Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Angelus and Amy Winehouse Foundations Launch Drug Education Film and e-Petition

LONDON, 27 March, 2012/PRNewswire – The Angelus and Amy Winehouse Foundations today released jointly a new film which highlights the extreme danger club drugs and alcohol can pose to young people.

Felicity Kendal

The film, narrated by actor Cherie Lunghi, portrays four highly talented young people: Hester Stewart, Louise Cattell, Freddy McConnel and Amy Winehouse. They all died after contact with drugs or alcohol.

Christine and Neil Hamilton

The intention is for the film to shown to young people in schools and clubs to make them realise taking unknown substances can have terrible consequences. Drug use is not just dangerous for addicts; everyone who takes drugs, particularly any of the new club drugs, is taking a huge risk with their health and well-being.

The two foundations have also established an e-petition to force a Parliamentary debate on putting “effective drugs education on the National Curriculum.”

The founder of the Angelus Foundation, Maryon Stewart, said: "We all have a stake in this. This film shows we are sleepwalking into a disaster. I know Hester would never have taken a drug like GBL if she had thought there was any risk.

“Britain’s young people are largely ignorant of the harms of these drugs but that’s not stopping them. If we cannot prevent these unknown drugs being so easily accessible we should at least arm young people with some education. We are demanding drug education be put on the National Curriculum.”

Louise’s mother, Vicky Unwin, said “Louise had everything to live for; as a recreational user, like many young people today, she had no idea of the risks she was taking. Drug education often concentrates on the known substances like alcohol, heroin, cannabis and cocaine, but rarely encompasses the new lethal legal highs and club drugs.

Also speaking about the new film, Mitch Winehouse said, “Only 60 percent of schools are teaching children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and this is often for one hour or less in a whole academic year. We are petitioning the Government to make it a compulsory subject, as it is not currently being treated as a priority. If young people are given the opportunity to make informed choices, then we believe that many lives can be saved.”
Notes to editors:

The Angelus and Amy Winehouse Foundations’ joint position is that the Government’s response to the flood of new drugs is that simply to make them illegal is flawed if it is not supported by other interventions, as the legal status of a drug makes little or no difference to young people. The Home Secretary’s statement this week to the Chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs admits ketamine use has at least doubled since it was made illegal.

For this reason, the Angelus and Amy Winehouse Foundations are jointly campaigning to get 100,000 signatures on a petition to put drugs education on the National Curriculum so that young people are armed with sufficient knowledge to make informed choices.

If you wish to interview any of the above, please contact:
Ally Gill at the Angelus Foundation on
T: +44(0)8451771070
M: +44(0)7973 713139

Holly Sutton at Journalista
T: +44(0)20-7232-4671
M: +44(0)7966280542

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