Rugby's Avon Valley School students welcome award-winning drugs awareness speaker

The speaker shared some of the harrowing realities of life on drugs

Paul Hannaford.
Paul Hannaford.

Students from The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College took part in an awareness day which focused on the consequences and impact of drugs, county lines, gangs and knife crime.

Once again, The Avon Valley School welcomed Paul Hannaford, an award-winning drugs awareness speaker, whose life experiences bring an insight to the real consequences of drug

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addiction, knife crime, gangs and county lines. Paul delivered his talk to all students in year 9, year 10 and year 11 and spent time working with students in small group sessions.

Paul Hannaford giving the talk to pupils.

Alongside Paul Hannaford the school also welcomed police officers and PCSOs from Rugby Police Station.

The team, who form part of the local safer neighbourhood team, arrived early to set up a knife arch which is used as part of Operation Sceptre, a nationwide campaign aimed at tackling

knife crime.

As the students arrived at school they had opportunity to see the arch in operation as they passed through the arch. The police staff remained on site all day running group talks during which students had opportunity to ask questions about crime, the law, and the role of the police.

The school’s headteacher, Alison Davies said, “Our aim for the day was to raise awareness about the dangers and consequences of drug and substance abuse, as well as knife crime.

Paul Hannaford, who has worked with us for a number of years, is an excellent speaker.

The students always listen to what he has to say and are shocked by his life story; this goes a long way towards reinforcing the work already completed by the students in this area. We are also very grateful to the staff from Rugby Police Station for spending the day with us and for interacting positively with our students.”