Derry schoolchildren complete HURT course

Minister for Education John O'Dowd with pupils from St Brigid's College and St Mary's College who have completed a LifeSkills programme with local charity HURT (Have Your Tomorrows), part of the Big Lottery's Empowering Young People Programme. Included with staff members are, standing centre, Sadie O'Reilly and Dessie Kyle, HURT, and Marianna Doherty, seated right, principal. (1503PG50)
Minister for Education John O'Dowd with pupils from St Brigid's College and St Mary's College who have completed a LifeSkills programme with local charity HURT (Have Your Tomorrows), part of the Big Lottery's Empowering Young People Programme. Included with staff members are, standing centre, Sadie O'Reilly and Dessie Kyle, HURT, and Marianna Doherty, seated right, principal. (1503PG50)

The centre manager of HURT has thanked the Minister for Education John O’Dowd for visiting St. Brigid’s College, to present certificates to representatives of groups who recently undertook the LifeSkills training programme facilitated by the charity.

Dessie Kyle said: “I’d like to congratulate everyone for putting the hard work into and completing the Botvin Lifeskills training programme. HURT are planning to deliver this programme over the next three years to over 400 young people.

“Sadie O’Reilly the co-ordinator of HURT spent a considerable amount of time researching programmes that could best deliver the message around awareness, communication, peer, and media pressure, and drug resistance skills. The Botvin LifeSkills programme matched all of the areas that we felt needed to be addressed for young people in today’s environment.

“This programme has been used extensively in the U.S. for almost thirty years; it is evidence based and has

remarkable success in raising awareness in younger people of the issues and dangers around smoking, alcohol and substance use and has been proven to significantly reduce or delay uptake of substance use among young people.

“As an organisation working in this field for ten years we felt that the emphasis of our work needed to focus more on prevention and raising awareness. Over the past five years over 1600 people throughout the North West from Derry to Limavady and Strabane have accessed HURT services for help with alcohol or drug use. (The youngest just aged 12). Recognising that for many people their first step towards addiction and risky behaviour may have been out of curiosity or peer pressure, we hope at the end of this programme, the participants will be more aware of all of the implications and dangers associated with just trying to see what it’s like to experiment with substance use. Unfortunately once is enough to have lifelong consequences.

“If just one person in every group takes on board the learning from this programme we believe this effort was well worth it. I would like to thank Mark Mullan who hails from this City, and works with Minister O Dowd, for his efforts to bring this visit together.” To enquire about services or programmes Contact HURT on 71 369696.