CHILDREN help raise awareness of the dangerous of substance misuse

Young people in Barrow are doing their bit to address alarming health issues in the area which have led to 1 in 10 under 18’s being admitted to hospital for alcohol related illness.

355 Year 5 and Year 6 pupils from 10 Barrow primary schools are involved in the 2019 Happy and Healthy Lifestyle Project - #iWill Make A Difference. This year the event was supported by Barrow Police, The Well and Morecombe Bay Health Trust.

The project, now in its third year, is led by the Furness Education and Skills Partnership in collaboration with the NHS. It aims to address worrying public health issues highlighted by Public Health England and Cumbria County Council. Public Health England reported that in Barrow there are 143 deaths related to smoking every year. But where can we find the solution? The answer is in our young people.

The 2018 scheme, with the theme of Substance Abuse, was officially launched during an event at Furness College on Friday 1st March with workshops on smoking, vaping, alcohol misuse, drug abuse and county lines.

Pupils from the 10 primary schools taking part then designed posters to help raise awareness of the organisations that can help people with problems related to smoking, alcohol and drugs. These were judged by Maxine Baron, ICC Development Lead for Barrow who choose the winning designs that will be displayed in locations around Barrow.

Amy Lamph, Coordinator for FESP said: “This has been a different year for the project as usually the children actively address the problems (healthy eating or exercise) in their own schools. This year, with the topic of substance abuse they have all come together to create posters for The Well or the Stop Smoking Helpline to help raise awareness of the help that is out there in their communities. It’s been fantastic to visit the schools are hear how some of the students have already made an impact within their own families. We’ve had cases of pupils going home and being able to encourage their parents to cut down or even stop smoking.”

The winning posters were announced at a celebration event and poster exhibition held at the Believe in Barrow store with prizes presented by Kevin Hamilton, Mayor of Barrow. Winners prizes were awarded to Ines and Maissie from Victoria Academy, Riley from George Romney Junior School, Tamzin and Kai from Greengate Junior School, Rocky from St. James' C of E Primary School, Elisse from Ormsgill Primary School, Mahiya from Chetwynde School and Honey from Dalton St. Mary's C of E Primary School.

All the posters entered into the competition will be on display in the Believe in Barrow Shop on Portland Walk, Barrow (next to the indoor market entrance) with the winner posters professional printed and displayed in health centres, community centres and other locations in the Furness Area.

The organisations which took part in this year’s project are: Furness Education and Skills Partnership, Norwood Medical Centre, Bay Health & Care Partners, Morecambe Bay NHS Trust and The Well.

Other organisations that have supported the project by providing venues are: Furness College and Barrow Borough Council.

The schools taking part in this project are: Greengate Junior School, Ormsgill Primary School, St Pius X Catholic Primary School, Victoria Academy, Chetwynde School, Cambridge Primary School, Newton Primary School , St. James' C of E Primary School, Dalton St. Mary's C of E Primary School and George Romney Junior School.

The next stage of the project in 2019/20 academic year will focus on Metal Health.