On 17 November Lord Benjamin Mancroft (right), Trustee for Mentor UK, invited friends and supporters of the two leading drug prevention charities, Mentor UK and Angelus, to an event at the House of Lords to celebrate their merger. The event was an opportunity for key figures from the respective organisations to gain a solid understanding of how they share the same vision for preventative drugs education.
Mentor UK and Angelus legally merged on 1 October and now operate under the Mentor name. The merger will give the new organisation a louder voice in calling for support for evidence-based programmes which build resilience among children and young people against risks from alcohol and other drugs, including New Psychoactive Substances (NPS, formerly known as ‘legal highs’).
Lord Mancroft said, “I have been advocating, for more years than I care to remember, that investing in drugs prevention is the key to helping young people to avoid getting into trouble with alcohol and drugs. It is essential that organisations like Mentor and Angelus are allowed to continue the vital work they do in achieving that important goal.”
Maryon Stewart (pictured here, right), founder of Angelus, championed the need for compulsory drugs education in schools as a resilience building “Mentor’s focus is on prevention as well as education,” she said. “They have the strong evidence to show what works and convince others these programmes need to be invested in. Angelus brings a lot of innovation to this union.” Maryon described how the passing of the Psychoactive Substance Act was not only a “relief” but one of “Angelus’ finest achievements.”
Mentor’s Chair of Trustees Sim Scavazza (pictured above, left) advocated the need for education as a “strong foundation” in preventing substance misuse. Sim said: “Together, we realise our goal that every child in the UK receives evidence-based drug prevention through our schools and through helping parents and carers understand how they can protect their children from drugs.”
The Mentor-Angelus merger gives us the opportunity to reach a wider audience through the delivery of harm-prevention programs that informs young people of the harms associated with illicit and NPS drug-taking, to help support them in making conscientious healthy choices in the future.