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Project information

Community-based drug education for young people

Our Big Idea is to provide teams of trained voluntary Drug Educators capable of delivering drug education in schools and with youth groups as well as to other voluntary organisations engaging with 'hard-to-reach' young people to every part of the UK . Parents and youth workers will also benefit.

The project has already begun and is ongoing.

Charity information: Hope UK

Hope UK logo
  • Need


    For the last two years, more young people are choosing not to drink alcohol or use drugs, but these improvements are threatened by funding cuts to statutory and voluntary organisations that used to provide prevention education. In addition, drug education is not a compulsory part of the school curriculum. Research carried out by the Drug Education Forum found that over 60% of schools say they only provide drug education once or less per year.


    Hope UK cannot solve the problem, but its trained Drug Educators can increase the chances of children avoiding drug and alcohol-related harm by giving them the information and life skills they need to make healthy choices that will enable them to realise their potential. By training teams of about 6-10 volunteers from a local area together, they are empowered to work in their local communities, which they know well, giving each other mutual support and encouragement.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To recruit a paid one-day-per-week Local Project Worker who can recruit and support volunteers.


    » Advertise within the target area, conduct interviews and appoint a suitable individual to the post of Local Project Worker.

    What success will look like

    Success will be employing a suitable individual to act as our Local Project Worker in a local area, eg, a London borough or a town.

    Aim 2

    To train a team of 6-10 voluntary Drug Educators with our 120-hour accredited training course.


    » By providing the correspondence course materials and delivering three practical training weekends as well as monitoring progress.

    What success will look like

    Success will be finding and training 6-10 individuals who will then form a team able to work together in their local community to reduce drug and alcohol-related harm.

  • Impact


    We would expect an active team of voluntary Drug Educators to noticeably reduce drug and alcohol-related crime, disorder, A&E admissions and unwanted pregnancies amongst young people in their local area. This should be reflected in an improvement in local statistics relating to these issues. An example of this is the impact our Educators made on the long-term unemployed young adults they worked with in Wiltshire where "a marked decline in drug/drink related work problems" was observed.


    The biggest risk is that trained volunteers will not deliver on their commitment to work for Hope UK because health, family or work issues intrude. This is the reason we have adopted the strategy of training teams in local areas supported by a paid Project Worker. Team members can cover for each other and support one another and the Project Worker is available during the day to find work for them to do and also provide service delivery when volunteers are unavailable.


    We report to donors as a matter of course either once per year or according to their requirements. While it is not always easy to report outcomes with prevention work, we do follow recognised best practice in drug education and report outputs which are recorded for each team by HQ staff.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £14,830

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,000 Salary & expenses Salary and expenses for paid Local Project Worker
      £8,580 Training costs It costs £858 to train a voluntary Drug Educator
      £1,500 HQ support costs This includes supervision, payroll, fundraising etc
      £750 Set-up costs New Local Project Workers may need laptops and other equipment to do their jobs
  • Background


    Currently, we have local teams in Kingston, LB Newham and Lambeth, Watford and Bexley. We are recruiting teams in County Armagh, Northern Ireland; North East Scotland; the North East of England; Sheffield; Northamptonshire; Buckinghamshire; Cornwall and Southampton, Poole and Bournemouth. Our aim is to have a team in every part of the UK, but we are limited by the intensive training required and the small staff training team.


    No part of the UK, whether prosperous or deprived, is immune to the damaging effects of drug use and excessive alcohol consumption. Children and young people where we have teams will benefit from the activity of our voluntary Drug Educators by having the knowledge, confidence and life skills to make healthy choices, thus enabling them to achieve their potential. Parents and youth workers will also be given the knowledge and practical strategies to prevent drug-related harm.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    To the best of our knowledge, Hope UK is the only national charity that trains volunteers to become Drug Educators using a course that is accredited with the Open College Network. As a member of the Drug Education Forum and Drug Practitioners Forum we are aware of best practice and apply this to our work. We have 150+ years' experience of working with children and our Christian foundation gives us access to churches engaging with their local communities in many different ways.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sarah Brighton

    Sarah is the Chief Executive Officer. She developed the Voluntary Drug Educator Training Programme 19 years ago and is an experienced trainer.

    Lovisa Liyanage

    Lovisa is the Assistant Training Co-ordinator who has many years' experience of working with volunteers to prevent drug and alcohol-related harm.

Parents' professionals at Hope UK conference

Parents' professionals at Hope UK conference


The training cost of one voluntary Drug Educator