Teen alcohol abuse and pregnancy targeted by pilot scheme

A new drive to help reduce drug and alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancy in some of the country's most deprived areas has been announced today by Public Health Minister Melanie Johnson.

The Young People's Development Programme will offer 13-15 year olds an integrated programme of education and training opportunities across a range of areas including journalism, environmental activity, arts and sport, as well as mentoring, life skills and health related training.

The programme is based on a similar approach in the US which has led to reductions in teenage pregnancy and builds on existing programmes in England.

A total of 27 pilot schemes will run for three years under the programme. The pilots will be evaluated to help guide future policy on reducing substance abuse and improving sexual health. The overall scheme will be co-ordinated by The National Youth Agency (NYA).

Launching the programme, Melanie Johnson said: "These programmes aim to help young people who are at risk develop the skills to enable them to maximise their potential.

"We're investing £1.6 million into projects around England to enable them to extend and broaden the work they have underway with young people."

Hilary Spiers, Director of Communications at The NYA said that the pilots were designed to build on "strengths and potential" to allow young people to make informed decisions, rather than simply focusing on problems.

The pilot programme will be evaluated by the University of London Institute of Education's Social Science Research Unit to identify key elements contributing to the programme's effectiveness.


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 February 2015
Plans Announced To Make Young People Work For Benefits
The Prime Minister has announced a proposal for 18 to 21-year-olds claiming benefits to do daily work experience. The proposed reform, known as Community Work Programme, would see young people not in work, education or training, required to complete daily work experience, alongside continuing to look for work in order to qualify for benefits.
10 May 2005
The AA clarifies position on motorway speed limits
The AA Motoring Trust has clarified reports that it has backed calls for an 80 mph limit on motorways. The motoring organisation has confirmed that a suggested pilot scheme for a limit of 80mph related only to certain controlled motorway sections, such as those that are in place on the M25 near Heathrow.
19 May 2003
Card fraud pilot scheme begins
A new fraud-busting pilot scheme got under way in Northampton today that will see the end of signatures as a method for transacting credit card business.
08 December 2003
Stark BMA report paints gloomy picture of teen health
A report from the British Medical Association (BMA) has presented a gloomy assessment of the health of the nation's teenagers.
06 September 2004
New pilot scheme set to target loan sharks
Illegal loan sharks in the West Midlands are being targeted by a new pilot project, it has been revealed. Loan sharks illegally give out quick cash loans, often using intimidation and threats of violence to extort large sums of money in return.