West Yorkshire-based health cash plan provider Sovereign Health Care has donated £3,000 towards Drug Watch Foundation to help bring its teaching initiative ‘Drugs: The Truth’ to Leeds.

The educational resource sees expert educators and former drug addicts deliver workshops to children up to the age of 19 on the dangers, laws, and health and social implications of drug and alcohol use.

Originally founded in Manchester by four concerned parents, Drug Watch Foundation has been working since 2013 to educate children across the UK to reduce the number of young people misusing substances, increase their knowledge of the issue and refine their life skills.

The organisation has successfully delivered the initiative to more than 60 schools across Manchester, Coventry, Leicester and Cambridge since 2016 and, following Sovereign Health Care’s donation through its Community Programme, the resource will now be available to schools and colleges in Leeds.

Drug Watch Foundation’s project manager, Daniella Nuttall, said: “Receiving such a generous donation from Sovereign Health Care will help us implement our educational resources into Leeds schools and colleges, which we have never been able to visit previously, and we’re incredibly grateful for their support towards the Drug Watch Foundation.

“We have received great feedback from the schools we have worked with so far and we feel targeting youngsters of school age is a great way to pass on our concerns, knowledge and experience of substance abuse and anti-social behaviour.

“Without the support of organisations like Sovereign Health Care, the delivery of our Drugs: The Truth project wouldn’t be possible, and we can’t thank them enough for such a kind donation towards the next step in our initiative.”

The charity’s dedicated leadership team have all had experiences with drug use within their own families and their aim is to make the Drug Watch Foundation project a widespread programme and hope to double its coverage across the UK in the next 18 months.

Drug Watch Foundation’s senior education consultant, Brian Carroll, said: “It’s essential for schools to invest in programmes such as ours to ensure students have the necessary guidance, not just in education, but also in life skills. With the UK’s recreational drug usage on the increase, we believe that by working together with schools we can really begin to stem the flow of drugs amongst young people, and without Sovereign Health Care’s funding we wouldn’t be able to continue to deliver this important work.”

Sovereign Health Care donates between five per cent and ten per cent of its annual turnover to community and charitable initiatives focussing on health and wellbeing projects that improve lives and provide opportunities to those who directly benefit from the donation. Recent grants and donations include Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity, Marie Curie’s Bradford-based hospice and Yorkshire NHS Trusts.

Sovereign Health Care’s chief executive, Russ Piper, said: “Our Community Programme is all about supporting local health and wellbeing initiatives that can truly make a difference to people across West Yorkshire, and Drug Watch Foundation is a charity that we can really see improving young lives.

“To see how the foundation has formed relationships with teachers and students across 60 schools in the UK shows how important raising awareness of substance abuse to young people really is, so we’re pleased to be able to help bring this educational resource to the city.”

Sovereign Health Care celebrated its 145th anniversary last year and is one of the UK’s longest established providers of health care cash plans to individuals and businesses, with around 75,000 customers across the UK.

Sovereign Health Care’s cash plans enable customers to claim money back towards the cost of prescriptions, dental check-ups and treatment, visits to the optician and much more. Being able to recoup some of these costs can help individuals to keep on top of their health care by taking preventative measures and getting treatment early.

For further information, visit www.sovereignhealthcare.co.uk 

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