Greater Shankill Youth Connects, through the support of Communities in Transition, has launched a brand new bespoke resource for parents to ‘connect the dots’ and develop their understanding around drugs, alcohol and young people. The ‘Dot Guide’ was developed by parents who are part of a working group that involves local Youth Practitioners and is led by Greater Shankill Partnership as part of the Shankill Youth Project.
The Shankill Youth Project was established to give a voice to local young people as well as increasing community resilience in response to local issues and concerns. The ‘Dot Guide’ initiative was developed following a consultation among young people on the subject of drugs and alcohol, which showed that many of them said they would turn to parents if faced with difficulties with drugs or alcohol.
A Parents Working Group, who were recruited as part of the project, felt it was a good idea to create a resource for parents to be better equipped when faced with drug and alcohol issues. Through this work they looked into the current drugs context within the community and the risks associated between substance misuse, organised crime, criminality and paramilitaries.
Participants of the programme have been involved in drug awareness training and have gained an understanding of advice and support available in order to increase resilience and capacity to better manage concerns relating to drugs and alcohol.
The Dot Guide resource is now live and available online at: The Dot Guide
It is hoped that parents will now be more informed to help young people which will ultimately reduce the risk of any escalating drug issues that can also lead to criminal behaviour and the negative influence of paramilitaries, creating a safer and more resilient community.