Southall Community Drugs Education Project
The Southall project is recommended as good practice in the NHSS
support materials on drug education. Read the case study below.
Conference Report >>
Southall Community Drugs Education Project (SCDEP) 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
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
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
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 Pdhillon@uclan.ac.uk
or email@example.com, telephone