Charity in bid to reduce substance abuse

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A Kettering charity will stage Zumba sessions, a gymnastics demonstration and a family fun day to raise awareness of the problems caused by substance abuse.

Solve It is holding the free community event at St Andrew’s Primary School, in Grafton Street, on Tuesday, June 25, coinciding with Child Safety Week and an international day against drug abuse.

Trustees of the charity hope the event will bring together the community of the Northfield Ward in Kettering to access local services, promote health and wellbeing and have some fun.

Solve It spokeswoman Joy Smith said: “Through increasing knowledge, understanding and empathy we are trying to keep children safe, creating a stronger link between families and their community.

“By engaging with services to help prevent and tackle their problems such as drug abuse we can promote social inclusion, healthy lifestyles and reduce the fear and risk of crime.”

An information stand will be on show where parents and children can access information about how to stay safe in the home while Solve It volunteers will also be raising awareness about Volatile Substance Abuse, providing education, information and support to the community.

Other agencies such as Northamptonshire Police, Family Support Link and Community Law will also be on hand while activities such as a bouncy castle, face painting, Zumba classes and gymnastics will be available.

Entertainment will be provided for children to have fun and participate in fact finding exercises to gain information themselves to encourage dialogue with parents at home.

Latest figures show that 11,166 11-year-olds used volatile substances in 2011 compared with 1,175 trying cannabis. More than 232,000 11-to-15-year-olds abused solvents at some stage in 2011.

Volatile substance abuse is a particular problem in some foreign countries, with 20 per cent of Slovenians reporting a lifetime experience of inhalants compared to a continental average of nine per cent.

With a growing Eastern European population locally, an interpreter will be at the event to relay the key messages to families in the community.

Organisers are keen for other local groups to get involved and have also appealed for donations for tombola prizes. If you are interested in finding out more, call Solve It on 01536 414690.