A NEW set of resources designed to help teachers and professionals talk to young people about sensitive issues including drugs, mental health and being targeted by criminals have been launched in Trowbridge.

Sixth form pupils and staff at the John of Gaunt School gathered on Friday to find out more about the new educational tools unveiled by The Wrap, part of the Developing Health & Independence charity in Bath.

They include engaging videos exploring issues linked to alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, ketamine, MDMA and county lines. The videos are designed to work alongside dedicated lesson plans, which teachers can use as part of the new Relationship, Health and Sex Education curriculum.

The videos have been created in partnership with a local film company and feature local young actors from Stagecoach Theatre Arts. They were filmed in Trowbridge and the surrounding area.

The Wrap is a free online tool that provides straight-talking, confidential advice to people aged 11-18. It brings together up-to-date, relevant information created in partnership with young people, self-help tools and advice on where to find support – ensuring visitors are better informed and in control of their decisions at an age where risk taking is part of growing up.

Helen Kerr, assistant head teacher at John of Gaunt School, said: “The John of Gaunt School has a belief that students need to be fully prepared for life beyond the schools gates.

"Our students are living in a rapidly changing world and need to be able to access information quickly about issues like drugs and alcohol. The Wrap is designed to support staff and students with relevant and appropriate information.

“As a leader in a comprehensive school having access to such a useful resource means that we are better able to deliver this essential education to our students.

“We are confident knowing that the knowledge base which underpins The Wrap means our students are able to access the most up to date and relevant information, empowering them to take control of their decision making regarding drug use so they remain safe without the influence of inaccurate or ‘fake news’.”

Cllr Simon Jacobs, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “We’re really pleased to support The Wrap. There is so much information out there to support young people and that can be a little overwhelming, but this brings together lots of accessible resources on a range of important topics all in one place, such as mental health, sex and relationships, and drugs and alcohol.

“Not only are these resources aimed at young people directly, but also specific materials for professionals, parents and carers too.

“The Wrap will also support schools as part of their PSHE work, so that young people will be equipped with all the information, guidance and support they need at such an important time in their lives.”

Rosie Phillips, DHI chief executive, said: “Our focus is on education over intervention. When it comes to issues such as sex and drug use, the ‘just say no’ approach is unrealistic.

“It ignores the fact that risk-taking and experimentation is a natural part of growing up and it can cause more harm than good. The aim of The Wrap is to ensure young people are better informed – to put them in control of their decisions and help minimise risk."

“The Wrap has been designed in partnership with young people and professionals, so it has been developed to an extremely high standard and we are very proud of it.”