The father of the late singer Amy Winehouse has warned that children are being put at risk because of a lack of funding for education about drugs and alcohol.
Amy died at the age of 27 from accidental alcohol poisoning in 2011. Following her death, Mitch Winehouse began a foundation to help educate young people.
Today, he has joined forces with the comedian Russell Brand, who has undergone treatment for drug addiction, to launch the Amy Winehouse Foundation Resilience Programme. The scheme will initially be rolled out to to 50 secondary schools across England and will provide a free, confidential phone and online service for young people, supported by the charity Childline.
– Mitch Winehouse
"Drugs education in schools is woefully underfunded and has been far too inconsistent. That's if it happens at all. When it does, it doesn't look at why people turn to drugs or drink."
Mr Winehouse believes drugs education can be a complicated subject to teach in schools and he highlighted the dangers of substances which are legally available.
The charity Addaction, which helped to develop the scheme, said it had seen an almost 25% rise in the number of young people seeking help for drug and alcohol problems in the last five years. The charity said that many are misusing new substances such as the former legal high mephedrone. They hope the new programme will help young people understand why some of them turn to drink or drugs.
A poll by the research firm ComRes found that four in five parents with children at school felt drug and alcohol abuse among young people was a serious problem in the UK. But only 33% believed that schools provided adequate education to children about the issue.