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Winehouse programme to educate teachers, parents and students

Amy Winehouse's father Mitch is due to launch a new drugs and alcohol education programme in schools. Credit: Ian West, PA

"Everyone wants their kids to make informed choices when it comes to drugs and alcohol," Amy's dad, Mitch Winehouse, said.

"But it's such a complicated subject to understand, especially when you look at all the new legal highs that have appeared over the past few years, that it's no wonder that parents feel in the dark about what to do.

"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.

"It doesn't happen with any kind of regularity. And it doesn't help teachers and parents to support the kids who really need it. That really needs to change.

"Our new secondary schools programme will give everyone - including parents, teachers and the pupils themselves - the skills and knowledge they need. That's something that will really help our young people."

Winehouse Foundation school programme

Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse died in July 2011 from accidental alcohol poisoning at the age of 27. Credit: Reuters

The father of Amy Winehouse has warned a generation of children are being put at risk by "woefully underfunded" drug and alcohol education.

Mitch Winehouse said there was a "worrying knowledge gap" about substance misuse among young people as he prepares to join forces with comic Russell Brand to launch a new education programme for schools.

Russell Brand
Russell Brand is throwing his weight behind the new education programme. Credit: Reuters

The Amy Winehouse Foundation Resilience Programme will initially be rolled out to 50 English secondary schools and will provide a free, confidential phone and online service for young people, supported by Childline.

Singer Amy died in July 2011 from accidental alcohol poisoning at 27 years old.

Stars come out for Winehouse Foundation

Former Bros star Matt Goss performed at the Ball. Credit: Ian West, PA.

A host of music stars turned out tonight to raise money for disadvantaged young people, in memory of Amy Winehouse.

Patsy Palmer Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Family and friends of the late singer attended a ball at The Dorchester hotel in central London, held by the Amy Winehouse Foundation.

It was the first major fundraiser for the charity, which was set up following the singer's death to help young people struggling with homelessness, drug abuse and alcohol problems.

Dionne Bromfield. Credit: Ian West, PA.
Paloma Faith. Credit: Ian West, PA.

Speaking at the event, Amy's father Mitch Winehouse said early intervention was key to preventing young people falling into substance abuse.

He said: "We need to do as much as we can to raise as much money as we can for disadvantaged young people.

"The key is early intervention, which means getting into schools and speaking to young people at the earliest opportunity. Giving them all the information they need and allowing them to make the appropriate decisions for them.

Mitch Winehouse is calling for earlier intervention for those with drug problems Credit: Ian West, PA.

"It's not going to help everybody. There's still going to be people who still turn to drugs.

"But if people know that legal highs might be legal but they're not safe, they are not stupid, they'll be able to make the appropriate decisions for themselves."

Tyler James was living with the troubled star when she died. Credit: Ian West, PA.

Tyler James, who found fame on BBC One talent contest The Voice, was living with the troubled star when she died of drink abuse.

He said his performance at the ball was in memory of Amy, who he called his "soul mate".

"I had alcohol problems in the past, I went to rehab, I'm lucky to be here. I was taught quite a lot about drugs in school, but no-one really talked about the dangers of alcohol," he said.

"I'm still grieving but something like this helps me because it's a really positive thing. She'd be so proud of her dad and her family."

Mark Ronson. Credit: Ian West, PA.

Mark Ronson, who produced Winehouse's award-winning Back To Black album, said: "I'm here to support the foundation and to make sure money is raised to let Amy's legacy do some good."

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