On 12th July, 2012 Marilyn and Lesley attended the Redbridge Drugs Seminar by kind invitation from the organisers, to speak to students, staff and local councillors about the effects of drugs on our families.
The event was held in Loxford School of Science and Technology, Ilford, Essex, which caters for pupils and students from 3-18 years of age, on a large, modern campus. There were two sessions of two hours, delivered to two separate year groups, 250 Year 10 students and approximately 200 Year 12 students.
Each session opened with Richard who gave a scientific presentation on behalf of Mary Brett. Then Beeni, a former drug addict, spoke about her experiences of psychosis and rehabilitation. She was followed by Jojo, also a former addict, who talked about her experience with drugs and her life in recovery. Next Richard gave a frank account of his difficulties with addiction then Steve from Drugsline spoke about his work as a counsellor and some of the shocking consequences of using drugs.
The penultimate speakers were two members from a charity providing drugs and alcohol services in London, Foundation 66, who delivered interesting talks about family needs surrounding drugs and alcohol usage and provided some relevant scientific information.
Finally, Marilyn then Lesley spoke about their late sons’ tragic deaths, the surrounding circumstances and the impact left upon them and their families. The audiences listened in silence; one student was overheard afterwards saying, “I’ll never do drugs again.”
Marilyn and Lesley have been invited by the school to return next year to speak again.