The Big Cold Turkey Foundation

ALL NET PROCEEDS OF THIS PROJECT ARE INVESTED INTO PROGRAMMES AND INITIATIVES CONCERNED WITH YOUTH AT RISK, OR IN RECOVERY FROM, DRUGS & ALCOHOL ABUSE.

WHAT WE DO – KINGSMEAD

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Cheltenham Kingsmead is a small comprehensive school in an area of Cheltenham that has many social problems. For the last three years Cheltenham YFC youth workers have been working to support both students and staff in the school. The Big Cold Turkey Foundation helped the youth workers with one of their aims to increase the amount of respect shown by students to each other and to staff. We have even trialed a six-week "Respect" course for students.

This course sought to encourage students to develop a greater sense of self-respect as well as consider how they could respect other people involved in their lives. All students and group leaders on the course agreed to do The Big Cold Turkey as a way of developing self-respect. The Foundation provided Big Cold Turkey packs and the posters, which were placed around the school asking for volunteers willing to give up a habit or addiction for 42 days. We suggested a variety of things that could be given up ranging from smoking, drugs, truancy, biting nails, being on school report, over eating and not eating enough.

Twelve students came forward and asked to join a group to help them with their particular addiction or habit. The youth workers encouraged the young people to consider that if they could gain control over one habit or addiction they could take control of other areas of their lives that they wanted to change. At the end of the course five students and staff had completed 42 days with another five people still continuing. (During the course some people gave in to their habit or addiction but they were encouraged to start again. The definition of failure was not giving in to temptation but not trying again).

Already young people are asking to join in the course next time around and other schools have expressed a desire to see the group run with their students.