School pupils in Clifton have taken part in a graduation ceremony with a difference.
Through completing a special DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) course, they now have a better understanding of the risks associated with drugs and how to avoid them, thanks to a project sponsored through local company British Gypsum.
The project was funded through a major one-off community donation made by British Gypsum in its centenary year.
The company, which has its head office in East Leake and six manufacturing sites across the UK, celebrated 100 years of operation in 2017.
To celebrate this milestone, British Gypsum chose community projects for substantial support around each of those sites.
This donation, made through the East Leake site, funded a 10-week programme to support early intervention for education around drugs and alcohol.
The five primary schools involved were Glapton Academy, Dovecote School, Highbank Primary, Milford Academy, and Whitegate Primary – all feeder schools to Farnborough academy in Clifton.
Pupils in year six completed a course that helped them develop an array of personal and social skills, including dealing with pressure and stressful situations, resistance skills and personal responsibility.
Students from year seven at Farnborough Academy will be taken through a programme from September called ‘Keepin it REAL’, which reinforces the primary school level lessons and helps students with the transition to the next level of education.
The sponsorship enabled specially trained DARE officers and teachers to go into school to deliver the lessons.
“Thanks to British Gypsum for the funding that enabled the DARE programme to take place in this area this term,” said Gurmit Kaur, DARE officer.
“This support has undoubtedly influenced the students’ lives in a positive way and helped them understand the risks associated with drugs, alcohol and smoking.”
Miss Cartwright, a year six teacher at Glapton Academy said: “DARE is great. The children have been able to gain skills which will support them through life.”
Emily, one of the excited students commented: “I’ve loved DARE. I have learnt how to communicate clearly.”
Rachel Morris from British Gypsum attended the graduation and added: “When choosing projects to receive the East Leake site centenary donation, this one was undoubtedly one of the strongest.
“We are pleased to have enabled this project to go ahead in schools in this area and we hope that the DARE education can continue to ensure students understand drugs and feel better equipped to avoid them by making informed decisions.
“It was a real pleasure to be involved at the graduation event and hear the students presenting everything that they’d learnt throughout the sessions.
“Their confidence and artistic skills were a real joy to watch and wonderful to see so many parents there supporting them as well.”