On course to beat scourge of drugs

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FAMILY ANNOUNCEMENTS - by Nick Lil­li­tos

A PILOT course aimed at train­ing stu­dents to help com­bat drugs and cre­ate safer com­mu­ni­ties is show­ing en­cour­ag­ing re­sults af­ter only six months.

Some 14 stu­dents are at­tend­ing the one-year course, the first of its kind in Kent, at South Kent Col­lege in Folkestone.

They in­clude vol­un­teer work­ers, peo­ple in paid em­ploy­ment and for­mer drug ad­dicts.

The course pro­vides a gate­way to qual­i­fy­ing for NVQ Level 3 cer­tifi­cates in the fields of health and so­cial care, en­abling stu­dents on qual­i­fi­ca­tion to ob­tain em­ploy­ment in the sup­port field of drug and al­co­hol ser­vices.

With six months still to go un­til course com­ple­tion, four stu­dents have al­ready gained pro­mo­tion at work as a re­sult of at­tend­ing, while two for­mer drug ad­dicts have moved into em­ploy­ment.

Sally Dun­can, work­force de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer of the Kent Drug and Al­co­hol Ac­tion Team, said: “All of them have gained con­fi­dence and im­proved skills as a re­sult, and they are only half­way through the course.”

Ms Dun­can, one of the four-strong teach­ing team, said: “South Kent Col­lege has been very sup­port­ive in pro­vid­ing us with its fa­cil­i­ties. Ad­dic­tion can hit any one of us.

“The end re­sult is to get our stu­dents into the com­mu­nity and as­sist those suf­fer­ing from drug or al­co­hol prob­lems, with the aim of re-in­te­grat­ing them back into main­stream life. It’s a sec­ond chance.”

The course’s early suc­cess fol­lows on from the Na­tional Tack­ling Drugs Day, a cel­e­bra­tion by the Home Of­fice of the pos­i­tive achieve­ments of drug and al­co­hol ac­tion teams across Bri­tain.

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Sally Dun­can, work­force de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, Kent Drug and Al­co­hol Ac­tion Team

Pic­tures: Gary Browne pd1208964

Some of the staff and stu­dents in­volved in the course

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