Hitchin mum features in Hope UK national drug education campaign film

Mary Deller supporting Hope UK in Hitchin's Market Place. Picture: Mary Deller

Mary Deller supporting Hope UK in Hitchin's Market Place. Picture: Mary Deller - Credit: Archant

A mum from Hitchin features in a new national campaign aiming to educate young people about the consequences of drug use.

Mary Deller has been a voluntary drug educator with Hope UK for about eight years – and she appears in the charity’s new promotional film campaign.

Mary works with young people in schools across North Herts, and takes part in community events with the charity’s drug education stand.

The aim of the new two new online films is to raise awareness and funds, as well as to reach out to people who may be interested in becoming drug educators with the charity.

The first clip includes interviews with volunteers including Mary, who is seen saying: “It’s a totally rewarding experience. You develop an expertise in an area, and you are able to give something back within your local community.”

Together with her North Herts Hope UK team colleague Leigh Smith, Mary is piloting a series of workshops in primary schools this summer, supported by Hitchin Youth Trust funding.

The second campaign film outlines the history of the Band of Hope – Hope UK’s original incarnation – which was at the forefront of the Victorian temperence movement, and provided youth activities across the whole country.

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The charity today is creating a group of young people across the UK called Generation Hope, which aims to help youngsters develop life skills and a supportive network.

Leigh’s son Asher – who works as a youth sports coach in the North Herts area – chairs the Generation Hope youth council and represents it on Hope UK’s board of trustees.

Mary’s 15-year-old daughter Phoebe is also on the youth council. She said: “Generation Hope is a great group to belong to. It’s rare that you meet a group of young people, from all over the country, who are so friendly and loving – they never judge you.

“The life skills I’ve learned through being part of Generation Hope, such as how to be confident for interviews or how to deal with peer pressure, will no doubt come in useful.

“I have also been able to share what I’ve learned with younger students in my school by doing some peer education work with the Year 7s at the start of this year. Generation Hope is awesome.”

To find out more about Hope UK, watch the videos or get involved, see hopeuk.org or call 020 7928 0848.

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