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 Southall Community Drugs Education Project
The Southall Community Drugs Education Project (SCDEP) is recommended as good practice in the NHSS support materials on drug education. Read the case study below.

The Southall Community Drugs Education Project
engaging Young People and South Asian
communities in drug education

SCDEP was funded jointly by the Southall Single Regeneration Budget (SRB), with support from the DAT, Health Promotion service, the then Home Office Drug Prevention Advisory Service (DPAS) and the University of Central Lancashire.

The Ethnicity and Health Unit of the University of Central Lancashire ran the project in 1999 - 2000.

The project’s original remit to work exclusively with the South Asian communities in Southall was extended to include all of Southall’s communities, whilst retaining the focus on South Asian families. The Unit knew from its research that residents, in particular communities who spoke Punjabi and other south Asian languages, felt they didn’t know enough about drugs and how to respond and there is a lack of drug information in South Asian languages.

The project aimed to sensitively access communities; engage young people; and raise awareness within a wide range of voluntary community and religious organisations, as well as within Asian families.

There were 3 key elements to the project:

  1. Involving young people
    Young people from across Southall participated in a competition to create an identity for the project. The name ‘Southall Community Drugs Education Project’ was chosen and a graphic designer worked with young people on the winning entry to develop the selected logo.

    A youth panel, consisting of young people from across the community, was created. It explored two main issues: local services and education and other issues related to young people’s drug use. The panel undertook research and outreach work to develop a Young Peoples’ Drug Strategy for Southall.
    Young people went out into the community to gather the views of their peers through a video project. The young people’s video diaries raised the community’s awareness of the issues.

  2. Educating families
    SCDEP worked with a local Sikh school and community and religious groups to produce a video for Sikh parents called ‘It couldn’t happen to us’. 24 bi-lingual volunteers, called community inter-acters, were trained to teach drug education to families using this and other South Asian drug education videos. The families viewed the video in homes, community and religious centres, asked questions, engaged in discussion, received information about local drug and other support organisations and were referred to agencies as appropriate.

    The model is also used in East Lancashire and is being replicated across the country including in Southall with Muslim and Somali communities, South Asian communities in Peterborough and with black and minority ethnic communities in Hertfordshire.

  3. Involving community organisations and businesses
    The project set up a multi-agency forum of organisations working on issues including Local Healthy Schools Programmes, racist attacks, domestic violence, HIV and Aids, and Alcohol and drug dependency. The forum ensured that referral protocols were set up between the project and these organisations so that families and young people could access their services.

Local organisations and businesses took over the project when the University of Central Lancashire finished its work in Southall. The group became the Drug and Alcohol Action Programme (DAAP) Trust and seeks to work primarily but not exclusively with Black and minority ethnic communities on drug education, research and service delivery.

Contact Perminder Dhillon at the Centre for Ethnicity and Health, University of Central Lancashire, email or, telephone 01772 892780.



Ealing NHS Trust

DAAP is also supported by

Dr Amarjit Khambay
Dr Rashmi Patel MBE
Supporting the website

Mr Athul Pathak (franchisee of McDonalds, Southall)
Sponser of summer project

Human Expression
Provision of training

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