Angelus to Merge with Mentor UK on 1 October

Leading Drug Education Charities, Angelus and Mentor to Merge

 Two of the UK’s leading drugs education charities have announced they are to merge. Angelus, is the only UK charity dedicated to raising awareness of the risks from new psychoactive substances (also known as ‘legal highs’). Mentor UK is the UK’s leading charity working to prevent the misuse of alcohol and drugs among children and young people. They will merge on 1 October 2016 and operate under the Mentor UK name.

Together, they have a shared ambition to see a considerably increased provision of preventative education delivered to young people so that every young person in the UK can assess the risks that drugs present. They have already worked together in lobbying the Government to help educate young people in the wake of the New Psychoactive Substances Act.

Angelus was founded by Maryon Stewart, whose daughter Hester died in 2009 after taking a legal high. Mentor UK was founded in 1998 and is part of the group of charities affiliated with the Mentor International Foundation. The organisations recognise that the range of pressures facing young people is continually growing. The numbers of substances available to young people has continued to add to the rapidly evolving situation. The merger is an opportunity to demonstrate their dual leadership in the sector, enhancing their capacity to support educational delivery and to involve Government in finding solutions.

Both organisations recognise close parallels in their work objectives to develop greater external profile and stronger influence so as to achieve common objectives of preventing harm to young people by building their resilience to the myriad of pressures on them.

Mentor’s Chief Executive, Michael O’ Toole said, “This merger is a great match of expertise – it is going to give fresh impetus to the prevention agenda. Mentor and Angelus working together will certainly enhance our capability to deliver on the full range of issues affecting young people. Angelus has shown it is the lead voice in educating young people and the public about the new phenomenon of new psychoactives. Together we will be a stronger force to ensure we build even more young people’s resilience to the wide range of pressures they face.”

Chief Executive of Angelus, Jan King said, “We are absolutely delighted to be announcing this merger today. We are determined to continue to work to protect young people from the harms of new psychoactives – it is clear to us that joining forces with Mentor UK is the best way of achieving that. There is no organisation in the sector which is more respected than Mentor and they have a very strong track record of delivering high quality prevention programmes. We look forward to reaching more young people and enabling them and their parents to be better equipped to cope with the risks that drugs present.”

Angelus’ Success in Campaigning to Tackle Open Sale of ‘Legal Highs’

legal highs

We all want our children to stay safe and well so that they live to fulfill their life potential and lead happy lives. These days young people face many challenges during their teenage years and the party substances known as ‘legal highs’ are high on the list of pitfalls as many believe they are safe because they have been legal.

Following an intense six year campaign, the team at the Angelus Foundation welcomes the Government plans to legislate against the sale of new psychoactive substances, which most young people call ‘legal highs’. Angelus has led the call for a strong legal response to the easy availability of these legal substances and has long campaigned for fundamental measures to disrupt the supply of these legal drugs.

The Psychoactive Substances Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech last week, should effectively shut down the high street trade in ‘legal highs’. Angelus surveys have shown a deeply concerning level of experimentation with ‘legal highs’ with as many as 13.6% of 14-18 year old school students and 19% of University Freshers had tried one.

However, as well as legislative changes, there is a vital need to increase public awareness of these harmful substances. There must be a greater commitment from central and local Government, schools and universities, to giving the education which young people need to stay safe from these substances.

The legal change cannot be expected to extinguish the market entirely; it is not a perfect solution. Some internet trade will remain so it is vital the legal changes are combined with a sustained public awareness campaign. Last week, five students at Lancaster University were hospitalised after collapsing from the effects of synthetic cannabis. Our surveys show young people are still unwittingly taking huge risks by experimenting with legal drugs, often believing they are safe because they are legal. Angelus is determined to build up young people’s knowledge and resilience to prevent further tragedies from taking these harmful products. Our website www.whynotfindout.org.uk is a dedicated website where young people can find comprehensive non-judgemental information. Our schools’ surveys show that over 94% of pupils aged 14 – 18 change their outlook on ‘legal highs’ when they watch the short film ‘Not What it Says on the Tin’.

Most parents are in the dark too as little information is readily available to build their knowledge base. They often have little idea that several new substances are trickling onto the market each week and their children may be at risk of being harmed. In addition to the free handbook that can be downloaded from the Angelus website and the film for parents ‘Not What It Says on the Tin, Angelus is soon launching a community with a series of films, including celebrities and experts, to allow parents to access the information they need to keep their children safe.

