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Drug Awareness at Holy Trinity School

(5 March 2005)

Last Thursday 3 March, around fifty parents, teachers and youth workers met together at Holy Trinity School for a Drug Awareness Evening. It had been instigated by the Cookham Youth Project and was co-ordinated by Cyndy Gray of the Royal Borough.  She was ably assisted by Iris Mitchell, a schools' nurse and PC Tim Alexander of Thames Valley Police who liaises with schools. In addition Emily a pupil at Windsor Girls School gave her point of view of drugs in schools.  Attendees included all the head teachers from Cookham's state primary schools. Cookham Dean Cookham Rise and Holy Trinity.  David Oakden, head teacher at Holy Trinity, had done a tremendous job in getting the facilities ready and also ensuring that refreshments were on hand.

Cyndy Gray talks to school nurse Iris Mitchell

Cyndy started the evening with an introduction into drug awareness and what the Education department of the Royal Borough were aiming to achieve from a training point of view in schools in the area. She was followed by nurse Iris Mitchell, who had set up an exhibition of drawings by primary school pupils.  The children were told a story about someone who had a bag of drugs and they had to draw what was in the bag, the owner of the bag, what they would do and what the owner of the bag would do. The results were quite amazing.  Children of five appeared to be very aware of the drug problem and even some in the reception year had awareness of drugs. Some of the children had even written down addresses of drug users. It did appear that many of the drawings were based on actual knowledge rather than just imagination. Syringes started to appear in drawings of Year 2 children.

Some of drawings done by Primary School children in Cookham Dean and Cookham Rise schools

Iris was followed by Emily from Windsor Girls School. Emily described how some of the older pupils were involved in a project to explain to younger pupils the problems of drugs and some of the feedback she had received from this. 

Attendees Listens to Emily

PC Tim Alexander then spoke about some of the areas in which the police were involved and also some of the assumptions, sometimes incorrect, made by the general public. He said that the drug that actually caused the most problem was alcohol and this was the cause of many crimes. Tim had set up an excellent exhibition of types of drugs with samples and also lots of handouts including a Drug Quiz. One question was True or False - Ecstasy was invented in 1985, in fact this is false it was invented in 1914 in Germany. It was used on troops in World War I, but it made them friendly to everyone. Also amphetamines were given to troops in World War II to combat military fatigue.

PC Tim Alexander's Drug Exhibition

Everyone then to together in small groups to discuss the subject of drugs and what they had heard. Also to think of any questions that may have cropped up during the evening.

Attendees discuss the Evening

Cyndy was extremely happy about the evening and plans to do another one on 12 May in Maidenhead. Cyndy can be contacted at the Town Hall on 01628 798888.

If you want more information about the Cookham Youth Project click here

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