Pupils beat Angus dragons

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YOUNG people from Arbroath joined their peers from across Angus recently to take their best ideas forward to the panel of the Angus Dragons’ Den.

They had to persuade the panel that the projects and activities they had devised locally would reduce the issue of alcohol misuse and increase the care of sexual health for themselves and other young people in Angus.

The event was organised by the Focus on Alcohol Angus project and brought together officers from Angus Council education department, economic development, social work and health as well as from NHS Tayside and Tayside Police to provide a fun activity based on the popular BBC programme Dragons’ Den.

The young people made their pitches to the Angus Dragons’ Den judges in a bid to convince them that their ideas to reduce their risks associated with alcohol use and sexual health would work best with other young people. Funding from the Alcohol and Drugs Partnership and NHS Tayside had been made available to help the young people take forward their ideas.

Freda Stewart, health improvement partnership manager for the Angus Community Health Partnership said: “In supporting this innovative approach to recognising the link between alcohol and making good choices, we hope that the Dragons’ support for the young peoples’ ideas will positively influence cultural factors that impact on sexual health”.

The young people presented a variety of ideas to the Dragons, including the production of DVDs, campaigns to improve awareness around the issue and an activity to help young people explore alcohol and the impact it has on sexual health, entitled: ‘Would you date me now?’.

Eileen McArthur, of the Focus on Alcohol Angus project, stated: “The young people are really facing this exciting challenge head on.

“They have come up with a range of excellent ideas and activities to take forward in their own local areas that will really strike a chord with other young people around the issues associated with alcohol and sexual health.

“The main idea driving this event is the fact that we know that young people respond really well to messages provided by their peers on this important subject.”

The Dragons challenged the ideas put forward by the young people and in the end decided that all the groups should secure funding for their intended projects and campaigns.