You can register to join the community prior to the launch and we will let you know when we are ready to get you started on the journey. Please email us at Toksferguson@angelusfoundation.org.uk.

Please also read the Sunday Times article from 31 May 2015.

Angelus Welcomes Queen’s Speech Bill to Outlaw the Sale of ‘Legal Highs’ – 27 May

Angelus, the only UK charity dedicated to raising awareness of the risks from ‘legal highs’, today welcomed Government plans to legislate against their sale. Angelus has led the call for a strong legal response to the easy availability of these legal substances and has long campaigned for fundamental measures to disrupt the supply of these legal drugs. Angelus described the need to combine the legislation with better public awareness of these harmful substances as “vital”.

The legal change, announced in today’s Queen’s Speech, should effectively shut down the high street trade in ‘legal highs’. Angelus surveys have shown a deeply concerning level of experimentation with ‘legal highs’ – 13.6% of 14-18 year old school students and 19% of University Freshers had tried one.

Angelus advocates a greater commitment from central and local Government, schools and universities, to giving the education which young people need to stay safe from these substances.

Chief Executive of Angelus, Jan King said, “Angelus has been campaigning long and loud for some regulation on the open sale of ‘legal highs’. It has been like the Wild West until now, with young people able to access these dangerous products virtually without restriction.  So, naturally, we are pleased the new Government has made this issue an early priority. Our Founder, Maryon Stewart, deserves enormous credit for being the driving force behind Angelus and in getting this issue into the national conversation.

“The legal change cannot be expected to extinguish the market entirely; it is not a perfect solution. Some internet trade will remain so it is vital the legal changes are combined with a sustained public awareness campaign. Last week, five students at Lancaster University were hospitalised after collapsing from the effects of synthetic cannabis. Our surveys show young people are still unwittingly taking huge risks by experimenting with legal drugs. Angelus is determined to build up young people’s knowledge and resilience to prevent further tragedies from taking these harmful products.”

SOURCE Angelus Foundation

 

Don’t Lose the Lot on Legal Highs – Festival Campaign – 4 May

The Association of Independent Festivals and Angelus Foundation has launched a new initiative to highlight the dangers of legal highs at festivals.

The new campaign follows last year’s successful ‘Don’t Be In The Dark’ initiative, which saw more than 20 festivals take part and 9 million people reached on social media. AIF has again partnered with legal highs charity Angelus for a 24-hour online blackout over the bank holiday. Link here >>>

Angelus Mudrun – Fundraising Event – 22 March

Fundraising for The Angelus Foundation
 
Douglas Fairchild (Intern) is fundraising by taking the trenches challenge and running 5k through the mud and over obstacles Sunday 22 March 2015.

Douglas is fundraising for The Angelus Foundation a charity which works to safeguard children and young adults by raising awareness of the dangers of ‘Legal Highs’. These are chemicals which have resulted in the death and long term illness of many children and young adults in the UK and throughout Europe.

Many use the substances with the misconception that because they are legal they must be safe; unfortunately this is not the case. The reason ‘Legal Highs’ are legal is due to manufacturers slight alteration of chemical compound of existing illegal substances and creating new substances which do not fall under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act.

The Angelus Foundation lobbies to change UK legislation in order to ban Legal Highs across the whole of the country. To find out more about the charity’s work visit the websites bellow:
http://www.angelusfoundation.org.uk

He is fundraising through Just Giving and any sponsorship will be appreciated. Please follow the link to the fundraising page and find out more: https://www.justgiving.com/Doug-Fairchild1

ITV Report – More Dangerous than Legal Drugs – Wales – 18 March

Click the link here to watch ITV report on Welsh Government findings around legal substances.

“I would say in my personal opinion yes they are as much of a concern and in fact we need to be even more worried because we don’t know what’s in the drugs, we don’t know what’s in each packet that comes along, we don’t know the strength of it, we don’t know the chemicals in there and we don’t know the lasting effects and the danger that’s being done.”

– YAINA SAMUELS, DIRECTOR OF NU HI TRAINING.

Dr Nicola Newton

Dr Nicola Newton is a clinical psychologist, formerly at Kings College now a Senior Research Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC). She specialises in drug prevention. Here, Nicola tells Angelus Founder, Maryon Stewart, about drug education, research and intervention.