Winehouse Foundation to send ex-users into schools

A foundation set up in late singer Amy Winehouse's name is to launch a five-year programme tomorrow to take former drug users and alcoholics into schools, giving pupils the chance to talk openly about addiction issues with people who have experienced them first hand.

According to the Observer, Amy's father, Mitch, admitted that the decision to start rolling out the programme was born partly from frustration with the government's reluctance to make addiction issues a compulsory part of the national curriculum.

Amy Winehouse would have been proud of the work of the charity set up in her name, her father said. Credit: Suzan/EMPICS Entertainment

"Just after Amy passed away we went to see the Department for Education and the Department of Health and we spoke to them about getting the drug and alcohol education on to the school curriculum, and they really felt there was no necessity for it," Winehouse said.

"There are very good, well-meaning people out there, but it's on an ad hoc basis and we decided that, rather than wait for the government to galvanise itself into some kind of action, we would take the first steps."

The impact of the programme, which has been tried in two pilot schemes in Hertfordshire, will be assessed by Harvard University. It will go into 50 schools and potentially reach 250,000 pupils over its duration.

Read: Mitch Winehouse launches drug and alcohol programme