugs, and this inspired us to get involved.

"I really enjoyed the experience. We are definitely more aware of the dangers of drugs since we have completed the course."

As part of the course, students took part in a Dartford and Gravesham Safety in Action event last month.

Robbi Nash, of Saunders Close, Northfleet, said: "At the event we set up a scenario where we had a club night and we were acting as drug dealers, trying to sell drugs to children who came along, to put them in as real a situation as possible and teach them about the dangers. I think they learnt a lot.

Craig McKee, of Hall Road, said: "We had some very mixed reactions to that exercise, but it was useful. Overall, it was a really interesting course to do."

The Cascades scheme is funded by Gravesham Borough Council, through the joint Dartford and Gravesham Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership's Drug and Alcohol Action Group.

Allison Summers, Grey Zebra team member and youth worker, coordinated the course. She said: "The most common influence for young people to experiment with drugs or alcohol is from their peers, who are normally grossly misinformed as to the devastating effects that substance misuse will have on them.

"There are also those with other more sinister motives, who will know exactly what substance misuse will do.

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