Community Drugs Education Project (SCDEP) is recommended
as good practice in the NHSS support materials on
drug education. Read the case study below.
Community Drugs Education Project
engaging Young People and South Asian
communities in drug education
SCDEP was funded jointly by the Southall Single
Regeneration Budget (SRB), with support from the
DAT, Health Promotion service, the then Home Office
Drug Prevention Advisory Service (DPAS) and the
University of Central Lancashire.
The Ethnicity and Health Unit of the University of Central
Lancashire ran the project in 1999 - 2000.
The projects original remit to work exclusively
with the South Asian communities in Southall was extended
to include all of Southalls communities, whilst
retaining the focus on South Asian families. The Unit
knew from its research that residents, in particular
communities who spoke Punjabi and other south Asian
languages, felt they didnt know enough about drugs
and how to respond and there is a lack of drug information
in South Asian languages.
The project aimed to sensitively access communities;
engage young people; and raise awareness within a wide
range of voluntary community and religious organisations,
as well as within Asian families.
There were 3 key elements to the project:
- Involving young people
Young people from across Southall participated in
a competition to create an identity for the project.
The name Southall Community Drugs Education
Project was chosen and a graphic designer worked
with young people on the winning entry to develop
the selected logo.
A youth panel, consisting of young people from across
the community, was created. It explored two main issues:
local services and education and other issues related
to young peoples drug use. The panel undertook
research and outreach work to develop a Young Peoples
Drug Strategy for Southall.
Young people went out into the community to gather
the views of their peers through a video project.
The young peoples video diaries raised the communitys
awareness of the issues.
- Educating families
SCDEP worked with a local Sikh school and community
and religious groups to produce a video for Sikh parents
called It couldnt happen to us.
24 bi-lingual volunteers, called community inter-acters,
were trained to teach drug education to families using
this and other South Asian drug education videos.
The families viewed the video in homes, community
and religious centres, asked questions, engaged in
discussion, received information about local drug
and other support organisations and were referred
to agencies as appropriate.
The model is also used in East Lancashire and is being
replicated across the country including in Southall
with Muslim and Somali communities, South Asian communities
in Peterborough and with black and minority ethnic
communities in Hertfordshire.
- Involving community organisations and businesses
The project set up a multi-agency forum of organisations
working on issues including Local Healthy Schools
Programmes, racist attacks, domestic violence, HIV
and Aids, and Alcohol and drug dependency. The forum
ensured that referral protocols were set up between
the project and these organisations so that families
and young people could access their services.
Local organisations and businesses took over the project
when the University of Central Lancashire finished its
work in Southall. The group became the Drug and Alcohol
Action Programme (DAAP) Trust and seeks to work primarily
but not exclusively with Black and minority ethnic communities
on drug education, research and service delivery.
Contact Perminder Dhillon at the Centre for Ethnicity
and Health, University of Central Lancashire, email
telephone 01772 892780.